More of Wedi’s adventure

The barge

Returning to the blade was taking longer than Wedi remembered the journey down to Arnarhvall taking. Wedi had been concerned that his money would run out before he reached Utroor. Thankfully, there were many calls for day labor on the river. Most provided enough for a meal or two. The spring wheat needed harvesting, and the wages for that were better than most. But, that would take him from the river and away from the blade. Wedi could not tolerate moving away from his obsession. The job he got next fit what he desired. The labor required took him upriver, what he believed was the most direct route to his beloved knife.

He and others walked beside the barge, being tolled upriver. Four oxen provided the power to move the barge against the current. The twelve or so laborers were divided into two crews. Half of them were on the barge and half on the trail that followed the river.

The job was simple. Keep the barge away from the bank of the river while the oxen pulled it. The ones on the bank accomplished that by pushing against the sides of the barge with long poles. Those on the barge pushed against the riverbank.

If he stayed with this job, he would be in Goa Vollar in another 40 days. He could walk faster than that, but the first miles of the journey had depleted his funds. Working with the barge provided three meals each day and a tent to share if it rained. And once they reached Goa Vollar, wages. Those wages would pay for someone to take him across Lake Volar to Utroor.

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