The fourth wagon held necessities and food for the journey. It also provided a place for the two hired men and their wives to shelter in the severest weather. Jebe preferred sleeping in a tent attached to one of the wagons.
~ * ~
Naomi had started this business to ensure their future. It was now up to Tyna, for Kissre would never join her.
“Kissre took her own path. Stop fretting over her.” Naomi again, never very forbearing. Tyna realized she would have to carry this burden alone and wondered if she were up to it. Sitting up, she shivered in the frigid air and threaded fingers through her mass of curly hair. She should have braided it to prevent this tangle. While she pulled on warm clothing, her thoughts returned to her work.
Five wagons were ready for the journey to Sunderland. Finding the proper market had not been easy, but on previous trips, Naomi had discovered Sunderland had many rich burghers with sources deep enough to pay exorbitant prices for the goods they wanted. Goods Naomi made sure to provide this trip. Heading out at the beginning of the year meant traveling with the threat of dangerous weather, but true winter had not yet arrived. Gossip with customers proclaimed the Cygnese witches held off the snow. Tyna hoped if that were true, then let them hold it off all the way to Sunderlund.
Two wagons held a combination of both traditional and unusual merchandise bought on their circuit through the provinces of Kaereya—Kennetsure silks, Wessure linens, Norsure finely spun wools and furs, sewing tools and threads, fine forged tools, cooking pots, and copper ewers from Easure. From beyond the Doane Desert Naomi had managed to obtain extraordinary embroidered silks, handcrafted rugs, and leather goods, amulets, unusual spices, and bottles of the rare and infamous distilled liqueur whose very fumes caused intoxication. Tyna’s contribution and passion-filled a third wagon, an accumulation of antiquities, small treasures, and curiosities, including a unique mechanical clock that chimed the marks of the day, a rarity from across the great sea.
~ * ~