We didn’t stay awake for too long that night, but there was time to be together and have fun… After all, in a couple of days we’ll be leaving for Tilis and it’s very unlikely we’ll be able to find a boat with a private cabin for two of us. That sort of boat you only find on sea! In the middle of having fun, Moyri suddenly started talking about the school plans.
Well! That was not appropriate. So I bound her with one of my shawls. Of course, she could’ve gone on speaking in my mind, and in any case, I’m not a kidnapper, what I know about gagging is nothing, so it was more like she was just wearing a green and blue silk mask that I had to kiss through, but it helped her remember that she was supposed to come, and not to talk shop! I foresee that we’re going to have lots of ways and hints and signals for each to avoid bringing our work into bed, but fortunately, I’m quite inventive!
The next day, we rounded up all the people for our tomorrow dinner party with the Baron. Some guilds had masters who were very interested, others much less, but we got promises to come from at least someone from all the guilds that could benefit from a good school. It was really tiresome, though, running after all those people.
Near the end of the afternoon, we went down the harbour to see about a boat to bring us down to Tilis. We were lucky: two skippers, both in our Guild, we going to leave tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, and we paid them to make it day after. They’re nice people, but they are shipping glassware, not something comfortable like hides or linen or wool! Still, we’ll survive, and the apprentices will have seen pretty much two thirds of Valdyas when we are in Tilis. Sarabal, Trynfarin, Tylenay, Ildis and Rizenay we didn’t visit, but then, apart from Sarabal, those are all dumps where the Nameless is boss. Especially Ildis, pah!
When we left the harbour master’s office, we saw Jeran! Jeran is Maile in Essle’s brother, and he was two years above me at school, and one of the first sent out to make a difference in the world. He stopped in Veray, where he started working with the poor, the destitute, the prostitute (or is that prostated?).
And Veray is getting poorer and poorer. Everyone knows it. This is the one town in Valdis that made things other than woollens that were shipped out to Iss-Peran, to Aumen-Sith, to the East, and now they’re losing out to every upstart manufacturer or craftsman from everywhere. One way to help is my way, but that’s going to take time, and in the meantime, there are people to be fed, healed, helped, supported.
Jeran already had a great, big heart when he was in Turenay. It’s such a pity that he was hopelessly and unrequitedly in love with a young girl, Serla, when he was in Turenay, otherwise I’d have let him kiss me blind and unconscious. (I would have used a different verb, but Moyri has told me that that is for speaking only, not writing. Ilaini is a weird language, very simple sometimes, but with pitfalls. I do promise never to write ‘fuck’ again though.)
In any case, we agreed to have dinner together, in the Fishing Otter — or Fish and Otter, that’s not clear — the five of us. Jeran said, the beer is good, the wine is bad, and the food decent.
That agreed, we went on to buy four bolts of excellent linen. One of the finest, for the Baroness’ shirts, three of the middle quality, one for shirts, two for bandages for the doctor’s post in Selday, one of the tough quality, for shirts for doctors and nurses. It came to quite an amazing sum of money, but worth it!!! Oh, the fine linen is so, so, so fine, I want to kiss it.
Dinner was fine as well. Jeran is still all alone, the big goof, but I’m taken now, so there’s nothing I can do. He had ordered pasties, and when he saw my pout at hearing the wine was bad, he got the host to get us some cider, which was very good! We had a very, very cosy evening, with lots of news flowing, lots of reminiscing, and only a little bit of uncomfortableness when Jeran asked about the problems in the Turenay Sithi Council. We skipped over that, and after that, all was good.
That night, probably the last night we would have a chance, Moyri and I had a long, slow, cosy, comfy, close, cuddly fuck — I mean, love-making. And in the middle, it was me who talked shop! I suddenly realized we’d spent one hundred twenty five riders on linen, part of which was for a doctor’s post that doesn’t even exist!
We only have an old ship’s doctor in Selday, retired and set in the ways he learned forty years ago, with doctor’s instruments forty years old!
And Selday is the biggest town of Idanyas, it’s the capital!!!
So Moyri took the shawls, bound my mouth after the briefest of I-told-you-so lectures, and proceeded with the aforementioned lsccccf.
The next morning, though, while Moyri, Maile and Moryn (by the way, do not get the impression that we have been neglecting our evening prayers, I’ve just had other stuff to write about) went to the Order House to train, and I went to the Princess Ayneth Hospital.
It’s just outside town, it’s spanking new and very big. I had to wait quite a bit before I could meet with the head doctor, doctor Arin. I had a bit of a problem explaining who I was, who Moyri was, what I wanted — I’m usually not tongue-tied, but Arin is pretty intense. He’s not gifted, but if he were, he would be a grand master. There’s something about him…
Also, he’s probably smarter than me, so he got the gist of my babblings, and took me to see someone called Varyn. She was working in the pharmacy, and turned out to be a very pleasant looking, rather plump, gifted woman about twice my age. With grey twinkling eyes, a very competent and quiet manner, and she took to the idea immediately, and asked for another man, Geran, who, I was told, is very good at organizing.
When he was there, I put my proposal to them:
- A doctor’s post in Selday
- In the residential quarters of the former Iss-Peranian Palace — the White House — the official Baronial Residence. (We are going to live in the Pink House, that is, my house, and only use the reception hall of the white house for baronial stuff, and the tower part is going to be barracks)
- A clerk or priest of Mizran capable of doing all the paperwork
- 500 riders for travel and to buy all needed instruments, medicinal herbs and substances to be bought in Essle
- Living place and stipends for two master doctors and two apprentices
They jumped at the proposal, and after some more very comfortable chat about doctoring, doctor Cora, my time in the hospital, the salubrious climate and situation of pretty Selday, Varyn helped me figure out again how to heal leprosy, and I went to the Temple of Mizran to send a money order her way.
I, apparently, now have my very own Priest of Mizran in the Temple of Mizran in Veray!
In the evening, we had the posh dinner in the Pheasant and Grape, and after the welcome speech by the Baron of Veray, the Baroness of Selday said a few words, and then I spoke for a bit on the topic of education, the Queen’s support for that, the wide world and how learning makes a difference, and is fun, and how if Veray had more goods the world would like to buy, it would make Selday so much the richer because of all the shipping. After that, we let the good people of Veray discuss these things among themselves, and when the food had gone, and people started looking the Ryshas wine in the eye when it is red (I have got that wrong, I think, but I’m very tired, and a bit tipsy), we went to our rooms, and to sleep, because tomorrow morning we’re leaving!
And that we did. We made good time to the harbour, and made the ship, and now the autumn sun is rising over our backs, still nice and warm, and we’re drifting downstream!