Wolves at the Door (part 30)

Alfvin grinned at Gil and held out his catch proudly.

“Well rested, I trust? You must have been most exhausted. I was quite remiss in pushing you to guide me through the day.”

“Nothing I couldn’t handle. But I am glad of a good night’s sleep. Have you been up long?”

“Most of the night. I should not think there is more than an hour or two left before dawn.”

Sure enough, by the time the fish had been cooked and eaten the sky was beginning to lighten. Gradually Alfvin began to wind down, though he remained more relaxed than yesterday. Before he settled in to sleep through the midday sun, Gil wanted to check what his plans were.

“I take it you’re not intending to visit any more villages tonight?”

“No, we have almost more than we can carry as it is. By this afternoon, I think it will be time to haul it all back across the threshold.”

Gil had expected the return journey to be difficult, even without this much baggage. He was glad Alfvin had insisted they rest here before starting out.

“Okay. Once I’m done playing tailor, is there anything else I should do to prepare?”

“That depends. Are you a fisherman?”

“I know how. Not sure how successful I’ll be, but I can give it a try.”

“Good. Anything we do not eat will be easy to sell. But we will want to cook it before we leave, so keep the fire going. I think the wood here should be sufficient, but if not, take the axe and cut some more. While you are about it, you could cut a few decent-sized poles of young wood. I doubt we could carry more than two or three, but there is always a demand for tent poles, tool handles and the like.”

But first things first: he had clothes to make. Gil gathered the needles and thread Alfvin had brought from the village, along with the knife. Hefting the roll of cloth in his other hand, he strode off to find a clearing where the light would be stronger. It looked like being a busy day, so he’d better get started.

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