Chap 2 - Part 4 begins
The morning dawned still and bright. Gwalchmei woke his companions, who, apparently, had had no problem sleeping, in spite of the events of the night before.
"Why did you not wake me to stand watch, M'Lord? Have you been awake the whole night?"
"I could not sleep, Squire. I have this feeling of foreboding I still cannot be rid of and I needed to puzzle it out."
"Let us prepare a breakfast while Habeeb says his morning prayers and then we shall talk."
Squire got the pots and water from a pack horse while Gwalchmei selected some dried fruits from a pack on another of the animals to be eaten at the morning meal. Soon the three of them sat around a small fire, sipping kahve and eating their meager repast.
"I think, perhaps, we should head for the sea. I consulted the "I Ching" during the night and the Oracle says the road to Tripoli is fraught with danger for us. So, rather than go north, we will go west. We should come to the coast a bit south of Acre, I reckon. Perhaps we can find a fisherman willing to take us up the coast to Antioch."
"I don't know, Gwalchmei. A horse I can ride. A camel, I can handle. But a boat? A BOAT?"
"I'm sorry, Habeeb, but it is the only safe path I can see to Antioch. Once we are there, we will join a group of pilgrims headed back to Europe and we will leave the sea, and boats, behind us. At least, until we get to the coast of France. What about you, Squire? Are you also filled with dread at the prospect of sailing up the coast in a boat?"
"Not if it will get me out of these rags, M'Lord. There seems no way to satisfy the hunger of these fleas."
"Let us at least, then, try to find the largest possible boat."
"Right. To the sea."
There will be more of Part 4 tomorrow - and periodically during the next few days. I believe Part 4 will also be the end of Chapter 2.