Ressell is lying on the ground, with the wind knocked out of him.
Pametta is sitting beside him, peering down ~~ anxiously ~~
Pametta: Are you all right, sir?
Ressell: Urgh! Goddamn fool. The thing's going to kill him before they ever reach the Sime Center.
Ressell gives Pametta an unpleasant look.
Pametta: I'm sure my husband knows what he's doing, and will reach the Sime Center in time. He does know an awful lot about Simes, you know.
Ressell is feeling rather ~~ sarcastic and bitter ~~ through the ~~ pain ~~.
Ressell: I just got the wind knocked out of me by my own horse slamming into me. How do you think I feel? Goddamn horse. I knew he was too skittish...
Pametta: He's beautiful, though. Where are you hurt?
Ressell grunts, trying to sit up and then deciding against it.
Ressell: Feels like my entire body is a giant bruise right now.
Pametta: Perhaps you'd better rest for a few moments before you try to get up, then.
Ressell wonders just who this insane woman thinks she is. He agrees that not trying to get up is probably the best course of action, for the time being, anyway.
Pametta: You really ought to see a doctor right away and get checked out.
Pametta has no idea where one would find a doctor at this time of night, however.
Ressell: Oh, I'll see a doctor all right. But I'm not going to see no snakes, if that's what you had in mind.
Pametta: I am sorry you've been inconvenienced by all this. It wasn't the end I'd planned for my wedding night, either.
Ressell tries to sit up again, and manages to do it, although ~~ pain ~~ wracks his body.
Ressell: Wedding night, eh? Hah... Don't think I would've spent my own honeymoon going around picking up berserkers.
Ressell is now convinced that this woman is simply nuts, and will get the end she deserves if she makes a habit out of this.
Pametta: Senator Pollovic -- my husband, that is -- is very serious about promoting good relations between the Territories.
Ressell: Senator... Pollovic? ~~ surprise ~~
Ressell hadn't been able to recognize anyone in the darkness of the night. He's seen the Senator's face in papers before, so no doubt would have recognized him if it had been broad daylight, but he's never heard Pollovic speak in person.
Pametta: Yes. I'm his wife, Pametta.
Pametta holds out her hand for a polite shake.
Ressell shakes hands, deferring for now to his well-taught instincts to be polite to a lady.
Ressell: I'm Ressell, ma'am. I do apologize for this.
Pametta: Not at all, it's we who owe you an apology.
Ressell realizes that he threatened, not half an hour ago, to shoot Senator Pollovic. The realization is uncomfortable at best.
Pametta: I do hope you can find it in your heart to forgive my husband for borrowing your horse. There wasn't time for a long discussion. As it is...well, I'm sure Brenn knows what he's doing, but I would really like to check up on him.
Ressell: And I'd like to get home, preferably in some way that doesn't involve walking.
Pametta: Well, let's see what we can do... Do you hear hooves?
Pametta has already sent the Pollovic coachman with the horses back to the house to fetch alternative transportation, but it will take a while to wake up the stable hands and get the horses harnessed to another coach.
Ressell strains to listen, and thinks he can hear the sound of a coach coming from the direction Pollovic went in.
Pametta: You wait here, and I'll see if I can flag whoever it is down.
Ressell reaches discreetly for his gun, which was knocked out of his hand when the horse slammed into him, and tucks it into the holster in his belt, feeling a lot more secure with than without it.
Ressell is starting to realize the potentials of exposing this story to the press. He's never quite sure how much he trusted Senator Pollovic anyway, what with the man's kissing Simes in front of public audiences.
Pametta returns after a brief but energetic discussion with the coachman.
Pametta: Mr. Ressell, I've arranged for you to be taken home. This coach belongs to a neighbor of my husband's. The coachman has to pick up his mistress, then he'll be free to drop you off on their way home.
Ressell: Thank you very kindly, ma'am.
Pametta neatly omits the small point about the mistress currently being at the Sime Center, although she scolded the coachman roundly for abandoning his employer. She had no compunction about playing on the man's guilt to persuade him to take her in pursuit of her husband.
Ressell gets to his feet with a grunt and even more ~~ pain ~~.
Pametta offers her arm.
Pametta: Here, let me help you.
Ressell is thinking now about which paper to approach with this story: it'll have to be one of the more conservative ones, because the liberal ones are almost guaranteed to spin it to make the Senator look like his victim.
Ressell: Oh, there's no need to do that, ma'am. I can walk.
Pametta persists in helping Ressell into the coach, spurred by ~~ guilt ~~.
Ressell grudgingly accepts Pametta's help, realizing that even if he can walk, vertical motion isn't necessarily going to be as easy. He settles himself inside the coach with a muffled groan, biting his lip against the pain.
Pametta calls to the coachman.
Pametta: The Sime Center, quickly.
Ressell: ~~ shock ~~ Now... now, listen, ma'am. I will go see my doctor in the morning; I'm not about to fall over and die. If you want to get out there, you'd best let me go on my way after that.
Pametta: The coachman's first duty is to his mistress, who is at the Sime Center. Once he's picked her up, he can drop you off on his way home.
Ressell: ~~ grudgingly ~~ Fair enough.
Pametta would be less insistent on the coachman following his duty if that duty wasn't so convenient for her purposes.
Ressell settles in for the ride, but keeps his hand near his gun at all times, although it's concealed by his coat now.