A good fire was burning.
        Across 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.
        The 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.
        When 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.
        Sem Partoldi said, “Such sounds are sweeter than the uorn syrup those fingers usually tap.”