[LMB] KC - Resting in Camp.

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 29 17:07:43 BST 2019

Lily's getting to know the camp, and her very large clan of Foxbrushes.

Barr mentions in passing that his older brother, and most of the young men
he grew up with, have married out into other camps. That must have a strong
effect on the social structure of camps, when most of the men are incomers.

And now the next big task: writing a letter. But this one is a bit dicey. How will
they explain that Lily is staying with Barr? Or rather, how do they explain it
when most of the readers of the letter don't know that Lily is half Barr? They
have to write a reassuring letter explaining that a fourteen-year-old girl is
going to live with a pack of Lakewalkers, everything's fine, bye. Yeah, that's
not a challenge at all.

Barr basically solves the problem by not telling them anything. 'Found Lily,
she's fine, resting up at my mother's place.' He does leave just a few details
out. Lily mentions the malice, the camp.... and 'The river is big.'  This letter
isn't going down in the annals of great, emotional letter-writing. Barr suggests
a verbal message for Bell only, that Lily has Lakewalker powers. Then it's Bell's
job to decide what and when to tell.

You have to admire Lily; with all her rage and resentment she's still not outing
Bell about dallying with Barr. She has integrity. And she cares more for her
family than she'll admit. Of course, it's the ones you care about the most who
can hurt you the most.

Barr jokes that without the message to Bell they'd assume he'd eaten her and
boiled her bones, or worse. Lily wants to know what's worse. For a country
girl she has a few gaps in her education.

Barr was sixteen when he started patrolling. Looking back he realises how
raw he was then. But it's only two years older than Lily is now. He's already
trying hard to head her away from patrolling.

Amma gets the story from Barr. She's pleased that he told Remo, Dag and
Fawn, so that if anything happened to him there was backup. Just like, as
Barr suddenly realises, she cares for the whole patrol. Parenthood has
given him a different perspective on just about everything.

More possible problems: Amma says the farmer-aide program has continued,
but Barr coming home in glory and becoming patrol leader would have
pushed it along. Now, people will question his motives.

Barr points out that Lily can do just about all the chores in camp, and
would be a good horse-girl right at that moment. Even a patroller, in
time. He has to hope that Amma will become a vote in their favour.

Barr tries to explain to Lily why they need a family. Lakewalkers support
each other, and a patroller needs a tentful of people making the gear,
earning money to buy extras, caring for kids while the patroller is away,
and so on. He and Lily can't make up a two-person tent of their own,
they need his family. Plus Lily needs them all, everything they can
teach her.

Lily takes things in fast, assimilates them, and deals with them. She's
at least as smart as Barr, and probably a bit wiser in some ways. And
considering what she's been through, and what she's facing, she's
coping amazingly well.

Just as Barr and Lily are feeling the effects of a long day after several
other long days, Yina drops by to give them some reinforcements,
stop an infection in Barr's neck, and share some Dag and Arkady
memories. They'd mentioned Barr, she says. He manages not to ask
about that. And she... doesn't exactly flirt, but she almost-hints
that some women might be more receptive to the idea of a half-
farmer in the family.

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