2000-09-05: The Helpful Stranger

Catskills Edition

The Helpful Stranger

Author: Sawyer, a Craftsman Published: September 5, 2000

As is my custom, I was wanderin in tha forest ta gather wood fer me crafting. While I be a might fair carpenter, with enough tinkering ‘n tailorin ta make a decent bed or such, I am not one to undertake fights with man nor beast. So ya kin imagin me fear when I was beset upon not by tha usual woodland creatures, but by a band o’ ettins. Big ugly creatures were they! Tall as tha trees themselves!

Well, being more concerned with me life than me fortune, I did drop my bag o’ tha thins I had made right there and headed west as fast as tha legs would take me! It were fortunate tha woods be not so very big and thar were a clearing near by, nestled up agin tha mountain. And here in this place there were several buildins, all of them quite new and of a style that were nae found in our lands when I had last gone to one o’ our cities.

Out’ve breath and havin’ lost me bag o’ stuff, I ran into tha small town and sought help. There were few there, but one did seek me out and ask if he might offer help. I did try ta warn him that thar be a bunch o’ uglies in tha woods, but he did insist tha he alone could fight ‘em off. Well, I thought he be a bit foolhardy, but ifn he wished ta die, I be nae one to stand in his way.

So off east we did start into tha woods. Sure as I told ‘im, we had not gone thrice tha length o’ yer body afore one o’ them uglies did approach. I did tha only thing a good craftsman could and hid behind tha nearest tree, I did! But tha bold one, though I thought him a fool, did stand his ground, runin’ around tha ugly and using his bow with skill and force. Soon that ettin were a goner. And wud ya believe tha man did then offer to give me tha booty? Me who hae done nothing to slay the thing, had only led ‘im into tha danger, and had hid at tha first chance! Well then I did know fer sure that this stranger not be sound in ‘is head.

But I ramble, as is me want. We did continue through tha woods, only ta find e’en more beasties. And tha stranger did agin dispatch ‘em with speed. And he did then yell out ta me, “I found your bag!” And find it he had. It were in a clearing, surrounded by a pack o’ tha big uglies. But praise tha virtues there were a tree that were bigger than me girth and behind it I did seek safety. And while tha stranger fought on, he did urge me to get me bag o’ stuff while he did take the creatures away from me. Well that I did and he again did prevail.

After tha battle I did ask ‘is name and seek to know more o’ this rare example o’ courage and helpful spirit. “Marcus is my name,” said he. “I own a tavern, nearby called the Whispering Pines.” Well when I offered him one of me handcrafted works as a token o’ me appreciation, he did choose tha armoire which he said would be “beautiful addition” to tha tavern.

Marcus did show me his tavern and tell me that it be in a place called Edinburgh in tha lands known as Trammel. I did partake o’ his offer o’ food and a place to rest for tha night. And far better a place were it than tha forest floor where I lay me head each night!

I know not if’n I shall ‘ere set foot in that place again, but I tell all who would be near tha place, tha if’n they need help, then hope to tha Virtues tha they find one like ‘im to bring ya aid.