Location: London, England
Boarding the caravan was relatively easy. The driver of the caravan seems to be pleased with the fact of having at least one patron who knows how to defend themselves. Allen can’t say he feels the same. But now isn’t the time to worry over such things. He stays to himself as he watches the others join the caravan and enter their own wagons, biding his time. During the first day of travel Allen has to let Jinx out of the wagon to stretch her legs, and his as well.
Stopping for the first night of the trip, the wagons form a protective circle around a primary bonfire in the center. Allen just rests in the back of one of the wagons and watches the other patrons, almost studying them to a degree. There were three families and a lone priest. The families in the caravan leave him with very little interest, for them or their stories. However, the priest catches Allen’s attention. The melodic tone of his voice is some-what hypnotic to the ears. Allen might’ve fallen prey to his honeyed words if he didn’t know better. The priest does appear to be rather young. His brown curly hair falls to about shoulder length and looks extremely well kept. A sign of having lived a very comfortable life. He is probably a priest in a big city. His lanky form makes him even less imposing than his age does. His clothing appears to be a little too big for him.
“You there, sir,” The priest shouts looking at Allen, “Yes, you with the thick beard.”
“Aye, what is it that you want?” Allen replies clearly showing his annoyance on his face.
Tap…Tap…Tap…Tap Tap Tap Tap…Tap…Tap… Tap
“No need to be hostile, sir, I simply wish to inquire if you would like to join the rest of the caravan for my sermon?”
“No,” Allen says with a stern voice.
“Very well, Sir,” He replies, like a small child who’s been scolded by a parent.
As Allen sits in the back of the wagon looking over his newly acquired weapon, trying to discern what the etching on the blade stands for, he overhears bits and pieces of the priest’s sermon. It has something to do with revelations, or maybe that’s the book he’s reading from, but Allen isn’t sure. He has never really been one to read the bible. For just a fraction of a moment, Allen catches that one of the children, traveling with them, ask the priest a question. They used his name. The priests name is “Father Henry.”
The sermon only lasted for about an hour, shortly thereafter all of the other travelers in the caravan disband to their respective wagons to sleep. Unfortunately for Allen, however, the priest heads to the wagon that he is in.
“So, where is your stop at, Plymouth?” he asks, while pulling his belongings from the wagon.
“Aye, Plymouth,” Allen replies.
“Ah, that would be my stop as well. Why is it you’re heading out toward that direction, especially with all the news of witches?”
“My reasons are my own.”
“Hmm…” Allen thought to himself, “I wonder if he’s crossing the ocean as well?”
“I see. Well then, I better be off to bed, going to need plenty of rest for the travel tomorrow. Goodnight sir,” the priest says as he walks away.
As the priest takes his leave, Allen can’t help but wonder why he would be going to Plymouth as well. The church wouldn’t, typically, send someone so young. So that begs the question; Why?
During the traveling, one of the women in the caravan passes out. Allen’s mind instantly leapt into action, as does his body, his nature as a doctor taking over. Quickly getting the passed-out woman out of the direct sunlight, he feels the eyes of the other patrons on him. They must have questions.
“Get me a damp cloth now, somebody!” Allen shouts at the crowding group of onlookers.
Going through all the ropes of an examination, Allen slowly discovers the reason for this woman’s loss of consciousness. She was pregnant and had been in the sun for far too long. So, the diagnosis is heat exhaustion, which was only able to take her because of her pregnancy.
Out of the corner of his eye, Allen sees that the priest is about to say something.
“Hold on, let me finish before you speak,” Allen says hurried.
It takes him a little more than ten minutes to take care of his patient. After getting her off the ground properly and setting her in the back of a wagon, there is a single man that has stayed by her side throughout the entire thing, even after all the other patrons had left, presumably her husband. He has an extremely worried look about his face.
“Are you this woman’s husband?” Allen asks.
“Aye, sir, I am. Name’s Jeffery James.” he replies.
“Well, sir, there is no need to worry, just a bit of heat exhaustion. It’s quite common actually for women with your wife’s condition when they over exert themselves.”
“What condition is that, sir?”
“She’s pregnant, about three months or so.”
“Are you sure?”
“Aye, I am. You may want to stay with her, though, for the remainder of our journey.” Allen says as he gets out of the wagon.
The man’s face changes from worry to shear elation in the blink of an eye. Probably still worried about his wife, he can’t help but be happy that he is going to be a father. This is the one part of Allen’s job that he doesn’t loathe or find boring.
“So, you’re a doctor?” Father Henry asks, coming up from behind him, looking at the unconscious woman in the wagon.
“Aye, I’m a doctor, Dr. Allen Walker,” Allen replies.
“So, tell me; why, if your job is to save lives, is it that you carry such a brutal looking weapon?”
“For protection,” Allen answers plainly.
“Really,” Father Henry says, “I suppose I understand that. There are quite a few things out there that can harm one if you’re not too careful; bears, coyotes, Indians, and witches.”
“Don’t tell me you believe in witches, Father.”
“Oh, I most certainly do. Do you not?”
“No, I don’t believe in witches. However, that does not mean they don’t exist. When I see proof, I’ll believe.”
“Is that why you don’t believe in God, lack of proof?”
“No, sir, I do believe in God,” Allen states, slightly jarred by the question, “But I’m not on good terms with him and he’s not on good terms with me.”
“You shouldn’t say such things, you know. God loves us all and that includes you,” The priest retorts, “And keep in mind to say that in a city would bring terrible wrath on you by the church.”
“With all that I have encountered and endured, there is not a single chance in hell that I could hold him in high graces,” Allen says angrily as he walks away from the wagon, all the while tapping his fingers on the hilt of Kopfjäger.
Tap…Tap…Tap…Tap Tap Tap Tap…Tap…Tap…Tap
Allen’s journey with the caravan continues for the next few days without incident. But on the thirteenth day of the trip, only two days left until they reach Plymouth, they stop for the night. Everyone in the caravan set about their tasks to prepare for the evening ahead. But something goes bump in the night.