Matthias Emery Thall raised his arms in salutations as Albrecht walked through the doors of his study.
“My good sir, at last you have arrived. I am Matthias Thall. Please, take a seat.”
“Your hospitality is much appreciated, Mayor Thall.”
“Oh, please, call me Matt.”
“If you prefer.”
“Otto—why didn’t you pick Mr. Brandt up at the station?”
“Didn’t know when he’d be arriving. You know how it is with the rail, they scarcely know when that thing is coming or going. Lines were down again.”
“Yes. Yes… Well. Nevertheless, we are all here now and, I trust, in fine spirits. You’ll be needing a place to stay, Mr. Brandt, so I’ve arranged some lodgings.”
“That’s grand. Where?”
“Wester Moorley’s place.”
Otto’s eyes darked, brows furrowing. Brandt cast a glance to the mayor’s right-hand man, and then back to mayor, curiosity overwhelming his apprehensions.
“Where is this… Wester Moorley?”
“Otto can show you—isn’t that right?”
“Well, anything else?”
“About my team and-”
“Details, details! Ah, you just arrived, how thoughtless of me. Mr. Brandt, you must be famished. Can I offer you some refreshment?”
“No, no, I just ate, as a matter of fact.”
“Well, you must be tired.”
“No, took a nap on the train-ride up. Feeling fine.”
I see, I see. Regardless, I’ve many matters to attend to presently. Once you get yourself situated and comfortable, we can see about everything else.”
“As you wish, Mayor Matthi—er… Matt.”
Matthias smiled forcefully—a hollow gesture, and then bent to his desk as Otto ushered the engineer from the mayoral office.