A Glibertarians Exclusive: Season of Ice IV
On the Trail
The two remaining days in the journey followed much the same pattern; arise in the morning, wash in cold water. Hengist would hitch the horses and the pair would set off, walking the horses through the day.
The second night found them camping in high pines along a small, bubbling brook. On the third day Hengist took a road branching off the main thoroughfare, bound more or less north into low hills. In the late afternoon they came to a low hill overlooking a lake to the east, the forest to the north and a vast sweep of grassland to the west. On this hill sat Hengist’s house.
The house was larger than Mabinne had expected; a long, low, rambling U-shaped structure with connected barns for stock and a stone-paved trail from the courtyard enclosed by the U to a small dock on the lake. The house looked warm; it was built of native stone up to window height, with heavy squared logs on up to the high-peaked roof. Four chimneys emitted pale woodsmoke. Whoever had built the house clearly intended it to be sturdy and warm.
The windows, Mabinne was surprised to see, were glass; an expensive commodity in Beretan, Mabinne had never thought glass-crafters worked in what she had always thought of as a barbarian land.
Mabinne also noted stock; a flock of white ducks was scattered about the place, and behind the house she heard the distinctive lowing of a milk cow. He wasn’t just bragging, she thought. This isn’t the home of a poor man. It’s more estate than homestead.
As they approached, the door to the house opened and an odd-looking youth emerged. He was short, shorter even than Mabinne, but squat, and something about his head wasn’t quite right; it was misshapen, somehow, as though his skull had been somehow compressed. He had large eyes set a little too far apart, and his jaw was set slightly off-center to the left. But his eyes were bright and his smile radiant when he saw Hengist.
“Gerd!” Hengist called to the boy as he brought the wagon to a halt in front of the house. “All is well, I presume?”
Gerd nodded vigorously. He made a series of gestures with his hands; Mabinne half expected some magic to emerge from the gesturing, but instead an entirely different sort of wizardry was in play. The boy can’t speak, she realized. This is how he communicates.
“Good, then,” Hengist answered. Obviously, he understood the boy’s gesturing, which meant nothing to Mabinne. “How is your father? Your mother?”
“Good.” Hengist dismounted. From a small pouch on his belt, he counted out ten gold coins, which he handed to the boy. “For your summer’s work. The place looks fine. Well done.”
As the boy disappeared back into the house, clinking the coins happily in his hand, Hengist turned to Mabinne. “My sister’s son,” he explained. “Something went wrong with his birthing, and as you can see, he isn’t quite normal. Never make a raider or farmer out of him, but he is able to look after my place in summers while I’m away and take care of the stock and so forth.” Hengist walked around the horses, patting their noses and stroking manes as he went.
“I see,” Mabinne replied.
Hengist continued to explain as he walked. “His father lost an arm several summers past. Good man but farming to feed my sister and their children is about all he can manage. They count on Gerd’s coins every summer. I help them with elk and bear meat now and then, as I can. Family, eh? Not always easy.” The big Ikslunder offered Mabinne a hand to help her down from the wagon.
“I’m sure they appreciate the help,” Mabinne agreed. She took Hengist’s hand and climbed down. This was another surprise; the prevailing wisdom in Beretan was that the big Northmen were savages. She hadn’t expected the kind of compassion Hengist showed towards his sister’s family.
A thought occurred to her. “You have much room here,” she asked, “wouldn’t your sister’s family be better off staying here with you?”
Hengist smiled down at her. “You haven’t been around us long, my sweet,” he explained. “We Ikslunders, we’re a proud folk, and my sister and her husband no less than any. They won’t accept not being able to keep their own farm, their own home. And I can’t blame them. My brother-in-law, he would roundly be seen as something less than a man, were he to do so. I’d gladly have them, but, well, that’s how things are here in Ikslund. So, I give them what help they will accept. In fact, since I can’t be arsed to grow vegetables – I hate grubbing in the dirt – I buy from them all they can spare, which again helps them get by. Farming turnips, carrots and beets is something a one-armed man can do well enough.”
Mabinne didn’t comment. She stood, looking all around; she had to admit, the homestead was set in a lovely location, and Hengist hadn’t been just bragging when he spoke of his prosperity. She had to remind herself that a good part of it came from raiding and banditry.
“I’ll be some time putting the horses up. Go inside, sweet, and look around. This will be your home henceforth. I want you to be comfortable. If you don’t like the way anything is arranged, let me know and we’ll set it to rights.”
“As you wish,” Mabinne said softly. She headed for the front door.
Mabinne went in the front door and found herself in a small entry room. She saw Gerd’s shoes placed on a rack to one side, so she removed her shoes and went inside in her linen foot-wraps.
Inside, the house was spacious and airy. Even in the mild, sunny late-summer day there was a small fire crackling merrily away in the large hearth on one side of the room. The floor was covered in rugs, the walls with cloth hangings; the house looked as though it would stand through any winter and still stay warm.
Gerd emerged from a back room, evidently a sleeping room. He was carrying a cloth sack over one shoulder; he grinned at Mabinne as he passed on his way outside. Mabinne heard him shuffling about in the anteroom with his shoes, then the outer door; she could just make out the muffled tones of Hengist’s voice speaking with the lad.
So, this is home now, she thought. It’s not a poor home. I wish I could forget where much of this came from.
She walked slowly around the big main room, looking at some of the odds and ends that decorated the place. The wall-hangings were embroidered, and there were small decorations on shelves on the walls and the tables alongside the big, well-upholstered chairs – bits of agate, polished stones, carvings of bone and ivory.
A thought occurred to her: No man living alone put this place together. A woman did this.
That, she felt certain, was a story that Hengist wasn’t about to tell her. At least not yet.
Mabinne spent some time wandering about the house. One wing housed a small bedroom that looked long unused and a large, well-stocked pantry. The other…
Hengist found her examining the main bedroom in the second wing. He walked silently up behind her as she was examining the bed; it was huge, with a large spread of wolf furs, and large, well-stuffed pillows. She had laid back the cover to find sheets made of a dark, smooth, incredibly fine cloth… She recognized it; the same material made up the nightgown Hengist had given her.
“Silk,” Hengist explained softly. “It comes from the land of the Manchin, far to the east. Trade comes in across the Northern Ocean. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard tales. Great cities of yellow sandstone, a great wall to the south that protects the Manchin from their unfriendly neighbors, whose name I forget… Anyway. I bought two sets of silk bedsheets for… well, it was a long time ago now.”
“I’ve never felt anything like them,” Mabinne admitted.
Hengist shrugged. “Gerd has set off for home. Did you see the trap door in the floor of the panty? It leads down into a small cavelet in the stone on which the house sits; there is ice in there, all year long. I’ve brought up some bison meat to cut up for stew.”
“Do you have some yams? Carrots? Onions?” Mabinne asked. Hengist’s implication, she thought, was obvious.
“We have carrots and onions,” Hengist replied, stressing the first word just enough for Mabinne to notice. “No yams, but there are some turnips and leeks from my sister’s garden.”
“I’ll get started,” Mabinne said softly.
They ate just after sunset. The stew turned out better than Mabinne had hoped; the bison meat was fatty and rich, and the vegetables were of fine quality. There was no bread, as she would have had in Beretan, and when she inquired about wheat or barley, Hengist just shook his head. “What barley we grow hereabouts goes into making ale. I’ll see if I can get you a sack or two when next we go to the trading post. Yes, there is a small town and trading center about a half-day’s horseback ride from here, a day if we take the wagon. I’ll take you there before the cold weather comes.”
When the time came for bed, Hengist went to one of the two large wooden wardrobes in the bedroom. He opened the door briefly; Mabinne caught a glimpse of what were plainly a woman’s clothing within. He extracted a warm-looking woolen nightgown and handed it to her.
“Whose…?” She began.
Hengist just shook his head. “Not now, sweet.”
Hengist made no demands on her that night. She slept soundly.
“something about his head wasn’t quite right; it was misshapen, somehow, as though his skull had been somehow compressed. He had large eyes set a little too far apart, and his jaw was set slightly off-center to the left. ”
Writing glibs into the story?
Paul Pelosi post-hammer?
“Especially Mr. John Smith of 245 Totter’s Lane, East Croyden. He’s definitely not written into this, nor his lovely wife of 10 years or his pet cat (Eric). Seriously. Not him at all.”
This is my favorite story so far. Thanks, Animal.
I wish I could find that house at a reasonable price around here.
Oh-oh Thanks, Animal
Looks like things are getting a little less complicated but yet raises questions in Mabinne’s mind
I’m ready for next Monday’s addition but like Mabinne, I’ll just have to wait…
I like it.
Outside of Remy, the only redeeming quality remains Bragg and Heaton videos. Tis The Season: Libertarian Horror Movies
I need a shower gun.
Least we got a Jones act shout-out.
It’s a private company, bro.
Russell Brand had a guest on the other day who said the safety/trust/ etc. department executives and leadership at social media companies are all ostensibly former CIA and FBI. As in the spooks quit their very high-level CIA director positions and immediately become the directors of public safety at places like Twitter. He provided several names and positions as examples, but I don’t recall the names.
I was struck by this being virtually the exact same model as the CDC/FDA and Big Pharma. Fascism has evolved quite a bit since the 20th century.
It has become a lot more lucrative for the right people.
He also likes to point out that the people on CNN calling for war with Russia are former generals and such who are now working for arms manufacturers. They don’t tell you that.
Keto diet for the win!
Bison is generally pretty lean, AFAIK.
Yep. I’ve had many a bison burger in my day; you either mix ’em with some fatty pork grind, or you watch ’em like a hawk while they’re on the grill. One minute of inattention and you’ve got a hockey puck for a burger.
Bison burger is also my dog’s absolute favourite ground meat. A pricey treat for the little monster.
I was terrible for overcooking meat (learned from my dear mother) but bison burger taught me better right quick.
Nice. Looking forward to the next installment.
Bison is available here, but quite pricey. Might have to try it anyhow.
It’s delicious but quite lean. You may need to add fat (ground) or cook low and slow (steaks).
I have found a deep marination helps keep the steaks from drying out too. Otherwise you end up with the Death Valley of foodstuffs.
For comparison: https://www.hillsidefarms.biz/why-eat-buffalo-meat
You’re going to pay much more for less calories/nutrition.
in a world of obesity that is a feature not a bug
The gal who did Stand Still Stay Silent and the excellent Lovely People comic critique of Social Credit Systems last year has just released her autobiographical testimony comic – and it’s really good IMO.
That was a delightful read, and I say that as a dedicated nonbeliever.
I’ve always like Minna’s writing and art style, so that helps.
That was terrific! Thanks LC!
We’ve lost three since Barry’s tenure?
Biden claims there are “54 states.”
Maybe speaking the game plan out loud. Adding Puerto Rico and DC gets the count halfway there.
See what Trump did. We’ll probably lose more if Republicans take control of Congress.
You’ve obviously forgotten about East and West Carolina and North and South Virginia. Dumbass…
The 57 states almost makes sense. There’s DC, five inhabited territories, and US Minor Outlying Islands.
Good story. I wonder if her collar would stop hemlock from falling into the stew.
I was wondering that also.
Maybe she needs to figure out an escape route first?
Not much happened this week, but the tension is there. I like how her assumptions are wrong, but she is a little open minded.
Don’t think she forgot her husband though.
I take it Barry was asleep during the Trump administration.
Obama on House Republicans: “Some of them said they’re already prepared to impeach Biden. They’re not sure what for. But apparently that’s beside the point … how is that going to help you pay your bills?”
I remember plenty of Dems planning for impeachment the day after the election. Don’t worry about the crime, we’ll find one.
Early coverage from 14 November 2016..
good story though somewhat humanizing the bad guy is so last century.
As you wish.
Obviously the fault of aggressive rhetoric from Rethuglicans
Over the past year, U.S. President Joe Biden has deployed top administration officials to meet with their Brazilian counterparts and convey a simple message to President Jair Bolsonaro: Don’t derail Brazil’s democracy.
Top officials from the White House, Defense Department, State Department, and even the CIA have held meetings and calls with Brazilian officials to try to head off any efforts by Bolsonaro to subvert the results of the country’s heated presidential elections.
That’s completely, 100% different from other countries meddling in our elections. For example, Russia spend $100,00 on Facebook ads! WAY WORSE!
campaign that culminated in a deadly pro-Trump mob
How many people did the mob kill?
The mob killed Democracy.
It created an atmosphere of hate, which of course is responsible for every murder or assault in the country.
Subvert an election result? You mean like we did in Ukraine 8 years ago?
Because we all know the CIA is all about honoring free and fair elections.
Free and Fair Elections that result in their desired outcome.
There is a glare emanating from Chile with the intensity of a solar flare.
Doesn’t sound like it will change Brazil’s foreign policy in any way that favors the U.S. Lula was the guy who got Brazil into BRICS and he might be even more committed to it than Bolsonaro.
That’s what happens when interest rates go up
The Federal Reserve’s aggressive campaign to rein in inflation leaves it on track for tens of billions, if not more, in losses over the next few years, central bank experts say.
Those losses will not impede the central bank’s ability to conduct monetary policy but could over time expose it to friction on the political front. What’s more, getting a handle on how much money the Fed might lose is difficult given the highly unsettled economic outlook.
The Fed started losing money last month, sooner than many had expected, including the Congressional Budget Office, who had no Fed losses in a forecast released in September.
The Fed accounts for negative income with an accounting measure it calls a deferred asset. The size of that shortfall now stands at nearly $6.3 billion and while there’s great uncertainty about the future size and duration of that loss, there are some ballpark estimates.
You can only pretend for so long.
Thank you Animal. I am really enjoying this one and I look forward to where it will lead.
Elon Musk dissolves Twitter’s board and makes himself ‘sole director’
That’s how you do it.
And yet still less fascistic than the rest of our govt-corporate complex.
Wish Trump would have done that. Instead he naively thought he could learn to work with people who have nothing but bad intentions.
From what’s been coming out, I don’t think it’s possible for Trump to have done something like that. He could have issued enough dissolution orders to satiate even the most anarchical Glib, and those order would just be ignored by the Deep State. The machine chugs along. It’s why I get a big yawn about the Trump vs. DeSantis nomination debate for 2024.
The only way for meaningful change like this is to have a President who has a strike team ready to hit every major Federal office to enforce closures at the same time the dissolutions are announced. You have to move fast and be vicious about it. And have an utterly loyal team who’ll do the hard work and not betray your intentions beforehand. It’s essentially a soft coup against the Deep State. There are very few individuals out there who could pull something like that off. And I doubt any of them are outside of the military.
No, it isn’t up to a unilateral executive action.
You want a smaller govt – you better get a Congress that will reduce it. Any department that doesn’t spend it’s appropriated funds is at risk of being anti-deficient and there are penalties that bureaucrats can be subjected to for that. It’s a beautiful case study in perverse incentives.
Sure, there are other approaches, and I don’t think the election of such a president is likely. Though I would rate the chance about the same as being allowed to elect a better Congress capable of making meaningful improvements. So close to zero that it makes no practical difference.
I suspect entropy will dissolve the system through something like a hard coup, an actual pandemic, starvation, or a civil war long before any sort of meaningful change occurs through the electoral system.
Heat death of the universe, yeah. I just want people to stop wanting that kind of President.
No, it isn’t up to a unilateral executive action.
Yes. Civil Service protections exist.
The Executive has limited ability to reclassify Federal employees such that the employee no longer enjoys civil service protections. Trump issued an executive order to reclassify certain Federal employees. The bureaucracy slow rolled it, and Biden withdrew it.
I can imagine somebody like Eisenhower walking through Federal Buildings with Eighth & I Marines and companies of Army MP’s – firing people, relieving General Officers, arresting some, and escorting the rest out of the buildings.
Trump didn’t have the guts or insider knowledge to do it.
Yes, something like this. And then being able to tell your armed men to ignore the courts when the leftist judges tell you to cease and desist. There may also be fighting between the law enforcement divisions of the various 3 letter agencies and the teams as well. I think even the department of education has their own tactical team. And then being able to stand up to the pressure of having every newspaper and MSM channel in world screaming headlines about a military coup in America.
You keep talking that kind of talk and I’m gonna be chafed for a week.
Yeah, guts and insider knowledge are the only impediments to such a fantasy taking place.
What you’re describing is the difference between an executive and a negotiator.
Anybody else wanna negotiate?
Negotiate? I will fuck you up!
I was expecting this..
Fantastic. He has to move fast. Get the grifters out before they settle in like ticks.
Still laughing about this:
You’d think they’d be happier about an African American taking over.
Speed and scale, baby. Once you’re in position to move, don’t hesitate.
A bad pun for Shpip:
Yes, I’m gonna re-use it…
I’m not. I rely on my own wits for bad jokes, which is why my jokes are so bad.
I have to work 8 hours in a day *sniffle*!
Not able to view. 🙁
Maybe this? https://twitter.com/SebGorka/status/1586716751412207619
I made it a full 60 seconds before tapping out.
I clicked, saw the tweet load, and tapped out then.