Berget stood silent and stiff in the narrow street, watched by an equally silent crowd of the people who lived nearby. A man with a sword stood next to Berget, while three other men smashed up her loom. A fourth destroyer was methodically breaking up pottery, jugs and bowls and platters, and had even smashed jagged holes through the bottoms of Berget’s one copper dish and one brass pan. To one side was a bale of woven cloth, and Berget’s whole store of wool. As Kor-Sen watched, the men finished their work of destruction, gathered up the cloth and wool, and walked away into the night. Everyone else drifted away, their entertainment finished. Berget did not move.
She turned very slowly, and smiled wanly at him in the dim light from someone’s house-door. ‘Child, what have you done?’
‘I broke his nose. He said you were dirty. What is ‘fatherless’?’