Closed Who Steals My Purse Steals Trash (Geronimo)
Erich could have wished that slippery “slave to thousands” was his to command at will once more. Alas, his pockets were hush, no merry jingle to be found therein. To speak plainly, he was tapped out, busted, skint and broke, depending on what part of the country one hailed from. This was the pervasive problem of living off of credit. One assumed the line would n’er run dry. But his had. Deliberately cut, by a preposterous Papa, Erich’s funding stream was no longer even a trickle. Things were getting damned dicey, and they simply could not continue on in this vein. He wasn’t one to worry – usually. Now though seemed the appropriate time to do so.
Of course, he must be covert. It was a sad fact, wealthy people only wanted guests who appeared to want to be their guests, and not those who needed a safe shore upon which to land. Let them get one whiff of financial distress, and even ‘best friends’ were suddenly, to a one, distant, unavailable, ‘not at home this month I’m afraid.’ As far as he knew, no-one really knew his situation. His current host, Lord Weymouth, certainly seemed oblivious, and only too pleased to have an excuse to invite what few gay, young things there were around the area to his estate, for dinner parties and the like. The shooting season was long past. And yet there Erich was, with his behind still parked in the gloomy, grey, godforsaken monolith that passed as a manor. Perched on the shoulder of the moor, it suffered every gust of wind, every swirl of mist, every frigid finger of arctic chill that found no buffering forest or hill to obstruct its path straight to the heart of Lydgate House. Erich was thoroughly sick of the place. But, at the moment, he had no place else to go.
So he must bide, and wait, and charm his way somehow away from Weymouth’s clammy clutches and into something more agreeable. He was missing the season – in London, in Paris, in Berlin – and it grated. He wrote, day and night, copious amounts of correspondence, waiting for a nibble, a bite at his line, which was so subtle one might think he was snuggly ensconced in one of the royal palaces. It was like trying to catch the most coy of trouts. It was a game. He knew how to play it, thank god. But he was near to desperation.
It was hard to conceive but - when he had alighted from Lord Weymouth’s beautiful hunter, and tossed the reins cavalierly to some yokel, to affix them to the public rings put there for such purpose, close to the market square, there was no coin to toss as well. The fine kid skin wallet he carried tucked into his pocket was empty of coins. Completely empty.
And it wasn’t that he always had random bills folded into the stylish bill clip, either, which was stashed in his other pocket – sterling silver with his initials and a tiny ruby. But it was as common for there to be something there, as it was for there to be nothing. He could have pawned or sold either item. He wouldn’t have dreamed of it though. A man needed such accessories to subtly designate to the world his worth. Along with his impeccable, beautifully tailored clothing, his stylish boots, his dapper headwear, he broadcast affluence as clearly as if he’d worn a sandwich board upon which was scribbled the current balance in his bank account. Thank god that was not a fashion a la mode. If it had been, there would probably have been thousands of merchants who would have closed their doors and shutters when they saw such nobs coming. The class was notorious for not paying their bills but well used to having bottomless lines of credit. A tab stretching back a decade was nothing to be too concerned about, apparently.
Erich, with no ready cash to call his own, and no such generous line funded by a tolerant father, was thus forced to wile away his time by seeking amusement of the cheap – that is to say, no cost – variety. He had neither a shilling with which to buy a pint in the local pub, nor a pot to piss in once the drinking was concluded. Dressed in an outfit that had set someone back a good fifty guineas or more, and having arrived riding a horse that had probably cost five times that, one would never have known, he was theoretically as poor as a proverbial church mouse.
With a sigh, he wandered a bit, to examine the common place and dreary wares and other offerings displayed in the market. His real aim was to scout out the new theater his host had told him about. He thought he might discover (please god) that there was going to be a performance of some kind soon. The looks of the village didn’t bode well for any such pantomime being of the caliber to bear watching. But even a play put on by local buffoons would be better than yet another night spent lost in gloom and brandy by the fire, with his host snoring on the far side.
Some rich fop – easy pickings, as long as he wasn’t caught. The dent of a clip in his pocket, barely existent to a man who’d never had to look. The clean appearance, and an outfit that could probably pull Gerònimo out of poverty on its own.

He was a walking, talking treasure chest, and Gerònimo hadn’t even picked the ‘lock’ yet.

Having been discreetly trailing from behind for a couple blocks, he waited ‘til he saw that break in the crowd. Sprinted forward, ‘tripped,’ and his hand just happened to graze his rump as he not so innocently grasped to right himself.

“Sorry,” he said, with big, brown eyes and a boyish smile.
To have his behind fondled by a good looking man was not something Erich usually took umbrage to. But the look he shot the would-be pick pocket did not signal in any way, shape or form that Erich was appreciative or in welcoming of having his bum grabbed. His thick, but nicely shaped, eyebrows pulled down into a frown, as he ran his sparkling sea green eyes over Geronimo. The man was good looking, if a little longer in the tooth than Erich normally would cede as being in the range of 'doable." And he definitely was quite seedy looking. That is to say he had the appearance of a man prone to drinking far too much and not eating anything wholesome nearly enough.

Give him a better set of clothes and a bath and he might have fit quite nicely into Erich's usual circle of acquaintances.

Still, he was to hand and Erich was in need of directions, apparently. For his expression cleared, and in a suave, accented voice he asked, "You wouldn't happen to know where the theater is, would you?"

If he had any inkling of the man's true intent, that of picking his own "impoverished" pockets, he gave no sign of it.
The question of whether or not Gerònimo would do a man was primarily a question of sobriety, of which he hadn’t smelled since 1887. Remembered what it was like to be treated nicely? Take a shot. Noticed the man in question had a perpetual sucking-lemon expression? Take a shot. Tried to get his leg amputated once? … Alright, maybe Chi Chi was just a result of good ol’ vaguely religious self-hatred.

“Know it?” he smiled genially. “I practically own it. Could give you the full tour for a sovereign.”
Up, down - Erich's eyebrows seemed to constantly be reflexive of his impressions of the word around him, and its inhabitants. Now, one of them arched quite nicely. Some day perhaps he'd be sporting a monocle underneath it. "That sounds like quite a bargain," he said, with little to reveal if he was being sarcastic or was truly appreciative or just incredibly gullible. Context would have to do.

"Sadly, I don't have a soevreign. Would you take it on bond?"
With a sympathetic looking smile, he shook his head.

“Alas, young man – I live for the here and now.”
"Well...that's a pity. Could you perhaps...point me in the right direction?" Erich chuckled, as he added, "And don't tell me that will cost a penny, for I haven't got one of those either."
Gerònimo bowed low, head level with the gentleman’s waist for a second and a half, sweeping an arm dramatically northeastward – toward the bog.

“Send my love, dear sir.”

And with that, he was adrift of the crowd once more.

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