He found the big rock and the path next to it easy enough. The cider-house could be seen a little further down the road, just like Rolf had said. The big old wooden building looked almost deserted, it's red paint flaking and grass growing tall all around it.
Supposedly it was still in use though or he wouldn't have been warned to stay away. The anetacht cider-houses were famous among his people. Their closely guarded, secret recipes produced the best ciders in the known world. Yearly competitions were held to decide who's brew was the best and winning was a badge of pride for the entire village – even the men.
Traditionally the houses were the exclusive territory of the women of the village and woe to the man who trespassed or tried to steal the matron's secrets. The stories of what happened to those who got caught were many and fantastic. Enar suspected they were widely exaggerated but he still didn't want anyone to think he might be trying to sneak in. Those tales must have come from somewhere.
A horse and cart appeared around a bend in the road further down beyond the cider-house and Enar quickly stepped off the road and darted along the path and into the forest. After a minute or so of swift walking he stopped to take his bearings. Tall, straight firs stood all around him on a thick lumpy carpet of moss and stone. Here and there old trees lay where they had fallen and a small stream crossed the path just ahead of where he stood.
With a running start he jumped across in one big leap, instead of skipping on the stones, and gave himself a small cheer for managing to cross without getting his feet wet. He looked around to make sure no one had seen him and then continued up the path, smiling to himself.
It was a little darker here than out on the road, but plenty of sunlight came through and with the lack of breeze sweat was soon beading on his brow. He didn't feel tired though. He felt strong and free and he even tried whistling to himself but soon stopped. He wasn't in quite that good shape, yet.
Continued in Day 2 - Scene 3 - Part 5.
Back to Enar's Vacation.