The Watchmaker’s Victory

Over stacked vats of gray beer, lines of smoke stretched toward a fan that wheezed and scraped, sucking clouds of steam from a caldron on the stove. A clinking drifted about the room: the matron shuffling, piling, sweeping among clay bowls, beer jars, and soup ladles. C. dropped his cigarette among stubs swelling in the ash jar and hoisted his beer. Over the rim, Barley’s head was drooping like a boulder trailing moss.

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