[LMB] KC - Say hello to the folks

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 21 18:34:37 BST 2019

The first relative we meet is Bay, and I have to say I'm not all that impressed.
We already know that Bay made Barr's young life fairly miserable, spinning
horror tales that the youngster believed, and that terrified him. (What IS it
with brothers in this world? Must be a guy thing.)

Bay is horrified because Barr was being groomed to be a patrol leader. As far
as Bay is concerned, Barr is his usual self, an embarrassment to the family.

It's interesting that as Bay nags at Barr, Lily comes in to make sure he's ok.
There's a bond growing between them. (Well, and right now he's all she has,
but still there's a connection there.)

Fin - the patroller going out to kill the malice - gets the information he needs.
And he notices that the malice is half a mile off the trail... which means that
Barr's senses stretch at least that far now.

One of Bay's complaints against Barr: some of the rivermen are still wearing
pots on their heads. Amazing how long some jokes will last. Barr points out
that Bay tormented him with those horrible tales. Actually, when you look
at it, Bay just targetted Barr, but Barr spread his jokes out to the world. OK,
maybe not the best point in his favour, but still....

Barr's got nearly a dozen malices to his count. Bay hasn't seen one yet. Hmmm.....

As they head to his family's tents, Barr points out the ferry. I love the way he
keeps showing Lily all the nice safe camp jobs she could do.

The old home has grown a bit, and there's a new pump shed. Sessile, hmph. But
convenient. Glass in some of the windows. Barr starts to think about getting them
a proper cookstove - he's worried that Lily will find their home a lot less comfortable
and ...well... civilised .... than the farmers. Lakewalkers don't have the time,
money or resources for all the extras that farmers have.

The children start to bond, and the adults start in on Barr. There's something to
be said for moving to a new camp: everyone sees Barr as the young troublemaker
he used to be. (Ok, fair enough, he has a surprise package with him. But he's also
done a couple of years in Luthlia, with great success. He's on track for Patrol Leader.
He's not JUST the family embarrassment.)

Three generations of women in his family give him the rounds of the kitchen, and
he agrees with them. He also tells them that he learned his lesson when he saw
Crane. He's never going down that road.

Barr's family has been busy; his middle sister is getting married. And Bay's still
mourning his fiance, a ferry girl who drowned. I suppose we should feel sympathy
for him. But I still think he's a jerk.

For Lily's sake, Barr can't snap back at them, or threaten to find a new camp; Lily
needs this family to show her how to be a Lakewalker, and to nurture her spirit.
He needs to be patient, he needs to accept all the criticism, and let his family get
used to the idea of Lily. For her sake, he just has to take it instead of 'slithering out'
like he used to do.

Barr just grew up.

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