Dragon Sword

A blind swordswoman in China seeks revenge on the cunning and deadly Manchu general who killed her parents.


5. gourd


She stops at noon and perches on a bare rock unmoving as a lizard in the shuddering heat. She tilts her head back and drinks, she drinks lustily glugging from the gourd, the water in it now brackish and warm, it has been two days and a half since the last the last palm-fringed oasis and she is down to a few mouthfuls and she saves those mouthfuls knowing that without fresh water she will start to die in a few days and nights from this heat and dryness and bleak hard dust-ridden wind, though by next week with any luck she thinks will be in Dragon Gate, sitting on a bench in a clean awning-shaded wine shop eating roast pigeon and swallowing gulps of cold and sweet well-water between long draughts of wine. So she wraps the thin scarf about her face and walks ahead across the broken mountain country feeling her way with the iron tip of the cane, listening to the variegated moans and whispers and roars the wind makes sweeping across rock and sand. 

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