- Part 1* ”
- ‘Wow,’ marvelled Penfold.*
- ‘Wow.’ echoed Sencheena.*
- “She has a gift,’ marvelled the pair.*
Skye lit by flickering campfire was gracefully writhing, and slowly snaking a potatoes around her lithe form, before a flabbergasted Spud. She used no words, but somehow, somehow the whole potato story from being laid gently in a hollow of ground, to being covered by soft sweet smelling loam , then the newly sprouted plant’s graceful push through the ground were all conveyed in the most sensual of mimes. In fact, the point where the potatoes were dug out of the warm ground by soft, gentle white hands….well it would raise a sweat on any hot blooded man, hobbit or woman. Spud had no chance he was spellbound.
“Wow!” whispered Seencheena to Penfold again. “ Skye is good really good…”
“Never seen anything like it before,” whispered Penfold , behind his hot mug of Tak. “They never told us about these things in Tempest…..”
Things seemed to be going well, mused Sencheena, sipping her tak after the performance. In fact it was much easier than she had thought. The party had been on the drove to the meeting place at Northland Garrison for two days and were expecting to arrive at the crossing to the Fleetfoam River at Fort Thoris, in the morning.
Okay the relentless drizzle of rain most of the trip was a bit of a downer. However, looking on the bright side, the hundred head of cattle they had begun with had remained intact.‘A point in our favour’ she thought.
In fact, according to the knowledgeable Spud, they were right on track to make the tribute in two weeks.
“How long to the Garrison Spud,” asked Sencheena when Spud had regained his power of speech after the ‘Spud Mime’Spud explained, “After the river crossing…mmmm…. It be only two days to the Northland Garrison. Then you will see some sights. Worth the year long wait…Great times to be had at the Garrison!”
“Well, I hope I find my pillow before then, “complained Penfold.
“Look Penfold, I don’t know what you were doing with a pillow on a drove anyway! It hardly creates the right impression! We are trying to be cattlemen here!” scolded Sencheena looking up a Penfold.She was only so stern with him as she was feeling a bit guilty and was trying to distract him from what really happened a few days before they were frantically packing to make Spud’s dawn departure. He had been getting on everyone’s nerves……
“Uh oh", said Penfold, stumbling over a rolled blanket. “Whoever owns that bedroll, you should never have left it there. Sorry!”
The Dolan sniggered. “Good thing I don’t have to wash it!”
Penfold guilty looked down at his dirty boots and started scraping the muck off on the floor.
“Ah, and by the way, has anyone seen my pillow?” asked Penfold.
Nobody even looked up. The reason that the pillow went missing was not really Sencheena’s fault. In a frenzy of packing she had quickly thrown the pillow under the wagon seat. Well that is what she meant to do…a little too much muscle, a little gust of wind and the white, fluffy pillow went sailing over the wooden edge and right into a cow pat. Of course, she picked up the pillow and dusted it off as best she could.
“Pillows on a cattle drive! Pah!” Sencheena muttered again shaking her curls in exasperation. It was not really her fault that Skye had taken offence to the smell and dropped off the back of the wagon. It really shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Another point in our favour… we have only lost one thing and although the days had been long, everyone except Cole, had been enjoying the exciting nightly entertainment provided by Skye beside the warmth campfire. Luckily, the rain had stopped with the sun each night…another bonus. All and all this trip was turning out to be a great success, Sencheena thought as she climbed in her bed roll and drifted off to sleep.