Day Three Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We slipped out of the city in the middle of the night. Elijah, the Purser’s family and myself. Not through either gate. But over the wall via the rooftop of an adjoining building.

Elijah and I have some valuable experience in this regard from our first days together.

We stumbled about a good deal until we discovered at last the road leading to the interior. From there on it was an easy march for all.

We halted at the same place that Mary, the children and I stopped four days ago.  

Neither Elijah nor I know which direction we should go next. The Purser is all for striking out straight ahead. But we all agreed to await the Spirit’s leading.

Day Three Hundred Eighty Six late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

The Captain has finished offloading this port’s cargo and is now loading containers for future ports.

He is convinced that his family did not come this way, so he will look elsewhere. So, he wants to get underway as soon as his freight is aboard (with or without Enoch’s party). To that end he is seeking permission to leave. So far the answer is in the negative.

We have re-evaluated at which gate to look for our travelers. The southern one seems the more likely.

Day Three Hundred Seventy Nine evening #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enoch writes:

We have been through a dozen villages. All deserted. The one ahead shows signs of habitation, but its gate is closed. Probably too many refugees have trekked this way.

We shall skirt around it and camp down by the river on the far side.

Mary hopes to catch a riverboat there.

Day One Hundred Eighty Six morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

– How I dislike writing things down. ‘Enough’ is so much better suited for this. But now with him in the hands of Moglen and Stan it falls to me to keep the chronicle going.

– I came back into the encampment after a quick trip down to the desert. I found the narrow track with little problem. Flowers should be well on the way.

Grazie informed me about ‘Enough’s seizure and insisted on going with me to the city. There at the gate, we were turned away with no comment.

I was successful in restoring calm to the camp.

How I pity Moglen should he try to coerce my friend.

Day One Hundred Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle has put his request in with Moglen. Moglen declared he would do all he could to bring about the meeting desired, but stopped short of any promises.

On his way back, Lyle, like me, also had a prompting to go to the first district. But unlike in my case, he found the gate open.

A shiver went through me, even before he told me that a golden statue now stands on the pedestal in its great square.  It is a statue of a man, bearing the likeness of Stan.

I had to go see this for myself. I arrived to find the gate still open and many people milling around the square.

But a white canvas covered the statue.

Day One Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The first district gate was wide open when we arrived mid-morning. Kip was not waiting for us outside. We found him inside, seated in the square.

Lyle had wanted to come alone and leave me with the harvest crews in the field. There is some wisdom to such a course of action, but I could not acquiesce. Still he made me state my case before relenting. I brought up two points: one, Kip was expecting both of us, and two, Grazie, if there, was expecting me.

As it turns out, Kip was alone, and he has never heard of anyone named Grazie. But he did share the same warning, beware his fellow leaders, especially Moglen. He returned with us.

Day One Hundred Fourteen PM #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Kip asked me not to mention anything to the guards about my stay at his place last night.

That surprised me. I inquired was I in trouble? Or worse yet was he?

He didn’t think so, pending what happened when we got to the gate.

That was another surprise, he accompanied me to the gate.

He went through without a problem and waited for me on the other side.

I passed through after a brief lecture from the head guard and a promise that another such infraction would land me in front of the authorities.

Lyle joked it might be a worthwhile strategy if we can’t locate them on our own.

I introduced Kip all around. He returned before curfew.

Day One Hundred Thirteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was so far west, I did not have time enough to get back before the gate closed. A local denizen, however swept me off the street. Kip guessed my plight and kindly offered a place to spend the night.

I’m very thankful. He is the only one that I’ve met who didn’t have an outright animus towards me, the poser of questions.

I asked him where I could find the rulers of the city. He didn’t seem to think that a very good idea and added people usually went out of their way to avoid their notice.

He explained that they’ve been adverse to strangers ever since large numbers migrated out of the east.

I need to inform Lyle.

Day One Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Life is regimented here within the city. We have the freedom to move around, but with each section we cross into we have a check point to pass first.

My suspicion did prove true. People are grouped into areas on the basis of their beliefs.

This divides rather than unites the people. It is a ghetto mindset and brought Lyle to tears.

There remains the puzzle though. Who called for it? And who is in control?

None of the other sections have claimed leadership over the others. Yet the most likely candidate high in my estimation has got to be the section immediately behind the gate we tried on our first day here.

Some fine day I’ll know for sure.