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Hobb opened his eyes and surveyed the Inn's garden patch. The afternoon's Dreaming had been pleasant in the sunlight and warmth. But night was falling and there were things to do.
He stood and stretched on the banister rail, then dropped to the ground and made his way around the side to the kitchen windows. Lithely he leapt to the window ledge and settled quickly with his tail curled round his legs.
He watched the human woman mixing vegetables at the sink then stared for her to look around. Without turning, Miz Moon stopped and smiled, "Good morning, Hobb cat. How's your day?"
"Wee'er upp?" he spoke.
"Don't worry, Hobb, Wendell is already safely locked up for the night. You've nothing to worry about there."
Satisfied, he dropped to the floor and rubbed his cheek's marking glands against her legs. A few strokes and he checked beside the hearth for any scraps looking to be eaten. A quick wash and he strolled through the kitchen door out to the Public Room of the Inn. He slunk through the legs of the chairs and tables, checking out the current clientele until he came to the entrance door. After a brief pause to scope out the area he slipped out onto the wide porch and back to the garden.
A cooling breeze began as the sun dipped below the horizon. Hobb was well content to lay in ambush near the cabbages for a while and enjoy the dark. He had been there half dozing for hardly a quarter-hour when the bright full moon rose above the treeline in the East. He rose and padded back to the corner of the Inn near the stables and settled down once more to wait.
From somewhere at the back of the Inn could be heard a rising sound of a screaming moan. The wail grew sharp and then choked itself out. Hobb strained his ears till he could hear the low growling coming from Wendall's room and the furtive pacing of taloned paws on the hardwood floors. Several times the sound of flesh and teeth attacking the bars was heard before Hobb was satisfied he could hunt safely tonight. He turned his attention to the hayloft over the barn.
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