During circle he noticed Ellen was training Misty to be High Priestess. He had forgotten that Misty was a Master now. He was going to miss Ellen and wondered what she would be doing next. It was strange to see people he knew advance on to different positions.
He noticed earlier that Rafe had been put on wood crew along with Dirk. That meant they were responsible for there being enough fire wood at the gathering spot for circle. Everyone was encouraged to help, but only a few Journeymen were actually tasked to ensure there was enough wood. Angel would be given new duties next month as well. He noticed this morning that she now had four chevrons and seemed to be moving up the ranks more quickly than Rafe was.
Since Journeymen didn't spend all of their time training newbies, they were each assigned duties that normally lasted two or at the most three months before being assigned to the next duty. The wood supply for the Circle was usually gathered well in advance and there was little work to be done during circle itself except tending fires as needed. That's what Rafe was doing when Tobal spied him between initiations.
"Hey stranger", he teased. "Who did you kill to get that?"
Rafe grinned as he turned in surprise. He postured and showed off his first chevron.
"One of the girls challenged me. She thought she could beat me. Bad mistake! She almost did too." He admitted ruefully but then brightened. His mischievious smile was still the same. "Now I've got all the girls fighting over me. I must be the most popular Journeyman ever."
Tobal looked at his friend. Rafe was filling out, getting taller and stronger.
"I think you will be winning quite a few fights soon", he said. "You're not so little any more. Pretty soon you might have to start picking on the girls instead of having them pick on you."
"You really think so?", Rafe laughed. "Guess I can give up on the idea of fighting babies then. So what have you been up too? Is Sarah ready to solo yet? I've been hearing some good things about how you taught Nick and Melanie."
"Well, I've run into a bit of a snag", he confessed. Sarah isn't ready to solo yet and I'm thinking about having Melanie, Nick, Becca, Mike, Butch and Sarah all over to my place this month. We can all make our winter gear together. None of us is really that good at it and maybe helping each other out will work."
"That's a terrific idea", Rafe said. "I wish I had thought of it when I was training newbies. I guess we really didn't do that much training for winter did we? There was only about one week of snow in your training before it melted away. Is there anything I can help with that you don't remember?"
"I remember how to do most of it", he replied. "But I will need to go back to your base camp and get some of my things if that is all right?"
"Sure, take anything you need. I probably won't be around there very much this winter. I'll be hanging around the Journeyman area most of the time.