We had reached a bend in the road when he suddenly stopped. As I closed the gap between us I could see that his attention was fixed on something sitting by the side of the road. I got closer and was able to make out a wicker basket containing a half dozen apples, apparently left there by the owner who was presently out of sight but likely close by. I had been warned about situations like this but had expected to encounter one so soon in my career. I was just about to say something clever like " I wouldn't do that if I were you" when he reached for one of the apples. He must have been as hungry as I was because he took a bite, but then immediately vanished. His now empty clothes, with nothing to support them, fell to the ground in a heap. His cap hit the ground last and rolled into the ditch.
She moved right past me and out onto the road where she picked up the clothes and cap. She then went back into the trees to whatever evil purpose she had planned for the boy. Something very lethal had just crossed my path and only luck and a bit of good advice had saved me.
I was now alone on the road. The sun was going down, it was getting colder and I was immobilized. The heavy cloud of sulphur was beginning to clear and I started moving, somehow making it safely to the King's Head Tavern. I booked a room upstairs and spent a sleepless night watching the road from my window. There was no sign of the woman or the unfortunate boy. I left the next morning, but only when the sun was well up and there were other travelers on the road.
|The King's Head|
It was very unlucky for the boy that he had not been made aware of this kind of trap - all too typical on the roads "over there". Fortunately for me I had been warned and I'm passing the information along to you - safety first.
More soon and happy traveling.
Peace be with you.