Wednesday, 24 December 2008

24 December, Advent 24, Gill James, Mantek's Journey

Two days later we set off at dusk. The star shone brightly even then. We planned to travel mainly by night, so that we could always see the star. I believe it was actually so bright we would have still been able to see it during the day.
All went well at first. I was pleased that I had chosen the right horses. Each day we rode three and three carried our extra supplies. Archamid, the longest-serving of the Master’s other servants, accompanied us. The horses were well-behaved and strong. We made good progress, though I was not sure exactly where we were going. The Master talked to Archamid as though he were a friend and not a servant at all. They said little to me, and I was left to my own thoughts. But they didn’t treat me like a boy and they showed me every respect when they wanted to know about the animals. I was the expert then. I was allowed to do everything for the horses on my own. Except that the master always insisted in packing his own things. Every evening, I saw him place very carefully into his saddlebag. something wrapped in several pieces of cloth
We slept by day. It was warm then and we could get snug in our tents. I was much better cared for there than I was at home: the stable master always sleeps in the stables with the horses. Here, the horses were kept outside the tents and my tent was as fine as those of Archamid’s and the Master’s.
But on the third evening the trouble began.

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