A good fire was burning.
from it was Bartholomea’s bar simple and solid and not very long. The clay
wall behind held spigoted casks and small flat barrels of the drinks she
offered and open shelves showing some of the foods which she created in
the busy domed kitchen beyond.
inn had been raised by her great great grandmother and this dome of river
clay which glowed so warm and mellow a gold in the firelight was formed
by the villagers on the site of an ancient inn which had been lost in the
greatest flooding of the river ever known in Eoe.
I set my empty plate aside I closed my eyes and listened to the delicate
sounds of the blems. Such delicate sounds, yet they
penetrated the many others in the room to reach me and to touch me clearly.
Sweet and poignant were the tones drawn from the scores of tiny bells by
the large reddened hands of the milkmaids.
the music stopped I opened my eyes and found Sem Partoldi’s on me very
shrewdly and intently. There were secrets in their sparkling depths which
fled at once leaving me with only more questions.
Partoldi said, “Such sounds are sweeter than the uorn syrup those fingers