Neverwhere part 2: The marquis De Carabas

De Carabas“The man who called himself the marquis de Carabas walked restlessly up and down the alley. Richard could already tell that he was the type of person who was always in motion, like a great cat.
‘Somebody killed Door’s family?’ asked Richard.
‘We’re not going to get very far if you keep repeating everything I say, now, are we?’ said the marquis, who was now standing in front of Richard. ‘Sit down,’ he ordered. Richard looked around the alley for something to sit on. The marquis put a hand on his shoulder and sent him sprawling to the cobblestones. ‘She knows I don’t come cheap. What exactly is she offering me?’
‘Sorry?’
‘What’s the deal? She sent you here to negotiate, young man. I’m not cheap, and I never give freebies.’
Richard shrugged, as well as he could shrug from a supine position. ‘She said to tell you that she wants you to accompany her home–wherever that is–and to fix her up with a bodyguard.’
Even when the marquis was at rest, his eyes never ceased moving. Up, down, around, as if he were looking for something, thinking about something. Adding, subtracting, evaluating. Richard wondered whether the man was quite sane. ‘And she’s offering me?’
‘Well. Nothing.’
The marquis blew on his fingernails and polished them on the lapel of his remarkable coat. Then he turned away. ‘She’s offering…me…nothing.’ He sounded offended.
Richard scrambled back up to his feet. ‘Well, she didn’t say anything about money. She just said she was going to have to owe you a favour.’
The eyes flashed. ‘Exactly what kind of favour?’
‘A really big one,’ said Richard. ‘She said she was going to have to owe you a really big favour.’
De Carabas grinned to himself, a hungry panther sighting a lost peasant child.

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