A Bargain in the Dark was a tale told in the June Alley Inn story telling competition of 1154. It was told by the Guardmouse Tristram.


In his younger days Tristram was assigned to escort the a noblemouse's daughter from Thistledown, but could never bring himself to confess his love for her. His heart sank when he realised that she was engaged with someone else. To prove himself, Tristram ventured into some underground caverns.

Tristram became lost, had no weapon to defend himself and was growing weak from hunger, thirst and loss of sleep. He stumbled on a bat with a wound on his left wing, rendering it helpless and unable to go anywhere. The bat proposed that they could help each other. Tristram still believed the prejudices mice had against bats, but was willing to carry the bat to his colony in return for being shown a way out.

Tristram heaved the bat over his back and shoulders, bearing its heavy weight and its smelly breath. To ease his torment, the guardmouse asked the bat what flying was like. The bat explained how terrifying how first flying lessons felt, but how natural it felt over time. Then the bat asked Tristram what brought him to the caverns and the mouse explained about his loved for the noblemouse's daughter.

Finally Tristram manages to bring the bat back to its colony. True to its word, the bat points the mouse in the direction of the cavern exit.


  • The story is both written and drawn by Ted Naifeh, the creator of "Courtney Crumrin" and "The Night Things."


Legends of the Guard Volume 1

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