On the road, part six

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Harbend nodded at the woman facing him. He had difficulties understanding her. The dialect spoken in Erkateren was very different from the one he was used to from Hasselden and Verd. He rephrased his question.

"Are we agreed that you shall pay the fee for each wagon you want to bring?"

She looked at him and smiled. "Yes. I bring six wagons, yes? And pay for six, yes?"

"Good. We leave tomorrow. From the gates."

She nodded and left.

They were using the town hall for the interviews. A new caravan to Braka qualified as an important event just as he had hoped. Now another five traders with a total of thirty-two new wagons had joined the caravan. Word must have gone ahead, and he only needed to send couriers to the four towns in Erkateren they wouldn't visit.

Harbend grinned. Arriving with a well armed escort had been the magic key. He'd expected more arguments, but in the end the local traders gave in easily enough. They needed another market, and he knew that. Keen, especially a slowly strangled Keen, wasn't enough. Prices were already falling, and furniture, no matter how finely crafted didn't pull ploughs. More importantly, the people here desperately needed iron for the making of those ploughs.

With a bit of luck they might see the train swelled by another seventy wagons when they left Erkateren behind them. Add yet more wagons from Ri Khi joining them. He'd hired couriers for that mission earlier, and now there wasn't much more to do. If he could bring a total of a hundred and twenty wagons to Braka the venture would break even, and after that, with wagons and horses already paid for, each caravan would bring a profit.

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