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"I'm sorry Da, he won't take "No" fer an answer. He said he wanted ta... speak to th' manager." The young barmaid was plump, even for a Dwarf, and she twisted her apron nervously as she relayed the news to her father.
Riley Hearthstove grunted with displeasure and continued wiping down the polished stone bar separating the kegs of various drink and the tavern proper. His thickly muscled arms threatened to burst from the sleeves of his gray linen shirt, and his massive belly had already done so below. When not a speck of dust was left, the old Dwarf whipped the soiled rag behind him and smoothed his long beard against his chest, inhaling slowly before trudging outside to settle the matter with this stranger once and for all.
"Finally, a fellow of reason!" The young Dwarf was dressed in hunter's garb, stiff green and brown leather with stitches nearly screaming from the agony of being stretched across his rotund frame. His long, braided beard was dark and brown, though whether from his father or the dirt and filth of the wilderness it was difficult to tell. Standing angry and flustered to his left was Riley's other daughter, Lina, her short red hair mussed from struggling to keep the dirty stranger from entering the building. The young Dwarf's wide, chestnut eyes met Riley's and the old barkeep furrowed his bushy gray brow and frowned deeply.
"I dinnae what y' expect me to tell ye, young Dwarf, that me daughter ha'n't already said plainer and sweeter." He pointed a knobbed finger behind the stranger and flicked it away dismissively. "There ain't no bears allowed in me bar."
The younger dwarf turned around quickly, the seams in his tunic groaning in misery. He seemed surprised to see the great white bear sitting calmly on its haunches, staring at him with deep, black eyes. He turned back to the barkeep and clenched his fists together, fuming and sputtering. "SO this is how it's t' be then! Me, a proud son of Ironforge DISMISSED AND DENIED a bed and beer like some common Trogg! D'ye know how many wars I've fought in, Grandfather? How I've BLED for Bronzebeard and then soome?!"
"If yer rosy cheeks and bright brown beard 're any indication, I'd say not many." Riley crossed his arms and snuffed. The younger Dwarf shot back, "We Mulligans 're well preserved, ye ol' grump! Me grandda 'n me Da both 're as handsome as yours truly, and I ain't no spring rabbit! Now enough o' this! Me and Petunia 're thirsty, an' I'll not be denied a cold beverage by you er anyone else!" The Dwarf motioned to the large bear behind him and he moved forward purposefully. Riley Hearthstove drew himself up to his full height and stuck out his chest before continuing slowly.
"Young Mulligan, I have tried to be reasonable when no reason was called for, but you have pushed me t' beyond me limits. I want nothin' more than to punch ye in yer fat nose and be done with ye forever, but I could use the business and I ain't fillin' out no disturbance reports when the guards come runnin' after they hear yer girlish screams after I beat ye senseless. YOU." Riley pointed a thick finger at the flabbergasted young Dwarf, "may coome in and we'll set ye up with a bed and all the beer ye can pay fer. YER BEAST" he pointed back to the large white bear, head drooping forlornly. "May go with me daughter to th' stable and sleep wi' th' rest o' the animals. We'll set 'er up right with some cheese or summat, and if ye can pay for it we'll fish 'er up some trout from the Loch. Now that's how it's gon' ta be."
Mulligan blinked. He looked around at the small crowd that had begun to gather, and then back at his bear Petunia. Eyes lighting up, he swiftly reached under the bear's legs and pulled forth a fuzzy white armful and held it up to the stern barkeep. "What about Li'l Pejunior then, eh? He can come in, he's nae bigger than a pup!" The baby bear squeaked and hid his face in the Dwarf's chest.
Riley closed his eyes and slowly inhaled. "Out. Side."
Mulligan squawked with displeasure and shoved the little bear into Lina Hearthstove's arms. "FINE!" He stomped up the steps and into the tavern. "But I want t' speak with yer manager!"
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