“He wears a green cloak,” James went on. “And underneath that, brown. He is tall, and his hair is very long. He will probably be the most remarkable person in the room, even if he is not trying to be.”
“Is this one of those situations where you say we will know him when we see him?” Bayani asked.
James gave him a half-smile. “Maybe, or maybe not. He cares as much about getting you to the capital as my father and I do, but do not try his patience. His reasons for caring are far different from my own. He is as good a man as you will ever meet, and I am trusting you to be good to him.”
“So what do we do next?” Cerys asked. “Do we wait for dawn and then ride across the border?”
“You will wait for the next tomorrow morning, yes, but as far as the horses…” James paused and gave a heavy sigh. “The border patrol does not let them through without paperwork. I can’t give you any papers, however, because they would reveal too much information. Fortunately, it is not terribly far. There is one road leading out of the north end of the village, and you can walk it until you get to the border. This paper,” he said as he held up another sheet, “is proof that you are messengers. Show it, and they will give you leave you to take the path. Lose it, and they end up asking too many questions. You don’t have to show them the message, though, of course.”
Next, he handed a velvet pouch to Peter, and another one to his sister. “This money is accepted throughout Summerlay. You have a lot here, so don’t show it off. I hate to give you so much, but you will have need of it.”
“We will be careful with it,” Himeko assured him.
It only took one knowing look from her friend for Cerys to pull a small assortment of coins from the pouch and hand the bag to Himeko. She slipped the coins into her pocket.
“You are better off holding onto this,” she told her friend.
Himeko nodded, and they both shared a smile.
“What is that all about?” James asked.
“Oh…” Cerys said, and the girls both giggled. “There was that I very nearly lost a… well, let’s just say it was a large number of dollars, and Himeko noticed, and saved it for me. Ever since then, I don’t trust myself with large amounts of money.”
“I don’t trust her with most things,” Peter added.