Inácio gazed down from the rooftop of the stately manor atop which he was perched into the street below. It was deserted at this hour, but still lit by lanterns that the lamplighter was currently busy snuffing out. His thoughts briefly turned to the safe and all the gold in the house, but he knew he wouldn’t have enough time to look for it. He could, perhaps, if he were to make less of an entrance, but he just couldn’t resist having a bit of fun.

Once the lamplighter had extinguished all the lights and was well out of sight, Inácio swiftly and quietly walked over to the edge, performed a handstand as if he were an acrobat getting ready for a somersault, and swinging down propelled by his own weight, he hurled himself feet first into the window below, hurling glass into it and visibly startling its occupant, a jittery-looking man in his fifties.

“Evening, governor,” said Inácio calmly, as he drew a long-barreled and mean-looking pistol and aimed it at the other man. “Fancy seeing you here tonight.”

“What do you want?” Asked governor Silva, attempting (and failing) to inject a tone of authority into his voice.

“I was in town and thought I’d… drop in, for a visit,” said Inácio. “Why do you ask?” he inquired in mock puzzlement. He glanced down at his gun “Oh, this old thing? I use it for target practice,” he grinned sinisterly, “and I’ve gone and lost my bulls’ eye. Figured a statesman would do just fine, don’t you agree?”
The governor said nothing.

“You have something that belongs to me. I want it back,” continued Inácio. “Where is she?”

The governor started stammering something incoherent, but Inácio quickly overrode him, “I have little patience for bullshit, governor. Tell me where she is, or rather than dying,” he aimed the pistol between the other man’s legs” you’ll merely wish you had. Your choice”

Governor Silva yelped. “All right, all right! Downstairs, behind the fresco. There’s a latch on the floor in front of it.”

“Is it guarded?”


“Thank you governor. Time for bed, I reckon.” He gave the hapless governor a brutal kick in the temple with the butt of his pistol, rendering him unconscious, then quietly walked out.

Bloody bureaucrats, he thought as he stole downstairs stopping at the shadow of the landing and peering down. He saw a guard sitting next to the painting, attempting (poorly) to act casual. He couldn't possibly take the guard out quietly from that angle, but if he could draw the man out, he'd have a chance.

He drew his knife and descended the staircase in full view of the guard, who stood, startled, and moved to aim his rifle at the intruder. Before he could fully bring the long-barreled weapon to bear, Inácio threw his knife, neatly lodging it on the hapless guard's throat. The man emitted a choked gurgle and slumped forward. A few too many pork chops in this fella, thought Inácio as he took the guard by the armpits and dragged him into a closet.

He then searched for the latch. Finding it, he pulled, and the painting slid forward, revealing a narrow corridor behind which was a small cell. It was barred, but he had little trouble picking the lick, and out came the regal-looking, if disheveled, woman he'd come looking for. They looked into each others' eyes, and locked each other in a kiss that seemed to transport them to another world, one where the worries of today didn't exist, and only they existed.

Then, quite abruptly, she pushed him back and let fly a slap at his face. "What took you so damn long?"

Inácio looked sheepish. "Got a little sidetracked, sorry. Tell you about it on the way, come on."