18 Fortunus

It was past day-meal by the time they rose. Bucky seemed to lapse into bemused silence whenever young Andy stopped chattering at him like a finch; even while chirping she never let go of her fistful of Honey’s tunic.

They trooped down to the latrine together squinting at the midday sun. Horse, Bird and Buck lined up staring at the wall in front of them as they pissed noisily while Honey held Andy’s hands so she could balance her little butt on the rim of the seat.

There was a rough bath a few steps from the latrine – no frescoed walls or mosaic floors for this tavern. Honey lit the lamp that had been left in its niche and set the stack of clean second-best tunics on one of the benches.

Thankfully the boy was old enough to clean himself with a soapy sea sponge – although Bird and Horse did keep a half an eye on him while they scrubbed each other’s backs and took turns rinsing with buckets of fresh water that was a little cooler than anyone would have liked.

C’mon guy, the water in the bath is still warm – you are all over goose bumps.”

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