A couple days after Christmas I drove MBW and the HA to New Orleans. It is about a 5 1/2 hour trip from Fortress Lizzi. Not bad, really, especially if you enjoy views of massive oil refineries and bayous.
Neither MBW nor the HA had visited the Big Easy before. This was my fifth or sixth trip. So there wasn’t really anything I felt compelled to do. Traveling with children does require a bit of reconfiguring of the traditional New Orleans jaunt. In other words, there was a noticeable absence of lasseiz les bon temps rouler. That’s okay. I’ve done Bourbon street more than once. Unfortunately, both the aquarium and the zoo were closed. We made do with trips to a playground at the Audubon Park, the Children’s Museum, and a paddle-wheeler trip down the mighty Mississippi.
I ate gumbo and was content.
I’ll drop some photos here then move on to the next entry in Magnus Stoneslayer’s diary. Any of you still reading that? But, before I do, please consider picking up one of my books. (I don’t even want to look at my bank account after that New Orleans trip.) If you’d like a suggestion, then how about Under Strange Suns? I need just a few more Amazon reviews for that one. I’m so close to the magic number for the Amazon automated marketing to kick in.
Just once, dear diary, I’d like to complete a journey with my loot intact. It is invariable: I’ll successfully conclude some hazardous escapade and ride off with a fat, jingling purse of gold or a small cask brimming with glittering diamonds, and somewhere along the road to my destination I’ll be parted from my hard gained booty. Infuriating!
It’s the same with women. I do quite a bit of rescuing the fair sex. It is seldom my intent at the commencement of one of my labors, but women, usually facing some life threating peril, frequently become embroiled. They are almost always grateful. They happily ride away with me and the loot.
And then both vanish.
I suppose I should have expected that my departure from Bandahar would prove no different. Yes, dear diary, the slave girl delivered from cruel edge of the sacrificial knife – gone. The fortune lifted from Haakon the Fence’s storehouse – gone. My string of remounts and pack animals – gone.
I’m leading a horse that is stumbling with exhaustion and sporting an arrow in its haunch like a second tail. I have a quarter-full skin of water. The pannier that once held provisions hemorrhaged food along unknown miles of gradually worsening terrain from a sword cut low on its side. I’m a bit tired myself from the running fight that occupied most of the day.
My pursuers have at last given over the chase, content to let the arid wasteland opening up before me finish their work. The girl? She seemed remarkably unsurprised by the sudden appearance this morning of a score of ragged light cavalry. She appeared somewhat less anxious to mount up and flee then circumstances would appear to warrant. Still, I hesitated a moment, giving her the benefit of the doubt as my barbaric sense of chivalry demanded.
Then she called the reavers’ leader by name. I leapt into the saddle and cut my way free of the tightening circle of horsemen.
As I said, infuriating. And yet, dear diary, I feel a certain freedom, a sense that all is as it should be. And that is a good feeling to hold until tomorrow, dear diary.