On the road, part ten

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They waved to the couriers.

"Make good speed to Ri Nachi. We shall be waiting for you at the Roadhouse. Four eightdays from now, no more," Harbend shouted.

He watched the riders vanishing on the north bound road while the wagon train continued eastwards.

"You think we'll see many of them?" Arthur asked Harbend as they started catching up with the wagons again.

"Not sure. Dyed silks, toys and instruments usually, but with sea trade cut off they shall have little silk to dye." Nagging worries yelled at him for a moment. "Twenty wagons maybe. An addition." Unable to shrug the unease away he brought his horse to speed.

They were one day behind schedule, which wasn't too bad, but he knew bad luck could have them falling back much more and was eager to leave the Roadhouse before winter hit the mountains. An early snowstorm could force them to turn back and then they'd be stuck at the Roadhouse for the entire winter. That was his greatest fear. One winter without moving and he was sure to lose most of the traders who signed on.

The next eightdays saw them passing through two more of the seven towns in Erkateren. The wagon train swelled at each town and Harbend had to prepare the Roadhouse for the huge amount of people and animals they brought. That meant riding in advance and he invited Arthur to accompany him two days after they crossed Erkateren's eastern border.

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