It was a relief to finally leave Mr Treene’s house.
Wilom had expected to go to the barracks within a day or two of being conscripted, but it turned out not to be that simple. He had had to organise some basic equipment, a uniform, a backpack that matched the regulation size and make. Continue reading
For the first time since he’d left the River, Wilom found himself wishing that Vanda had given him some way to contact her.
There was only one person who would still offer him a place to sleep.
Mr Treene. Continue reading
Mr Treene’s next invitation came somewhat unexpectedly. Ever since he had given Mr Treene that gift – and especially since his visit to the ferryman – he had been rethinking that choice. At the time, it seemed clever. Now he was certain it was petty, and not at all sure it hadn’t been arrogant, too. Continue reading
Wilom knocked on Mr Treene’s door five minutes before the appointed time, in a shirt that wasn’t brand new, but was freshly washed and pressed. He had brought the Ahgetian peppers and the spices, nicely wrapped in a gift bag, then stored in his briefcase for good measure. Continue reading
Mr Treene opened the door barely half a minute after Wilom knocked. Yes, looking at the finances for the plan was Rytel’s job, but Wilom hadn’t been able to help running a few numbers on his own, and he didn’t like them. Continue reading
Three days and two notebooks later, Wilom had to get away from the ledger to clear his head. He drew the line when he’d started to dream of black lines of legal text dancing of white pages, just too fast for him to read as he desperately tried to keep up. Continue reading
Wilom adjusted his sleeves. The shirt was new and stiff, and he regretted that his others were all in the wash. Continue reading
When Wilom finally woke up in the morning, there was a letter addressed to him on the kitchen table. He flopped onto his bed, pulled the letter out of the envelope and read it. Continue reading
Wilom double-checked the address in his notes before knocking on the door. Mr Treene, hm? The ledger information on him was contradictory – all underlines and warnings and scribbled notes about how rich he was, and his unfailing honesty, no two comments in the same handwriting. In the end, though, he was only one of two letters Wilom had gotten a response to. So Wilom had decided to go and see for himself. Continue reading