The Bairn of Brianag (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 28)


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The wagon was terribly rough. My nausea increased. Rabbit sat against the wagon boards, her back toward Pete, her arms wrapped about her knees, her dark eyes wide. The wagon seemed to be packed with everything one would need for an extended stay in the wilderness. There were numerous barrels and trunks, sacks of rice and maize, and blankets and bedding. I leaned my head onto my knees and moaned as the wagon bumped into a hole.

Rabbit drew a blanket toward us and spread it out as best she could with the jolting of the wagon, and I crawled onto it and curled myself into a ball. After a time I slept.

I woke when the wagon stopped. Rabbit was asleep; she did not stir. My mouth was dry, my eyes sticky; I was terribly hot. My stomach heaved. I crawled to the wagon's side and retched.

When my heaving stopped, I looked around. Pete was not on the seat. Robbie's horse was close by, but I did not see him. I crawled over the wagon board and onto the seat, then down to the ground. I was dreadfully thirsty.

We had stopped in a glen of cypress trees; ahead of the wagon was a creek crossing.

I walked to the back of the wagon and back toward the way we had come, looking for a secluded place to relieve myself. I desperately wished for a drink of water.

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