Historical setting: 584 C.E. The livestock market near Tours
Daniel offers to stay with the wagon and the mules. Count Bertigan and I wander into the stable area as a huge stallion with a tiny little count hanging onto him with his life-grip bursts through the gate, and romps and rollicks throughout the trial circle in the center of the corral, while first the clinging man is hanging from the neck and then the withers, and then he falls to the ground with his injuries being those of a warless hoofing. The trampled man is gathered to his feet, and he chooses not to buy a horse on this particular day. It was a good lesson for Count Bertigan to observe or he surely would have selected that very stallion.
My recommendation is that the count should not purchase an unbroken stallion, or even plan to raise horses until he has some experience with horses. He takes my advice. So the count has chosen two fine geldings already accustomed to riders along with a mare and her foal. The trade is made for the two barrels of wine Daniel has in the wagon.
Barrels of wine are the welcome commodity for trade in these times and places. King Chilperic was known to have levied a large tax on this land to be paid by the peasantry in barrels of wine. When Bertigan is off making his deal, Daniel tells me of the King’s error in levying that tax. The Bishop saw it as sinful and greedy. Then the king needed so many counts to collect it, and for each he had to give a parcel of his lands which explains too many counts.And it also makes the product of Ezra’s vineyard greater value for trade.
On the return I ride one of the geldings leading the mare with the colt following. Bert courageously takes on the other horse said to be ready for riding and furthermore, he heeds my instruction such as it is. I have a slight hope for this impulsive fellow who is able to put his pride aside for the sake of learning something new. It was a slow walk home. No one wanted to urge the count to ride faster than his ease. Only the mules, now with the lighter load, were frustrated by the pace.
We didn’t reach Eve’s garden until it was nearly dark and her child assistant was already sleeping. I’ll have to hear about Ligugè in the morning after the chores.