You will have to do without pocket handkerchiefs, and a great many other things, before we reach our journey’s end, Bilbo Baggins. You were born to the rolling hills and little rivers of the Shire, but home is now behind you. The world is ahead.
Most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you’ll get everything you wished for. Maybe, you’ll get more than you ever could’ve imagined. Who knows where life will take you, the road is long, and in the end… the journey is the destination.
“The city is nestled between the Mississippi River and the bluffs in Allamakee County. The town was platted in 1852 and was incorporated in 1901. David Harper was the leading spirit in the early development of the town.”
Thank God it wasn’t raining, I thought as we made our way down the hill. We had been lucky on our journey. It was Scotland so of course it did rain, but for us, not heavily, and we never got snow. I kept us moving away from the stones as fast as possible, never stopping for too long, never allowing time for fear or panic, to creep in. Time passed uneventfully beyond the fact that we were now in the 1700s. Brian had taken it fairly well, with only a mild look of shock and bewilderment when we got to Inverness so I could buy a horse. He stayed quiet and clung to my side. There were moments, brief windows of time where we had to eat or sleep I would tell him bits and pieces of where we were and the life that we would have. That was how we passed the journey, and for the most part Brian seem happy. He was plainly glad to be away from Boston and out in nature. I was starting find it a dragged, and the mere promise of a warm bed to sleep in was keeping me going. I was still unbearably nervous, I had now idea what may await when I arrived a Lallybroch, what Culloden had done to it.
We were cresting a hill when I first saw it again, lying nestled and picturesque. The outbuildings were different, there were sheds that hadn’t been there before. The main house was exactly the same, almost frighteningly so, as if no time at all had gone by since I left. I took a deep breath and settled Brian closer to me on the horse, pointing down the valley saying, “That’s Lallybroch, that were we are going to live.” Hopefully. I had no idea what life would be like there now and how they would take on the burden of two extra mouths to feed.
The horse was having some trouble getting down the steep incline. I had to get off to help lead her down the hill. Brian stayed on, his hands gripping tight to the reins. He looked as nervous as I did, I thought. I reached up and squeezed his foot, smiling as reassuringly as I could. The descent down the hill felt like it took years, my heart was pounding like a kettle drum and I was dizzy. Sweat dripped uncomfortably off my brow and neck. We were just yards from the gates of Lallybroch and a swell of memories flooded my brain, each moment I had past through these gates whirled around me. I paused and wiped my face, unconscious tears running hot and sticky down my dust covered face. I paused, and went through the gate.
It was mid morning, but the yard was empty, except for one young man sitting his face turn up to the sun. He was very handsome, with dark lashes and a mop of black curls. I blot struck me through my heart and I called out, “My God! Fergus is that you.”
He got up in a moment and he too looked liked he had been struck through the heart, he ran up and gathered me into a bone crushing. He held me to him amid a flurry of, “Milady, God has restored you,” and “I never dreamt,” and other statements praising God and his many miracles. His accent was still heavily French and he had an air of aristocracy about him, that made me beam at him despite myself. My moment of head clogging joy was soon broken by a short, “Mama.” Fergus looked in the direction of the noise and his eyes went as round as saucers. Brian who was standing by the horse partially hidden from view, but no amount of concealment could hide that red hair.
I looked over at Fergus who was still staring at Brian with an expression of gape mouthed awe. I placed Brian in front of me and said, “This is Brian, my son.”
Fergus looked at Brian for a long while, taking in the copper hair, blue eyes, and high cheekbones, so much like Jamie’s. Though Brian’s face was still spattered with freckles of youth. Fergus let out a small laugh and said, “Well Milady he looks nothing like you. That is good, no one can say Milord is not his father.” I too laughed at that, though images of the odd looks that accompanied us as we lived in Boston, everyone knowing, but never saying, that Brian could never possibly be Frank’s. Fergus crouched down and looked over Brian once more critically, Brian who was most definitely unamused by this looking over stuck out his chin and straightened his shoulders, giving Fergus the best look of self righteous arrogance an almost six year old could muster. Fergus laughed again, bowing his head to Brian, “He is most definitely Milords son, though” He added practically, “he does have your ears”
Authors note: Yay! here you go kiddos. I have decided to abandon my 1000 work update because it doesn’t work for everything and sometimes less is more. I trust you all will like this. Thank you all for reading and have a happy holiday.
Video game music is designed to keep your mind engaged and clear, allowing you to focus on your tasks. These are some of my favourite tracks to accompany you while you study, read a book or simply lie in bed daydreaming. (x)
A place called the City of the Dead actually exists in Russia’s North Ossetia, hidden in one of the five mountain ridges that cross the region. Needless to say, several myths and legends shroud the place, with locals claiming that no one has ever come back alive. The ‘city’ hardly ever gets any tourists either, although this might be due to the difficulty of just getting there.
Reaching Dargavs, the City of the Dead, entails a three-hour journey through winding, narrow roads, and several hills. The foggy mountain weather certainly doesn’t help matters. Once there, you’ll find that the city is in fact another hill covered with small white buildings. It is these very buildings that cause the place to get it’s name. The white house-like structures, countless in number, are stone crypts where locals buried their loved ones. The city itself is an ancient Ossetian cemetery. Each family of the area has a crypt, and the higher the structure, the greater the number of people buried in it. The oldest of the crypts dates back to the 16th century.
The area is of little interest to anyone, barring a few archaeologists who have made some unusual discoveries here. It was discovered for instance, that the bodies inside the crypts were buried in wooden structures that look like boats. The mystery remains as to how the boats came to be in a place with no navigable rivers. One explanation is that the departed soul had to cross a river in order to get to heaven, and hence the boat. Another interesting presence is that of a well in front of each crypt. It is said that once the Ossetians buried their dead, they would drop a coin in the well. If it happened to hit a stone at the bottom, it was taken to mean that the soul had reached heaven.