The scout walks over to where the others are standing under some trees. Everyone is starting to gather up their belongings. "Peace to you all, I am free of disease." The others nod or respond quietly, except the man with the sword who moves a little clear of the others and stares intently at the scout.
"You look like a library scout. People say scouts can never be defeated with swords,he says challengingly.
"People are wrong. I personally saw a scout defeated when I was young."
"So, you are not a great scout sword fighter?" the other says trying to anger the scout.
"I am proud to say, I have never drawn my sword in anger."
"How can you know if you can use it if you have never used it in anger?" the swordsman asks angrily.
"My sword teacher always said it is a sign of weakness to draw the sword in anger."
"He must be dead now," The angry man says.
"My teacher is living peacefully in her old age, raising her children and her grandchildren," the scout responds.
"That is no teacher, my teacher has killed five men!"
"That is too bad, could your teacher not reason with them?" he asks gently.
"What has reason got to do with sword fighting?"
"My teacher says the greatest weapons humans possess are our minds and our ability to speak to one another," he again answers the other's hostility with a gentle tone and calming body language.
"That is crazy, fighting is about killing others before they can kill you."
"Fortunately most people don't want to kill us."
"I don't give them a chance! My teacher taught me to draw the sword fast, sure and cut swiftly and strongly."
"I think it is often more important to know when not to draw the sword," he says with a smile at the others standing around waiting to get on the boat.
"The world is a dangerous place and we must be prepared to kill as often and as quickly as we can," he says with a threatening move toward the scout.
"Well, we are lucky that you are so skillful with the sword and can protect us from the dangers out there," one of the family members laughs which makes the swordsman grimace in anger. The scout visibly relaxes, with loose open hands at his sides and lowering his shoulders.
"I don't believe you are actually a library scout. No scout would be so harmless and unprepared to fight." he says with a sneer.
"Perhaps you are right. Many of us are not what we appear to be."
"You can't be a fighter. You are a cowardly imposter." he angrily says. "You are afraid to defend yourself and have no guts or honor."
"You certainly are entitled to your opinion," the scout says as he turns his back toward the swordsman and faces the boatman, who begins to speak.
"Let's get ready to make this crossing, heavier people in first. We will leave in 5 minutes."
The scout walks over to where the boatman stands next to the side of the boat. A simple dock-like set of logs are piled on the shore next to the water. "My name is William, I would be glad to take an oar."
"Good, I was hoping you were used to boats. You take the right hand, I cover the left and my son mans the rudder. It is rough water this time of year."
The others move into the boat one after another. The eight people with packages make for a slightly tight fit, but not uncomfortably so.
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