Bleys summons Joseph for a meeting. There's an Eregnor problem - Thomas Kent, an important citizen (and quite possibly Eregnor's Kenton analogue), has been killed recently. Reports have it that "his castle burned down" - a statement which Joseph receives with considerable incredulity. In order to investigate what's happened, Bleys asks Joseph to allow Kenton to work once again for Amber. Joseph isn't entirely happy about this, but agrees that it sounds a sensible way forward. Bleys offers to send up some reading material on Eregnor for Joseph, an offer that Joseph accepts with pleasure.
He goes to see Kenton and tells him what Bleys has asked, and asks Kenton to go and talk with Bleys immediately. He then starts to get dressed to go out, making sure he looks like a Prince of Amber on a spree.
Lucien is getting dressed also, and dressing up quite fancily, not forgetting to equip himself with a sword and dagger. Before he leaves to go to the Hall he makes sure that his "stuff" is carefully hidden, and has a servant posted at his door.
Darius finishes interrogating and dresses to go out also, but not too fancily, just respectable.
Tremayne, on the other hand, is definitely dressing down, wanting to appear like a palace guard on his night off. He makes sure that he's wearing enough baggy stuff to conceal his equipment.
Darius sends Harry and Caine off to the Harbourmaster's, which is where the pubcrawl will be starting.
Minister Tallis of Begma and Sir Stephen of the Royal Household of Granath accompany Joseph, Darius and Lucien in the coach down to the city, while Tremayne sits watchfully on the outside of the coach. It seems that Queen Gwendolyn won't be coming on the pubcrawl, since it's not her style. There is general banter and conversation, much of it about vegetables and weaponry, and then they reach the top of the road that leads to the Harbourmaster's, where they leave the coach, since the road is rather too steep for it.
Harry has reserved a room at the inn, and Darius, when he arrives, discreetly sets up a tab with the barkeeper. Tremayne uses his cover as a guard to engage in various conversations to discover venues for unsavoury pleasures. He learns of The Dagger, a wild, partying kind of pub, and of The Ruddy Duck, where, among other things, various unusual substances may be obtained. If he was looking to take security-related jobs, he could try The Dagger or The Fairweather - or even The Manticore. It turns out that it isn't actually called The Manticore any more - it's now The Brown Cow. Apparently the Palace - either the Regent or Florimel - let it be known that calling a pub The Manticore could be considered tasteless. Whatever its name actually is, one useful fact he discovers is that it's associated with the House of Karm.
Conversation about progressive government, vegetables and weapons resumes: Granath is now politically almost stable, following the discovery that chlorine and mustard gas are unusually effective there, leading to the rebels being confined to the tops of hills. Bergma considers itself to be a 'post-monarchy' - they have reconstituted themselves as a republic. Joseph isn't at all sure that he thinks republics are a good idea, having read Plato, but he's too polite to say anything.
At that moment, Duke Borel arrives, affable and loud as ever...