The sun was nearing the horizon, and Caspa Morgaria was nearing Brian Shepherd’s home. Brian and Cephal Lorentus, Caspa’s friend, were sitting on Brian’s porch smoking their pipes. Brian Shepherd stood as she arrived at his gate and waved her inside.
“Caspa Morgaria, I presume,” Brian said. “I’m Brian Shepherd. Cephal said you would be coming to fetch him.”
“I don’t know why,” Cephal said, “I’m sure I can find my way to an inn just fine.”
“Good to meet you, Brian,” Caspa said. “And Cephal, I am only on the journey as your guide. I just want to do a complete job.”
“Cephal Lorentus needs a guide through a tamed land like Ingerland?” Brian asked. “Gods help the bandits that attempt to lift his purse on an open road.”
“Yes, they will need the gods help, indeed,” Cephal said, “to usher them to their final resting place.”
“Well, maybe I just enjoy visiting Ingerland too much,” Caspa said, “looking for any excuse to revisit.”
“You have friends here? Official business?” Brian asked.
“I have acquaintances, but no good friends here…yet.” She replied. “No official business this trip.”
“Well, you must be an awfully good friend of Cephal to come all the way here just to see….this,” Brian said, gesturing around the still growing town of Ingerland, " and no work to do or anyone more than an acquaintance to meet up with."
“I suppose I’m a little too impulsive,” she replied, laughing to lighten the mood, “but I know how important Cephal’s work is. He deals with a lot of things I can’t hope to understand. For instance, what was he here to discuss with you? I’m sure it was very important and very esoteric.”
“Dragons,” Brian replied.
“Silver dragons, in particular,” Cephal added, standing up and tapping the ash from his pipe.
“Well, that sounds very important and very esoteric,” Caspa said. “I’ve never seen a dragon. You?”
“Of a sort, yes,” Brian replied, “but not a silver dragon. So, you only now are learning why Cephal even wanted to come to Ingerton?”
“I told you I was impulsive,” Caspa replied. “Can you imagine? Coming all this way on Cephal’s assurance alone?”
“I confess I cannot imagine,” Brian replied.
“You two talk in circles,” Cephal said, lifting his gear, “but I am tired and would like to get to my lodgings to retire for the evening. Mr. Shepherd, thank you so much for your expertise. I will have the book returned to you soon. It’s not my best written language, so it may take me some time to read through it.”
“There’s no hurry, Cephal,” Brian stated. “I should thank you for those cheeses, very good, very unusual. Rest well and safe travels home….but then, why wouldn’t you with Caspa as your guide?”
Caspa smiled. Brian smiled back…in his own tusked way.
“You have a safe journey too, Caspa,” Brian said.
“I appreciate that. It was a pleasure to meet you, Brian Shepherd,” Caspa said back.
Brian watched them walk away through the red-orange haze of the setting sun. He saw Eric Bowman ride past them and give them a short wave. Then he ran to the edge of his fence and waved wildly to get Eric’s attention. Eric noticed and galloped over to him.
“Trouble?” Eric asked as he approached.
“No,” Brian answered. “You know those two, the two from Varn?”
“Yes,” Eric replied. “Caspa Morgaria and Cephal Lorentus…from Varn. I helped escort them to you.”
“That’s them,” Brian stated. “What did you think of Caspa Morgaria?”
“Very nice,” Eric said. “Are you sweet on her?”
“No!” Brian replied quickly. “I most definitely am not sweet on her.”