It was a ten hour ride along bumpy roads where we passed three small villages, none of which I had ever seen. Mr Houser would stop at each telling me to stay in the cart. He would unload flour and some other goods and go to the market or to a house and emerge with other goods which he would place in the cart. Mr. Houser apparently was a trader in goods and he had a regular route.
Once on the road when ever he could see travelers walking he would hoarsely tell me to place a blanket over myself until we got past a given traveler. All of them were me.
Mr. Houser carried a long knife up front with him against what he called “German Heathens.”
He showed it boldly to approaching strangers as if to warn them not to try to rob us.
I could hear some of them hiss at Mr. Houser as he told them to “kept on with ya.”
Some of them wanted directions, others wanted food. Mr. Houser offered only minimum directions and no food saying, Just keep on this road, you reach a town soon enough.”
It was getting cold and dark as I started to feel the cart strain to move up what felt like a step mountain.
Mr. Houser stopped by the side of the road to give the horse a rest and to feed her apples. I sat by the cart in the twilight as was able to see the castle at the height of mountain.
It was large. Mr. Houser said it was owned by a prince gone off to fight the infidels in Jerusalem and he let the nuns stay there providing they maintain the place. The men had gone too so the nuns had to work the fields and provide their own food. Mr. Houser told me this while eating and sharing apples with “Lizzy”
I peered up at my new home to be apprehensively. In the barely visible laid out fields I could see tiny figures in black still working the field in the near dark.
“God be with you girl,” Mr. Houser said as we got back into the cart for the final journey up.