Google+ A Tangled Rope: Passing Through

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Passing Through

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It was not a day for taking time, or a day for looking around at the scenery we passed through. There wasn’t that much to see, not according to those I travelled with, anyway. They regarded the world as something they had to pass through.

They were only interested in how hard that passage would be: how well the road kept in poor weather, were there bandits, would there be a tax to pay for passing through someone’s territory, and so on. They also worried about how the goods would cope with the passing days: would things spoil, rot or fall apart before the travellers could sell them and such similar concerns. The travel itself, as well, was no simple business: draught animals, carts, carriages and even the backs of the trudging people, all of those were out on the roads as we passed along.

Everyone was suspicious of everyone else they met on the road, always fearful and wondering if the people coming the other way, or going the same way, up in the distance, could be trusted: whether they were bandits, soldiers looking for taxes, tolls or bribes or some other way people had found of taking the goods from people. Although, empty roads were just as dangerous, each traveller never sure if someone was hiding at the road edge, an ambush waiting to be sprung.

They were nervous, edgy, journeys and several times already I’d seen blood spilled, more out of nervousness than out of antagonism, danger or threat, so I was not looking forward to the rest of my journey at all, especially as each day that passed seemed to bring me no nearer the far city where I needed to be.

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