'Ralph! Did you feed them pigs yet?' -Ena Harbledown
"Just coming," he called back. "You old Bag," he muttered under his breath.
Ralph was a 15-year-old boy who was working at Smuggler's End Tavern for Mrs.Harbledown.One day Ralph wakes up yawning, remembers helping the knife grinder up the stairs. Suddenly wondered if the knife grinder is still sleeping it off. Ralph pulled a cone-shaped piece of wood from the wall and search for the knife grinder but he was gone.
"What's up with you, boy?'
"N-nothing," he stammered. "But I wanted to know when did the knife grinder leave?"
Mrs. Harbledown was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. When Ralph came near her, Mrs. Harbledown grabbed his ear and twisted it. She said "No time for lying about, boy,'she snarled. "Them pigs need fattening up for slaughter."
If I tell what I found in the pigs through to the constables they would hardly believe me, a tavern boy. They held Mrs, Harbledown in high regard because she gave them free ale.
Outside, the weather was freezing and he went to the shelter of hut to fill the almost cleared trough from the previous day. All that was left was scattering of bits too small for them to pick up and a long ribbon of material. Also, he saw yellowish pebbles in the bottom and gathered up the pebbles and grabbed them. He noticed that they weren't pebbles and they were human teeth.
"There was no one around so I just came up.I'm Myrtle. I am looking for my uncle. I believe he was staying here. He is a knife-grinder."
"How did you get in?"
Mrs. Harbedown was talking and laughing with Fingers, The towern's odd job man. Fingers was sporting a rather nice green waistcoat under his coat which was the same as the one knife-grinder was wearing yesterday.
"What's it to you? Get up there and put his room to rights. There'll be more guests later."
He looked around in case lodger had left something of value behind. It didn't feel right- not now that he knew about the knife-grinder's grisly death. He imagined how it would be, to tell Mrs. Harbledown that he knew what she and Fingers were up to. For a moment he was full of triumph. He couldn't risk his job, not in the winter. There were dozens of boys in the town who would snap it up. Also, he didn't know much, he had no real proof because the pigs had made sure of that.
He had fantasied about leaving many times, but never seriously. He had no special skills, no trade, and he was penniless. Ralph jumped at the sound of the voice "Hello."
"How odd. We met at the fair yesterday. he said for me to come here this morning. He was going to give me some money before he left town." "You work here, do you?"
"Oh. He's gone," "I mean , he left early this morning."