Gerry set an easy pace at first, not in any real hurry to get to the Shinto's farm. Bear frolicked around the horses as they stuck to the east bound Mountain Road. The Mountain Road was relatively well traveled by merchants to and from Dorithia and Altroth, far to the east. They had few sources of cloth there and paid well for wool and angora. All of the merchants had to travel this road. Part of the reason that the Angry Bear was so successful was because of those merchant trains that traveled to Kados. Hedges even lined most of the road. Bear leaped over them and ran circles around the horses, a brown and white furry ball of energy.
They still had plenty of daylight left, but the clouds in the north would definitely keep them in the Shinto house tonight. They would likely arrive just as the storm broke. The trees swayed slightly towards the huge dark cloud as it pulled in cold air from high off the peaks of the Yarith Mountains. The cloud grew taller, and lightning tumbled about inside of it.
Ben constantly looked north, frowning worriedly. The clouds seemed to be moving quickly and cold wind blew towards the dark clouds, as it the storm were taking a deep breath, preparing to blow furiously on the land beneath. The trees groaned in protest as the storm prepared to break down on the land with furious anger.
"Do you think we will make it there before the storm does?" Ben asked him over the gusting wind.
"I think so." Gerry replied.
"Those clouds are moving very quickly." Ben said, pointing at the storm. "We may have to race the storm to stay dry."
Gerry took a look at the sky and noticed how quickly the clouds moved through the sky. "Perhaps you are right." he said. "Pick up the pace a bit. Just enough to keep us dry."
Gerry followed Ben as he sped up from a walk to a trot. At first Gerry thought it was a bit too much, but after taking another look at the approaching storm, maybe it was not such a bad idea. They galloped the last few miles to the Shinto farm to beat the oncoming storm which was now blowing fierce gusts of frosty wind southward, toward the Yarith Mountains. Gerry could smell the rain in the air and thought he could hear the rain pelting distant trees over the windblown leaves.
Thunder rumbled through the sky and they galloped up to the small log cabin where the Shinto's lived. He knew that the Shinto's were probably not expecting them, so he galloped the horses around the back of the house to the barn. The Shinto's kept no horses, but did have a milk cow and some chickens that clucked and scratched at the hard dirt in the stable. It was not late in the day, but the storm dimmed the sun enough for Gerry to need to light a small lantern so they could water and feed the horses.
They began unsaddling the horses just as the rain hit, pounding the wooden shingles of the barn loudly. "It is a good thing we moved faster." Ben said. "I hate being soaked." Gerry nodded in agreement as he pulled the bridle from Goldie's mouth. He thought it odd that Volar or Maura had not come to the barn yet despite the rain.