MELNOR’S TOWER

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Chapter 32: TRADE NEGOTIATIONS

Their trip back was quite uneventful. By the time they got back, it was too late in the season to travel north again for trade purposes but Parry decided to make a trip to the junction at the plains. He took a wagon and pack animals. The trip was uneventful and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Arriving well before dinner, he hitched his wagon and grabbed a sample of his newest trade items. Moving to the front door he ran into Lona.

“Well hello Parry! Have you anything new to trade?”
Parry was as tongue-tied as a child in trouble. He nodded to the package and began to unwrap it on the porch. They spent quite a while examining the different items while she listened to his adventures in the north and his explanations about the different spices fruits and the new sugar cane and tobacco. She listened but didn’t hear. She was watching him and his excitement. They were sitting with the samples spread between them when her father came up behind him.

“Hello Parry! Have you come to trade my daughter away from me?”

As the man passed around the pair, a glance at the young man’s flaming red face told him that he had hit the nail on the head. Confirmation came from his daughter’s face. She wasn’t as red, but she had that look of determination that told him that she had made a decision without consulting him.

“Ahh. Mmm.” Parry was worse than tongue tied at this point. He was paralyzed. He hadn’t yet worked out how he was going to ask but trade was definitely not a part of it. Finally, he worked it out. “Sir, I know of nobody, including the King who can afford the price that Lona is worth; I would not trade for her as if she were a piece of merchandise. I will ask for her hand in Marriage and she will be the only one to decide to say yea or nay!”

“I suppose that you have a home to take her to?”

Parry smiled. Of course he had a homestead. His barrels had paid for the land and his skills had built the home at the edge of town. “Sir, my home is not as fine as yours, but it is warm and safe.” Looking to Lona, he took a deep breath and asked, “Lona, would you consider making a family with me? You would be my partner in all things and since I would be traveling often to this area, you could visit as often as we desired.”

She looked at him closely, “Did you ever doubt? Of course, but my father must give me permission.”

Parry respected many of the people that he traded with but this man held a special position of respect. He had learned his livelihood from him and it looked as if he might soon be family. “Sir, may I have permission to court your daughter?”

“I thought you were already doing that.”

“I…I,” Parry noticed the smile on the man’s face and realized that he had already been approved. “I would be honored to work to your advantage.”

“Son, it would be to my advantage just to have someone else that cared for her as much as I do. Does it matter much as to when or where you marry?”

The tension bled obviously from him. “All that matters to me is that she be happy with the arrangements.”

Looking to her daughter he asked, “Do you wish the custom of the clans?”

“Aye, Father. A nice dress would be acceptable, don’t you think?”

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