Tuesday afternoon, May 4, 1651
With scattered clouds and warm temperatures, with a gale originating in the southwest.
Overnight, as the weather remains pleasant and comfortable, the wind changes and increases in intensity, from the south, a dry wind that has descended from the atmosphere, having originated in the African desert and skipped over the Mediterranean Sea. The temperature quickly climbs in the morning, until anything more than a light shirt seems stifling.
Still, Sevim sleeps, all morning. Ahmet has gone off alone for a time, but he returns after breakfast, having sojourned through the night with his conscience. And then, not long after his return, the party - resting upon the long green grass under olive and lemon trees, the petals of the latter thinning now as the wind blows them away - sees Hichem returning with a companion. An odd companion.
It is a fellow about 18 inches tall, with black greasy hair, a thick mustache, an open shirt and a short breeches, as well as bare feet. The little fellow has a swordbelt with a narrow blade only eight inches long tucked into it, and a small bow hung over one shoulder. The side of the belt opposite the sword has a small wineskin tied to it. He is speaking animatedly with his hands and Hichem is smiling, chuckling from time to time as they approach, so that it can be seen that the small man is telling some sort of story.
When they get close enough, the party can just hear the small fellow say, "... so I told her, if I had two brothers, the thres of us could make a permanent home in her magnificent mountain pass."
At which Hichem guffaws heartily.
The former servant looks at the party and says, "My masters. I am heartily sorry for my impulsive behavior, and if I may, I'd like to return to your service. And I would like to present Bert." Hichem gestures with his hands. "This is Maximillian, a healer and the warmest fellow of the bunch; and Lukas, he's a very smart man; and this is Andrej, a Catholic Priest; and Ahmet, whom I -"
"Yes, yes, enough said," says Bert. "Troubles come in all shapes and sizes, we can't expect every moment to sing with birdsong. Hello to all of you!"