I turn the key and put it in my pocket. Monsieur Longtemps has promised to look after the place while I am gone. I am still a little ambivalent about the mule. It is so unlike a camel in both appearance and temper. The only thing the two animals seem to have in common is their ability to carry things on their backs. I will not ride the mule however. It will only carry my things. I tug at its tether and it ignores me. I cluck my tongue and it farts. The raggedy children that I call my friends are standing nearby and snicker at me. I slap its behind and it looks at me with reproach. Oh, this will work well… Would I had a camel. They are arrogant and stubborn, but I know the tricks. Pascal comes over. ‘Ya seems to have a problem like, m’am Dzem’ he says. I frown at him. Pascal is about twelve, ginger, freckled, bowlegged and a real busybody and I like him. ‘You know a trick to start this animal?’ I ask him and he nods. The movement is so quick that I miss it and the beast starts to move. I am dragged after it. Now I wonder if I will know how to stop it again. ‘You know mules, Pascal?’ I ask as the mule drags me down the street. ‘Surely, m’am Dzem’ he says, walking leisurely besides me. I sigh. I had hoped to leave this city and be by myself for a bit. ‘Will you come with?’ I ask finally, as the mule takes a right turn, when I mean to go left. Pascal grins and nods, and does something again, and the mule corrects its direction. Look like I got a travel companion. Besides the mule.
The countryside is beautiful! The spring’s grip on the world has driven away the dreaded snow drives. The winter was awfully long and cold, not for me at all! The snow kept me indoors a lot of the time and I was going mad being held up in the house. This is a fine alternative – to travel in the comfortable seasons and hibernate in Brest in the winter. Pascal has turned out to be a pleasant companion. His aim with rocks has supplied us with many a pleasant meal of rabbit or pheasant. He is teaching me how, and I find the exercise fun. I find wild vegetables, roots and herbs everywhere. This land is indeed plentiful. And every one we’ve met so far are friendly and generous. I enjoy travelling immensely!
They’ve locked him up. Being new comers to the village at just the wrong time made us welcome scapegoats. He being ginger only seemed to affirm their suspicions of him, and my strangeness seemed to be enough in itself. I only got away because he delayed them. Well, they will not get to hang him or whatever it is they intend to do. I have my powders and my pins, and I shall get him out.
We run. The mule runs besides us. We run and run and run, until all breath escapes us and our legs buckle beneath us. It is dark still, but dawn will come shortly and we must get further away. I am well pleased with how I tricked them all. The jailor will have some problems explaining tomorrow why he thought it a splendid idea to unlock Pascal’s prison door and let him go. And the two soldiers will have to explain how come they both fell asleep on their post. The thought makes me laugh. Pascal looks at me, and then he starts laughing too. We laugh the breath away that we had just regained. ‘M’am Dzem…?’ Pascals voice reach me through the dark ‘Was that magic like, what ye did?’ I know magic scares a lot of people, but I dislike lying. ‘A sort of magic, yes’ I say ‘Does that offend you?’. His laughter sprinkles towards me like the stars above us ‘Heck no, m’am Dzem. Ye saved my neck. That don’t offend me any’.
I am so angry! His face and body is a mess of cuts and bruises. I was afraid his arm was broken, but fortunately it isn’t. Just a boy and they beat him so! They will regret it! They surely will!
Pascal tried to talk me out of it – he was afraid I would kill them all. He told me who was to blame for his injuries and who accused him the worst, and I will make sure that each and every one of them will have some very unpleasant days to come. Remedies meant to ease constipation have other uses as well and they will feel the brunt of it. That will teach them to cross me!