We heading down river to try and find witnesses to the black robed people. The storm has passed, the sky is multicolored and the day is hotter; the sun beats down relentlessly. Dana hates sweating because it makes his fur mat. The work is slow getting the boat through the rapids. Malthus knows of a settlement below the rapids where we might get some help. After that is a big loop in the river where raiders and other nasty things avoid patrols. We need repairs before we face Crooked Creek.
By evening, we see the jetty marking the settlement and look forward to getting some rest and some gas for the pump. We see shacks as we approach and more people milling around the jetty than would be normal. Malthus says the main township is just over the ridgeline. One shack looks like a pile of wreckage and the other is burnt bad enough to not be usable and is being pulled down. Inessa offers the people medical support while the rest of us help with labor. The people seem to warm to us a little. The woman that seems to be in charge tells us the rest of the town was hit really hard. People look over the boat but they don’t really have supplies to share. The woman treats Dana like he can’t handle hard work just because he’s a panthran. There is a makeshift shelter set up near the well. Everyone seems to be involved in the work no matter how bad off they are. The injured are plentiful and there appear to be many fresh graves. Inessa says some of the people are beyond her help and will add to the dead. Bolles tries to keep the boat floating. The gas available is being used for cooking. Malthus asks for a gas canister and she says there’s one with a slow leak we can have. Bolles says he can fix the leak. The four of us carry the canister back, but it’s challenging to get it below safely. It get stuck in the access hatch and we leave it there for now. Food is being served and while we join the townsfolk, a man, wife and three children approach. They recognize the cows as their own and we’re pointed out by the crowd. “You took our cows!” the man says. Pendle explains we borrowed the cows and left a payment, we didn’t intend to russell. In the end the man thanks Pendle for bringing the cattle so they can be used to help the town
Pendle explains that he borrowed some cows. He didn't steal them he left payment. The woman leader asks if the owners want to say they were russelled. In the end he decides to thank Pendle for bringing his cows so they can use them to repair the town. His wife is curious where the money is and Pendle explains it was left on one of the cows. The woman realizes it was left on Clarissabell, “a good milker.” Everyone beds down for the night except those on watch.
Dana thought it could help to get the rest of the cattle and bring them back to town. Pendle asks the family and they agree to it.. The husband asks us, if while we’re there we can pick up some supplies and asks us to look for a little wool rabbit while we’re there. The next morning Dana, Pendle and Malthus head out toward the farm. Meanwhile Inessa stays to care for the injured and Bolles works on the boat. The crew heading to the farm follow the directions they’re given. We gather up the remaining cows, make a sledge out of lumber to haul more supplies, and we find the bunny.
When we get back to town the townsfolk are happy to see us. We get everything we brought to where it belongs. Pendle gives the girls her rabbit. Malthus reads a few words over the dead that night and Dana and Pendle sleep down by the river. The next morning we leave supplies with the townsfolk, set up a sail and prepare to leave in the morning.