Letter from a Friend

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Margaret softly walks back down the hall. I am sure that she shakes her head and chuckles at me. I hope I can leave her alone for the rest of the morning. I’m sure I interrupted something. Now, what’s in these letters?

Huh, I got a thank-you note from one of the mayors that I visited on my last trip. And, I received a card from one of my neighbors. I don’t have many neighbors. Most of them are fairly nice. They always invite me to their parties. I figure that’s another invite. Oh, this one is from Alfred Burbanks. I wonder what he wants.

He would like to meet at L & L. Last, I heard from him, he decided to help his niece and nephew with their new farms. I hope there isn’t any trouble there. He was very excited about them taking over. That must have been a couple years ago though. I cannot remember hearing from him since then. Well, I have to go meet him. It’s been too long.

Let’s see. He wants to meet on the 6th. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem. When is the 6th?

Wow, that’s tonight. I should clear some space on the desk. Letters go back in this drawer. I can put these books back on the shelf. Now, I have some space to spread out the map of this county. I dig past the map work from last night to find the one for this county. The L & L pub lies about 10 miles from me. I could make this. I have to try. Alfred rarely reaches out to me.

Okay, I will need to pack several things. I should go get my pack from that chair. Now, I can put my journal, map, compass, some money, and a few pens in it. Wait, I will need Margaret’s help. Plus, I hope she hasn’t started lunch yet.

“Margaret, I am sorry to interrupt again, but I need to prepare for another trip. I will only be gone tonight, I think. Please bring the overnight stuff. Have you started lunch yet?”

I hear Margaret from the other end of the house. She must still be working on the laundry from last night. That’s good. She reports that she will find me some clothes and some provisions.

Good, that will give me a moment to see if I can shorten my route. L & L is on a bit of a hill. If I walk in a straight line to the pub, I will also have to cross a bit of a creek. Given the rain yesterday, that creek may be more of a stream. I would have to use one of the bridges then. According to this map, the only bridges are on the main road. So, I must stay on that one. Still, I am blessed by there being one road straight to L & L. Well, that certainly narrows the options.

“Here you are, Sir. I found you a change of clothes, some rain gear in case the storms return, and a bit of food. I brought your cloak too. Where are you going today?”

Margaret came in while I was looking at the maps. I was engrossed in my plans and ignored her steps. She politely stands in front of the desk holding my pack. She just has that excellent awareness for when to make her point. “I am headed to L & L to meet Alfred.”

She puts a hand over her mouth. “You haven’t heard from him in ages. I do hope everything is alright. You need to be going though. L & L is not that far away, but it will take you awhile by foot. I put some food in there but not much. I wager Ralph and Rebecca will feed you.”

I push myself up from the desk and walk around to collect the pack. “You are correct about that. Ralph always does take care of us wanderers. I think that is why he chose to put his pub where he did. Several roads meet there. He really did do well.”

Margaret nods at me while pointing to the door. “Yes, Sir, we have discussed that before. Right now, you need to be leaving. Look at the sun. It is already reaching the tops of the trees, so you will just reach the pub by sundown. You don’t want to be travelling in the dark even on the main road.”

I shrug my shoulders. “You are correct again. Thank you so much for your help.” I cross and give her a quick handshake.

She smiles at me. “You are welcome, Sir. Now, get going.”

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