Tin Cup Eddie, Street Messenger (Petrichor 365)

1 February, 2023

The rare hatless EddieWhile Port Imperial, as a newly established city with a primarily transient population, does not have a large number of street urchins, it does have some.  One of the most well-known is Tin Cup Eddie.

Tin Cup Eddie is somewhere between eight and twelve and recognizable by their flat cap and tin cup, the rest of their clothes depend on what they were able to scrounge up which may be clean and fairly well-fitting one week and just above rags the next.  The same with shoes, though they usually go barefoot or wrap their feet in rags rather than wear poorly fitting shoes.

They are almost always a bit grubby, though they try to look respectable.  Eddie mostly works as a messenger, running notes from point to point (and usually taking a reply back) but they are not opposed to making a coin or two as a guide or horse watcher.  It is said, admittedly mostly by Eddie, that no one else knows the shortcuts and secret paths through the city better than they do.  if asked what Eddie stands for their will answer: Edward or Edwina or Edbert or Eddington or something else that could be shortened to Eddie that they think will please the questioner but they rarely remember what replies they have given and will likely answer the same question to the same person with a different name.  Equally, when asked how they came to be here, they will spin a yarn that they think will get them sympathy: abandoned, parents died on the ship over, escaped slave, escaped indentured servant, and so on.

When taking a message, Eddie will often rattle the tin cup (which has pebbles in it, coins are kept in a safer location) to warn people of his approach.  Their talent to wind through crowds and crowded alleyways is most impressive.  And, apart from, magic, Eddie is probably the quickest way to get a message across the city.  Even the Port Guard and Imperial bureaucrats use Eddie‘s service on occasion.  Eddie is respected because no one has ever known they to steal, beg as a last resort yes, but outright theft no.

Questions: Who is Eddie really?  Who do you need them to be?  Is there only one Eddie?  Maybe?  Or maybe there is an organization of street kids who all go by the same name and have defined areas in the city where they work so you never see two of them.

Notes: Hey, every city needs some street kids right? Eddie does OK for themself but could be convinced, by the right person with the right incentives, to become the apprentice to a venturer but if there are multiple Eddies this might prove more challenging than expected.

Petrichor 365.  Previous: Wyn Tarmo, Letter Writer.  Next: ???

Image The Urchin (1873 – 1874) by Édouard Manet and is in the Public Domain.

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