Swamped Chapter 68 Page 14

“Thanks for talking,” you say politely. “You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

“Yeah, well. I never said I was good at this job,” he says. Then he holds up a tiny hand to his ear. “I think the sandy-mockers are calming down now, so you should have your chance to see Rider soon.”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“Not surprising. Human ears usually aren’t as sensitive as ours. Yeah, I hear him climbing down.”

Rider steps into the tent not long after.

“I calmed them for the moment, but don’t expect that to last too long,” he says. “Something seems to be upsetting them, and I wasn’t able to work out exactly what. It doesn’t seem to be an issue with their nesting grounds or anything that your camp is doing.”

“So what, are they trying to come in for a sermon?” Jebediah asks sarcastically.

“Hmm. You might not be far off – desert birds are in Reth’s domain, so they might be reacting to her imagery somehow. But I’m afraid that’s outside my expertise.” Rider glances down for a moment and notices you. “Marshall.”

“I want to know about my father,” you say. “I’ve waited long enough.”

“I thought you might,” Rider says. It almost sounds like a sigh. “Jebediah, do you have a confessional or something of the sort? This is a very sensitive matter, and I would appreciate a considerable amount of privacy. Especially considering how good grebling hearing is.”

“We used to have a confession booth, but it got smashed up by a dunebear. And no one here used it anyways, so what we could salvage of it just got used for other projects.”

“Then where would you recommend that Marshall and I can have a conversation away from prying ears?”

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Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of town. Keep going until it’s barely in sight.