I made my way thru the pouring rain, over hills, through forests, by rivers and the length of long old disused dirt tracks. The rain was unstopping and, other than when I was in a forest, I was exposed to the rain. Still I'd rather do it that way - to see people is to see a potential government agent. To not see folk is to be safe, at least that's the way I reckoned it.
I came eventually to the place I'd been looking for. It was a cave where an old woman lives. She's been there maybe 30 years, maybe 50. Either way she knows those caves, she knows these hills and I reckon as how she knows how to escape from folk or defend herself, whichever is the easier.
I arrived there around quarter of three in the afternoon one day. Reckon she knew I was coming. There weren't no welcoming party, nothing like that but then, hell, she don't know too many people, if you catch my drift.
"Miss Soolly?" I said to her. She kind of nodded and carried on putting up her washing or whatever it is she was doing. I guess I let her do her business a while longer before I kind of cleared my throat, if you understand my meaning, and announced myself once again to her.
She looked at me as if to say, 'you follow me in here', so I did. Inside She had all manner of good things to eat - there was baked beans, tomatoes - hell, she even had some stewed prunes in there and, well, I hadn't seen those in a while.
I couldn't help making the observation that all these here things would taste mighty nice cooked and she looked at me kind of weird and said I must be a fire learner. When I said that, well, yes ma'am, that's what I was, she said she'd reckoned as much about me. She gave me the food cold. Man, it tasted good, whoo, you should have seen me eat all of those stewed prunes and baked beans. My oh my, though, I don't mind telling you I had the squits that night, and that ain't a pretty sight!
In the morning she gave me some valuable reconoissance, you might say, about where the government's men are likely to be and how best to avoid them and where people like us were. I thanked her kindly and made my way. I would have invited me with me but I kind of didn't want her to slow me down, if you catch my drift.
As I walked I had to keep on stopping on account of all the stewed prunes and baked beans I'd consumed the night before.
Anyhow without wishing to take you somewhere you don't want to go, I'll just tell you it took me a while to find the next fire learner.
I'll tell you about him in a while. I had stewed prunes again last night with the same consequences, if you catch my drift, so I'll be seeing you folks soon to tell you what happened next.