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Old 12-19-2015, 07:02 AM   #233
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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Garreth and Harreld came from the armory to find a crowd gathered near the dung pit on a patch of ground still above the flood. Eodwine was walking the perimeter. They had found two more shovels, making eight altogether, not nearly enough for this crowd. They came to Eodwine and told him the bad news.

He nodded grimly. "You two go back to the smithy and make two dozen shovels. They need not be pretty nor refined, just useful for slinging dung and dirt. I care not what you use to make them. I want them made before supper."

They looked at each other, hearts sinking, for that would usually be a three day project, and to make shovels that fast meant cutting corners. Shovels they would be, but unpretty things still looking like what they had been before. "We will need two people to handle the blower and to fetch for us."

"Take whom you will."

They headed into the crowd, Eodwine overhearing Garreth mutter to Harreld, "No women."

He went to the bedraggled gathering. "We have only eight shovels. The smiths will make two dozen more by supper, and the first of them should be ready to use as soon as they are made; I care not whether the dung steams on your shovel or not. In the meantime, gather whatever scrap of flat anything you can find, or use your hands if you must, because a trench must be dug. I will show you where." The folk looked at him in dumb and unwilling disbelief. "If we do not do this, we will sicken and have death among us in a matter of days! Go find some tool if you will not work with your hands. Now!"

The crowd broke apart into scurrying groups, except for eight men wielding the prized shovels.

"I will show you where to start digging."
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