I had washed in a basin of cool fresh water into which white trumpet flowers had been scattered. The water smelled and felt of honey and refreshed me greatly after our travels and refreshed my skin. The day had been hot and there had been no more than an occasional light lift of breeze.
        The air now was mellow, finespun as gentled crystal fiber, with that clarity; it seemed all of the distance made itself known to me, and it was quiet.
        I could hear voices from the nearest tent some meters along the river edge and farther on laughter from young servants at the water and music began near the Progenitor's tent. Bells were joined by merry pipes and assorted drums.
        But I could also hear the vast silence of the land about our encampment and the whispers of its life. The stiffness left my muscles. The meal brought to us by blue-eyed servants had been delicious and I found myself smiling a little as I watched the sun fall near to the horizon and violet shadows stretch across the land for kilometers.
        Ince sat on the floor of the tent where layered padded fabrics had been tossed each of assorted bright patterns. She gazed before her through the tent's opening out over the wide land. She had eaten little during the day and so I did not speak until she had taken all she would of her dinner.
        "Yes?" She looked to me at once.