Transcriber’s note: this is really a fragment of a chapter, but it does indicate that the finished story could have been very interesting.
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The Faraway War
“So you want the story of the war here on Faraway to go back to Earth? You have come to the right place; it began when it ended, here at Bridgetown on the North River, between the Waste Land and the Wilderness.
“The killing began far away in the South? Yes, that’s right. But I was there, and it began because of something I did. And the story of why I did it begins here in Bridgetown, more than sixty years ago, in the summer when I was sixteen years old; Faraway years, that is, equivalent to seventeen Terran years.
“It was one Thursday morning in haymaking. I had to go to the inn, so early, while my father and elder brother were discussing the day’s work, I whistled up Bruce, my dog, and went off. What for? To collect our mail. I usually went on Wednesday night, when the coach arrived, but that Wednesday there had been a thunderstorm threatening, so we carried on loading hay, right into the dusk, until we had cleared the North Meadow.
“I remember it was a bright, cool morning; the thunderstorm had come in the night. As I went down the village street, the Hallowlawana were buzzing with gossip: a Triad of Ng-hai had arrived on the coach and were staying in the inn. What did the Terrans say? In haymaking! I wouldn’t expect to meet any!
“As I came round the corner to the inn, there was the coach waiting, with horses put to, and driver and guard ready on the box, but a crowd at the horses’ heads. I rushed up to see what the matter was, with Bruce barking beside me.”