The Travelers turned out to be good hosts perhaps too interested in their guests as most of them were wounded and weary. Bela finally noticed and give his people stern instructions to leave the newcomers be unless they asked for something. With Riddick and Dog watching the horses, tack and luggage any further larcenous interests of the Travelers were kept in check.
The tale of the dog that could appear and disappear at will did not grow smaller through repetition. Riddick was clearly a wolf. Perhaps a wolf from Faery as his mistress was an Elfess Ranger. Who knew what kind of powers a wolf from Faery might possess? The Traveler entertained themselves with stories and speculation of what might the big animals do if they were provoked.
About midday, Bela approached Allan who was up and mending some of their battle worn gear. “Is there anything that we might do for you and yours? We will be spending only one or two more nights here. We do not want to over-graze the area nor do we wish to take too much game from hereabouts. The Tuathe De are hunters themselves and would not take it as a kindness if we were to leave their lands barren when we passed.”
“We would be grateful for some fresh water for our horses, we have fodder in our saddle bags and they can graze beside your own horses. Our horses will not mingle with your own so you need not worry on that account.”
Bela's dark eyes narrowed for a moment then he laughed, “No, we would not want one of our horses to go straying when we left,” deliberately misunderstanding Allan's gentle hint.
“It shall be as you ask and of course we will have food ready for you when you bestir yourselves,”
Bela smiled up at the giant, “We were taken by surprise last night but we shall do better today. I wager we will have food even for one such as your size. You must have appetites to match, yes?”
Allan smiled, “As a brother of Saint Michael I do my best to keep my appetites under control. Even those of hunger and thirst although I am often weaker in spirit than body.”
“Oh,” Bela nodded, “that must be a disappointment to the ladies. You brothers are allowed to marry are you not? Did you bring your spouse as did the ranger and paladin?”
“No, I am not married. Although, yes, we are allowed to marry with the Grandmaster's permission. I have not found the time yet. A man with four arms is always busy.”
“You are a stronger man than you know, I think,” Bela pronounced, “there are many with two arms that seek to do half the work of others.”
“Thank you,” Allan replied.
“Is there anything I or my people can do for you? We have a few skilled healers and a Christian priest.”
“Brother Sean is also a Father?” Bela asked with a chuckle. “Yes, maybe when you are not too tired. We have not seen a Father for quite a while. Some of us I am sure would like to have their confessions heard.”
“We can do that and gladly too,” Allan said.
“Good. It is not good to live so close to each other and not be able to do a proper confession. You know everyone so well that sometimes you think they should know more than they should. Then who do you tell?” With that Bela left to find boys to fetch water for the horses.