"The address was only present on one crate; the words 'Property of the West Merui Company', on the other hand, were present on many." Sikhandyn replies. "So while it could indeed be the address of the owners, it could also be that of a customer of the West Merui Company in River Forge."
"As I cannot tell which one it is - and for the sake of completeness - I think that address should be checked."
He takes another drink from the jug and says, "Let's see. On the way back, these guys came by while we were camping and the leader said he was sent to map the mines like we were. Thinking they worked for you too, we tried to be friendly but they tried to take our stuff. At least, they said for us to give it all to them. We didn't and we fought them. And they ran away. After we hurt them."
"Did you send another group after you sent us? If you did, they don't seem to be trustworthy. If you didn't, you might want to check for leaks. Someone knew about people being sent to map the mines."
He takes another swallow and looks over to the others, "That about it? I miss anything?"
The halfling listens intently, a thoughtful expression on his face. He says nothing, though he raises one eyebrow at the discussion of the dragon. After Karn relates the story of the evening attack, he nods once. "We have been sending many teams, and unfortunately, none have returned. When Layna's horses returned--the first sign of trouble--we sent a group of warriors to try and overtake your team and supplement your efforts. It appears they were rather eager to claim your results for themselves, and it is well that you defeated them. We will make sure they learn the error of their ways." He says the last with a hard note of finality.
"The dragon was not something we anticipated, to be sure. And this business of a necromancer, operating seemingly on his own and not for us or the Prince--that is a circumstance that bears further investigation." He considers the tasks for a moment. "Very well, I should like to speak to you each individually. After that, we shall gather back in this room for your next assignment."
He stands and gestures to Sikhandyn to follow out the door, leaving no opening and making no offer--or even mention--of returning to what you had done before walking through the fishmonger's warehouse door more than a month ago. It is hard to tell which is stranger, the events of your adventure or the halfling's reaction to them. Odd jobs, indeed...