i) Abia chooses Larry as their beast of burden


Abia chooses Larry as their beast of burden. Burbaloo gives them the go-ahead, though she’s disappointed to lose one of her animals. The horses confer amongst themselves and seem to bid Larry adieu.

Shyan and Cang work at re-fitting Burbaloo’s wagon. They rip out the floor and build in a fairly stable platform for the cookfire to sit upon, and put a circle of large rocks around it to discourage errant embers. Fassn gathers firewood for the journey.

It’s near dark when the wagon is complete. Mr. Jashenzizok watches on with a look of enigmatic sadness upon his mushroomy face. He says, “Well, then, I suppose you must be off.”

“‘Tis about time,” Cang says.

Shyan shakes Mr. Jashenzizok’s hand, confers briefly about directions to a nearby town where they might unload their metal soup.

As the team’s getting ready to climb onto the wagon, Burbaloo clears her throat, speaks up. “So who’s going to pay me for my horse?”