I recognize the look of disdain on my companion's face. "Kurgen, you know that dwarf? I think I know how he might be useful..."
I find the biggest, meanest looking thug and walk by him. I flash him a coin for his attention. "You look like a pretty good brawler, tall stuff. But do you see that dwarf over there? I've heard he's the toughest this side of the city - of men or dwarves. I'm not sure how much I believe that, but I am bored and dying to see a good rumble to shake up the... 'jolly' atmosphere we've had lately. I'd gladly pay you 5 gold to see you try and take him... and 5 more if you actually win."
Once the fight starts and the guards intervene, we slip past the checkpoint.