Chapter 9 Solace

"Dear ones, we have dedicated ourselves to bringing joy and wonder to people. And, in return, they have dedicated themselves to heaping suffering upon us. Consulting the stars or meditating on ancient texts will not transform what is in their hearts. We have only one choice—leave Hispania. I have booked passage on a boat from Algerians to Tangier. The ship's captain is a scoundrel, but he can be dealt with. In the meantime, let us celebrate our newfound liberation."

Amaris Dahia was clearly agitated at her father's words. The Wild World was intent on forcing their exodus from Hispania, but why? The source of her solace had become the cause of the caravan's misery. This filled her with ambivalence. Was the Xámza a protection against misfortune, or its source? But wasn't El Alavádo from the Wild World? He was as much a part of her as her arm, or her hand. El Alavádo! There was no way she could leave him.

She retreated to a corner of the wagon. Then she retreated to the perimeter of the campsite. Then she retreated into the surrounding countryside.