Perian gazed for a moment up the river towards Lavrum, but then fixed his attention on the southern shore, as the ferry neared its landing.
The coast road was an ancient trackway that wound up and down, always close to the shore because of the hills inland, but sometimes high above the sea and looking down onto a rocky shore lashed with white waves, and sometimes level beside a narrow strip of shingle beach. Perian urged Mela on towards the more pleasant, fertile coastal plain to the south-west. Here there were farms and hamlets and the coast road joined the Great South Road at the village of Byrig. Once, halting at the top of a cliff, Perian looked far out to sea and glimpsed the islands to the north-east, dark masses in the blue expanse of water.
“I will go there one day,” he said to Mela. “There’s time for a visit to the south first.”
The horse shook his mane and plodded on down the road. After a few minutes Perian urged him to a trot again.

Image (c) Crista Forest.



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