Con Verse Lea; Chapter 28, Beam 131

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 28:  Beam 131
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 66

The cartography did not come easily.  Once they got past Ashleigh’s fascination with the graph paper and pencils, not merely that Beam had such things but that they even existed, it was evident that she had never used nor even seen a map and had no concept of what he was trying to accomplish.  He had to talk her through quite a bit, beginning with here is the village, if we follow the road this direction it takes us up the mountain to the other village, but what happens if we follow it down the mountain?  How far is that?  What’s beyond that?  Then working on where things were that were off the main road, and how people got there, gave more roads, paths, and trails.  Gradually a rough sketch of the land came into existence.

More to the point, Ashleigh was able to identify, roughly, the locations of seven buildings belonging to soldier commanders, three of them homes, what Beam would have termed villas from the description.  The other four were warehouses, predominantly storing rice, which interested the outlaws but not so much Beam.

His questions about the villas revealed that they were garrisoned, generally with a small force of perhaps three to four dozen soldiers, and that the owners really lived in the city but retired to these country homes when they had opportunity to relax.  They belonged to the generals who supervised rice production and collection along with other peasant matters in the area.

It was growing dark by the time he gave up the task.  Dawn had managed to bring down a boar and Bron had it roasting on an open fire, which was certainly going to be more meat than they could eat before it spoiled, but if they worked from the outside and let it slow roast overnight they could have it for dinner and breakfast and leave the rest for scavengers.  Ashleigh thought it brazen for them to kill one of the emperor’s creatures, and to build a fire in the woods which could be seen by soldiers, but Beam said that Dawn would stand watch overnight, and no one would survive getting close enough to harm them.  He secretly hoped that didn’t include killing peasants seeking food, but probably that was not going to be a problem at night.  That also suggested to his mind that in the morning after they had eaten they should hack off a hunk to take to Ashleigh’s mother, but that was something to address in the morning.

Once they had eaten, Beam arranged a place to sleep for himself and Ashleigh in a hollow a short distance from the fire.  Sleep, though, was not the first thing on his mind.

Next chapter:  Chapter 29:  Hastings 240
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #463:  Characters Unsettled.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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