Clad only in jewels upon twine tied about their necks, the women took turns bathing, while the other tended the children, and a small fire to be warmed before, after running out of frigid waters of Gelion. In the day they searched the country for good, fallen nuts, berries dried on branch, edible roots, bulbs, bugs, bark, river-shrimp, and gathered sufficient for a few days. So they tarried, resting and
healing from the long hikes over a bare wilderness, often falling silent to listen for sounds of traffic or tread upon the dried grasses and unsettled stones of the ancient path a little ways below them. Flocks of migrating birds could be seen in the east during the dawn or at evening, heading south along the slate hills tumbled before the high Blue Mountains; running also north-to-south, passable by many courses, only one of which either woman had heard report of. They discussed heading north along the river, until finding that East-West Dwarf road, but decided to put off a final decision for the next day, when they had prepared their bodies and stores for the likelihood of scarcity along the way, and winter early coming on from the north.
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