The small red-head had looked like a good mark when Devon had first seen her. Dressed in the clothing of a labourer, he knew she wasn’t what she appeared to be. The cloth of her smock was a shade too fine, the dye a shade too bright. They were rich fabrics cut in the style of a peasant. That had suggested to him that she was a member of the nobility attempting to travel incognito – and that meant a big, fat purse just waiting to be robbed.
That the red-head was wearing both a sword and a knife at her hip meant little to Devon. He’d assumed they were no more than appropriate props.
Lying flat on his back, staring up at the red-head – who was pinning him in place with a very obviously well-used and well-cared for sabre held to his adams apple – Devon could see that at least one of his assumptions had been wrong.
“People like you…annoy me,” said the red-head. “And when I get annoyed, people start bleeding. Usually the people who’ve annoyed me.”
“So. Are you going to continue annoying me?”
Devon gulped again, this time as he felt the sharp point actually graze his throat. “N—no.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“Uh, leave? Leave you alone?”
“And?” Devon gulped.
“How about: and give up a life of brigandage because you’re not very good at it?” the red-head suggested.
“A—A fine suggestion. I—yes.” Devon nodded as best he could, given the placement of the sword point. “I will.”
“I will given up a life of brigandage and find honest employment.”
The red-head smiled broadly. “An excellent plan. I believe you’ll find the farmer in the next valley is seeking labour. Go now. Tell him Marga sent you and I’m sure he’ll find work for you.” She lifted her blade and almost before Devon had thought about it, he was scrambling backwards and up to his feet. “And I will be checking,” the red-head added. “I pass this way often. If I find you molesting travellers again, I won’t be so kind.”
“You—you won’t. I swear!”
And Devon went, promising himself that he would find the farmer and make himself useful and would never again think on robbing travellers. Especially not small red-headed ones.