Crow again told the story of the Lord and Lady and the research at the lake. He told of the part his parents and his grandfather had played in it. He also mentioned how the Lord and Lady had taught his grandfather and the others in a secret location to go on special journeys where they would disappear and return at a later time bringing objects back with them. That's when he floored Ellen and Rafe by saying the Lord and Lady, Tobal's parents were still alive and needed their help.
Ellen was visibly shaken and didn't know what to say. She finally asked how the Lord and Lady spoke to him and questioned him about his experiences. Tobal had forgotten Ellen was training as a High Priestess for the Journeyman degree and was expected to speak with the Lord and Lady. She was obviously having some trouble with the concept that the Lord and Lady were Tobal's parents and that they were still alive as physical beings.
It was shortly after that when she excused herself and the meeting was over. Crow went to warn his grandfather the village might be attacked and he might be in danger. Rafe stayed for a few extra minutes talking with Tobal.
Tobal wondered why Ellen felt none of the Masters/medics could be trusted. It seemed strange since Rafe knew several of them and trusted them. Perhaps it was not the people, Rafe suggested. Perhaps it had something to do with the job of being a medic that made it dangerous to confide in them. Anyway it was a puzzle with no ready answer. Perhaps Rafe would learn the answer when he became a Master. He was at four chevrons and could get his fifth and sixth at any time. Rafe especially would be seeing Ellen on a regular basis at Journeyman circles and could get word from Tobal to her in case of an emergency. On that note they separated and went on to other things.
Tobal glanced over the fire and noticed the girls had left. He saw them by the food table and he went to refill his tankard with hot grog. He wondered what he was going to tell them when he ran into them again. He felt like avoiding them. Then his mind turned to the strange greeting they had given him when he had sat with them. What had been going on? What had prompted both of them to kiss him that way? He was even more interested in his own reaction to Becca when she kissed him. He knew he had done or said something wrong and didn't know what it was. He hadn't meant to hurt her.
Tobal in spite of himself became more curious about Becca and watched her as he sipped the hot grog. It pleased him that both Melanie and Becca had completed their own base camps and were training some newbies during the winter months. They were both obviously very talented and competent in the art of survival.
Zee and Kevin came up to the beer barrel where he was standing and sipping his grog.
"You've got to try this grog", he told them. "It's Dirk's special recipe!"
Dirk laughed and handed them a small bowl to sample.
"That is pretty good", Kevin remarked. "I think I will try some instead of beer."
"Me too", Zee laughed.
"You guys seem like you are having a good time", Tobal grinned.