The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 84: Underweigh Again
We finish the fruit, and politely nibble on the cheese and sip the
final wine. We reiterate to the Lady Nethora that we are explorers,
not merchants, and not diplomats.
"You have several things we think are worth trading for," she says. "And there are a few things we've seen that have caused my experts to suggest a collaborative venture with you."
"That goes beyond a trading venture, does it not?" asks Finwë.
"After your goods were moved into Quarantine, I had my chief gardener look at your plant materials. He was amazed by the size of your fruits and vegetables, and by the variety of your herbs and spices. He has questions about your yields. Your land is… darker than ours, yet you seem to have a higher yield than we do. Our crop yields have been going down, which is very bad. It puts us at a disadvantage. We already have a scholar studying with you. If we could learn new farming techniques…"
"You understand, none of us are farmers," warns Mandorak.
"Yes. But perhaps we could produce letters of intent for Lanthil."
"I'm sure more of your people are welcome to come study with us. I am sure there is something about this in the letter of your Ambassador."
"In fact, yes. She has not traveled far from Castleton, but she has been told of the great fields widdershins of Harborton."
"As we have told you, we are a fay land. Even so, I hope that many of our techniques can be passed on to you," he continues. They discuss, somewhat obliquely, the possible moves in a negotiation. Eventually, we work out that the Nighthawk and the Eagle will sail with us to Darkholme.
We travel back to our own ship, where we prepare to continue our journey. We cast off, and Teller signals (we hope) our departure to the other two ships.
Our captain spots some activity on the Nighthawk. They've pulled the canvas off a rowboat, and a series of people look into it. Activity becomes more general. We are unsurprised when we see, an hour later, that their captain is walking around with a short person. We sail on, after double-checking that our hatches are all secure. Sofa is their problem.
Updated: Nov 16, 2007
©2002, 2007 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.