For by then we came up to a landing where a fat man stood ready to catch the rope. Ulf the Fat was the brother of Searle the head man. He made us fast, then went back to place his hand upon a small shrine, and stood smiling.
This man was the first I had seen smile in many months. And if I sought some sign in my travels, the boast of a man cured and a village free of the contagion could only serve to whet my curiosity further.