Day One Thousand Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Since we had not arrived at the third relay point before halting last night, I asked Reuben to make a quick reconnaissance. What looked deceptively close higher up he had found to be much further away. Quasimo was at a loss for he does not remember it being more than one day’s journey distant from the second.

And a thornier problem had intruded.

Another outpost had been set up on the direct route.

He and Quasimo put their heads together and came up with another route.

And that is how we came to backtrack up the hill and down its other side. From there we have paralleled our intended path to keep hidden from the observation of the enemy’s outpost.

Day One Thousand Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Situations like this made me wish that Tomas was still with us, out front scouting. But that worry passed when I heard that gentle rebuke, and I realized I was transferring my trust off of where it should be.

I found Quasimo in the same dilemma. He was still hesitant about ordering us forward, thinking it perhaps too soon.

I believed his recent dreams were  robbing him of his confidence. I sent him to confer with Elijah, and  took up the task of moving us on.

Elijah sent his new pupils to assist me, and together we had everyone up and over the next hill in short order.

From the summit Quasimo saw that the next stopping point was free.

Day Eight Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are one night’s march along the corridor of this valley, and the ‘hill’ at the far end has indeed “grown.” We are more confident than ever we are adhering to the path laid out for us by Quasimo. Hence today we have brought our fast to a close.

I had much to ruminate about in my times on watch. Over night it was much colder than ever before. Elijah thinks we may see snow in the next day or so. I can believe it.

The barking has ceased to dog our steps. Whatever they were must have continued on north. Silence instead muffled our ears – then and now.

Two more night marches should bring us out of the desert.

Day Eight Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

More barking. And not just one or two. The thought that a pack may be trying to work up the courage to attack caused us to greet the morning with thankfulness.

We stood down in a valley between two ranges of dunes. We were pleased to see that our hill had gained in stature, in great part due by comparison, I am sure, to our position within this sort of valley.

Elijah pointed down its length and said, “Tomorrow we shall turn the corner.”

On my watch I resolved to rein in my excitement at the new step ahead of us. I knew if I were to fail, it would only eat away at me and sleep would be impossible.

Day Eight Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The barking returned on our nightly hike. Though nothing came near enough for us to actually identify. At least it wasn’t those unsettling voices.

I was glad for the morning, if not only to check on the ‘growth’ of our hill.

It looked much the same to me, though Elijah thought it was gaining in breadth.

Our bivouac for the day had an unobstructed view at least in that quarter. It was better from my watch post, but that was high enough to take in every direction, so my attention was understandably divided.

After Elijah relieved me from the first stint, I could not sleep. I had to discipline my mind from dwelling on the nagging memories of the day.

Day Eight Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stared and stared at the western horizon as we chose our camp for the day. And I could not but help continue to inspect the sight each time when serving my watch.

The tiniest of bumps disturbed the line of the horizon. A mountain it was not. A hill maybe.

Elijah and I discussed it when exchanging places. He was certain it was what we were looking for. But suggested that we wait until it ‘grows’ in stature before turning in its direction.

At day’s end when we arose to resume our march, some low-lying clouds obscured the western horizon.

Elijah smiled at me and asked what I thought about fasting until our hill grows into a mountain.

Day Three Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The gathering of believers on the hill didn’t want us to leave. Our time together was indeed special, but Elijah assured them that with the help of the Spirit they possess all that is necessary.

Elijah did have one more goal, to tie together the two different groups. To that end we invited Tomas, the son of the villa owner to accompany us down the hill to the city.

There we introduced him to the other group. Elijah made the case that they would all soon need to seek the aid of one another in the times of trouble ahead.

Having completed our exhortations, we bid them goodbye.

We arrived back at the ship to find it surrounded with soldiers.