From the journal of Ray
Our first encounter with the outside world was with an eccentric one armed travelling performer, Arvanti with a troupe of monkeys. I was very excited because I had never seen one outside of a picture book. And our new friend gave us coffee. Coffee is amazing! I want to drink it whenever I can, now – I felt so awake!
But then Ennio found that the monkeys had stolen some of his tools. Maria persuaded the man to come back and he found the missing tools in his bag, so everything was all right. And he even traded us some bullets for Ennio’s gun.
Then we visited our neighbours in Punta de Juan Centellas. Fierce, proud people who greeted us warmly enough. We helped out with work around the town. The people certainly respected Maria – as who would not? They seemed to want her to stay with them. As who would not? But we have our pilgrimage. It was strange seeing them follow the grey beard around, admiring the weapons he carried – but perhaps not truly seeing the man who bore them.
We learned they had been raided by a gang from Icod de los Vinos but left them ergot poisoned grain as a surprise.
Maria prayed, and the Holy Ghost suggested we continue along the coast. Heading further west, we found a fugitive from Icod, where the people were suffering from that poisoned grain.
Should we pass quietly and safely by? Maria would not hear of it. Her compassion for these strangers put us all to shame. So we shall do what we can to help her to help them.