A Small Surprise

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David looked at the woman walking beside him. They had used different roads than normal to leave the city so that nobody would recognize them. While he did not stand out too much from everyone else, it was always surprising to learn how much other people did notice.

They had been walking for almost two hours already and, if his estimate was right, they were still an hour's walk from their destination. They would arrive from the far side of the property, where it was unlikely that many people would see them. It also took them past the work area where Mark was working on the next wagon.

That thought reminded David again that it might have been better if he hadn't sent their sales model home with Mark. It was probably the mistrust he still harbored from having to lock car doors back on his own world, but he also reasoned that Puquykilla was a big city and bad things tended to happen more often in them.

The reason that he felt this was an issue was because of Sañi. Even though the young woman had not complained about walking or, for that matter said much about anything at all, it felt wrong to make her walk such a distance -- at least without giving her a choice in the matter.

David was partially glad for her silence because he needed the time to figure out what he was going to say to Mark. It was even worse to think of what would happen if Ch'uya heard about Auk'a. He was a good man but they were involving him in something that was very illegal.

At last the two of them reached the pasture that bordered Ch'uya's land. A stream was the boundary between the two properties and, when they reached its edge, David began to search for logs that he could use for a temporary bridge. Before he had found anything, Sañi already had her simple shoes off and crossed the river. David gave up and followed her example.

While David was putting his shoes back on, Sañi asked about the way that they were made. He had to admit that he didn't actually know very much about the process. The question did make it painfully obvious to David that he stood out more than he liked. They needed to find a way to get clothing that would blend in more. The cloak covered a lot but not everything.

David pushed that problem to the back of his mind. They were almost within sight of Mark and it was time that he learn about what had happened.

Mark had been wondering why it was taking so long for David to return but when the latter finally did arrive he was studying a board to make sure that it was as straight as possible.

"Hey Mark..."

"Oh, hey David. What took you so..." His voice trailed off as he turned to greet his friend. "Um... David... What did you do?"

"Look, I didn't have any choice. Auk'a came after me with a club and..." David stopped as he realized Sañi was explaining also, even though the question had not been asked in her language.

"Auk'a pools bets sometimes with the few men that he drinks with. It is not normally very much and he wins as often as he loses. This time he wagered five of the gold coins you had promised him on credit. They were supposed to be due yesterday if they lost the bet, which they did. This morning his dog was dead. It was a threat that he had better pay what he owed.

"The only thing that kept him from taking it out on me was that there was a customer in the store when he discovered what had happened. The Morning Star is good to me.

"He had already drank a lot when David came in, but I hoped that it would work out alright.

"It didn't. Auk'a was still very upset. He was mumbling something about what he could do to get five gold coins on such short notice when I told him that the guy who wanted to buy me was there.

"Somehow, even as drunk as he was, he put enough together to realize that you and he were friends. He grabbed his club and went after David."

David added in, "¿Ay, then it is good that we left him those coins?"

Sañi nodded her head.

Overdue

Aww, it's too short! :D

Looking forward to next-week's-on-time-part. (I know I give ya a hard time, but if I don't, then who will?! ;))

Chris's picture

Hehe

Glad to know you are impatient for the story to continue. It is fun to tell. :P

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