Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A boat on a river

"Yet another successfull trip Knabe, those giant officers really love our
fish!" The elderly merchant sat back on the deck of his houseboat as it
ventured back south on the Sendar River.
"Right y'are... and they don't seem to get enough of it either." The younger
one responded while running about, making sure that everything was in order.
"Well, Kleiner, as long as they want it... we'll keep selling it. Just hope
this squabble 'bout the rogues in Ulmnia doesn't interfere with this
business. I've really got my eyes set on that coat I saw in Seljak... wonder
if the tailor could cut it in my size?"
"Sure thing... just bought a dress for me Frau and no probs in getting 'em
to cut it in the right size."
"Good thing, very good thing... always good to be able to please 'em
Weiber."

Slowly, the houseboat loaded with fresh goods from Seljak, slided down the
watery mass towards Smithstown. For even though the relations of the two
nations weren't the best, they still demanded eachothers goods. Goods that
the Marrish merchants were more than eager to suply. So Sirkan brandy and
cloth flooded northwards with the marrish fish, and Ojerholmi machine tools
was transported in the other direction; with the profit sliding neatly into
the pockets of the many Marrish merchants that used the route. Not to
mention the Grafi grain and metalworkings that made them all richer.

"Wonder when they'll open up Randasque and Ulmnia to us?" The younger one
asked, still running about on deck; checking on the goods, tying and untying
knots and shouting at the sailors.
"Soon I guess... everybody wants our fish and pearls. And we're the only
ones who trade with them all... the only ones who are accepted everywhere."
The merchant said while counting his coins... more and mroe for every trip.
"Yeah... s'right. Only hope the darned Vetter's can sort out their
differences. Wouldn't want an internal conflict messing up the balance."
"Nah... I doubt it.... they'll soon come to their senses.... they just need
a li'l bit of extra money... guess we could give 'em a bit to calm 'em
down."
The young one halted in his steps and looked at the merchant: "What!?! You
talkin' 'bout taxes? We don't need dose darn things.... takes to much of the
margin."
A gentle smile spread upon the face of the merchant as he put down his pouch
and rose to his feet: "You see, Kleiner, taxes are much better than a civil
war. And if it will calm the Vetters, then I see no reason for why not?
After all, they will still be much lower than the ones the other have."
"Well.... if you look at it that way...."

Slowly.... the houseboat drove down the river.... bringing even more wealth
to the aquatic nomads inhabiting the waters of Lady Lake.

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