“It’s time for lunch, Wilby,” said Lemet. “Let’s stop over here.” He nosed his horse toward a tree. Lemet was 55, much older than his horse. His cheeks were furrowed with laugh lines that had been without joy for some time.
“Where will we get the food, Lemet?” Wilby asked. She was tired and stunned from the surprising mission she was pursuing.
“I always carry some provisions,” he replied. “Do you like crackers, or biscuits? I have beans, cookies, bric-a-brac, and dried jerky, too.”
“I’ll try the crackers.”
Lemet offered her a small bag of wheat crackers that were covered with sesame seeds. Wilby took two crackers and munched them slowly.
“Not very tasty, are they?” Lemet frowned. “Sorry, I’m so sorry.”
“You don’t have to apologize, Lemet. The crackers are fine.”
He smiled and his face brightened. “Well, you’re welcome, then.”
“How far do we have to go?”
“Well, it’s been some time since I’ve been in these parts of the Kingdom. I’m more often assigned to the eastern edge, where most of the villages are. I’ve been through the borderlands many times on the water patrol. I have a map. Let me study it.” Lemet rose and rummaged in the pack on his horse. He came back with a folded parchment.