Chapter Thirty-One

As they went out the next day, they found people already working. Small piles of rubbish that could be burned were being gathered here and there in the street, and put to the flame. People were already moving things out of their houses that were too filthy to clean. Areas that were simply filled with rubbish over the years were being attacked by gangs of men with spades and shovels, even picks.
2 Ox carts were already moving through the streets, laden with trash. Huge barrels, that a short time before had been filled with the finest wine, were now mounted on wheels and carried a far different cargo!
3 Discussion among the working people was this strange, new idea...a day with pay to clean their houses! What strange ideas those Worshipers of Spirit had. But if their masters asked them to do this, they would obey.
4 Come the appointed day the city was filled with activity. Every ox cart from the outlying areas had been brought in, even the fancy ox carts the rich used to travel about the city were pressed into service, and any beast that could not be hooked to a cart had bundles tied to its back.
5 But even all this was not enough! Still, many men were needed to carry bundles and boxes to the crater on the side of the fire mountain that had been chosen as the dumping place.
6 Though The Old Chieftain objected, Bold Fox and his party joined in the labor. With Strong Wall at his side, they loaded ox carts all morning and into the afternoon, concentrating their efforts in the district of the poor.
7 Finally, about mid-afternoon, the last ox cart rolled from the city and the majority of the people, except for one man who watched each house, made their way from the city. And at the sound of trumpets the sulfur pots were lit. Soon the air was full of the stench and the yellow smoke could be seen rising over the city, as the people took their evening meal in the fields outside the city.
8 Then, in the dusk of evening, everyone went to a lake near the city, threw off their clothes and bathed in the refreshing water. Then the poor emerged, donning the new clothes they had been given. Under a procession of torches they marched back to the city.
9 For the first time in many years, the poor people slept in clean beds, free of bugs. The people of the city swore an oath that their city would never become filthy again. That even the poorest of people would keep their houses and their streets clean.
10 Word of what had happened in their capitol spread to the other Giant's cities, and they quickly followed the example set by their brothers and sisters. Soon, the whole land was like a different place! The rate of sickness fell drastically, and everyone spoke of the great Wonders of The Children of Spirit, that they could drive out any sickness merely by cleaning a city. What other great magic could they possess?
11 The Giants were eager to learn the ways of these strangers. The Old Chieftain declared the city safe and ordered the local Chieftains gather and decide the price The Children of Spirit should be charged for the land they wished to buy. The Chieftains came with great joy.
12 One Chieftain was so excited when he met Bold Fox, that he embraced him in a great hug, which nearly broke his ribs! "I was nearly," he said later, "killed with kindness!"
13 Then, they got down to serious discussion, and Bold Fox found the Giants agreeable. There was only one group that objected. "Since the beginning of time," explained their Chieftain, "we have left our boats for the summer on the shores of the lake, journeyed back to our mountain homes, and returned again in the fall to fish the lake, and sail down it, go south, and trade with the people below the desert. We have no permanent cities, but those places where we keep our boats and load our goods are indispensable to us. Without them, my people have no livelihood."
14 Bold Fox thought for some time. "Each fall," he asked, "when you return to your boats, do you have to repair them and get them ready for the water again?"
15 "Of course," answered the Giant.
16 "And each year must you repair your docks on the lower end of the lake damaged by storm?"
17 "That we do," the Giant agreed.
18 "Now, what if you could hire people," asked Bold Fox, "that could spend all summer working on your boats, have them in the water and waiting for you when you came down from the mountains, and also, keep your docks in repair? You could pay them by leasing them the land. In that way, my people would get the land, your boats and docks would be well cared for, and everyone would come out ahead!"
19 "We would have free access to the roads and to the lake?" the Giant asked.
20 "As long as my people rule this land," promised Bold Fox, "they will never hinder your passage, or charge you tax. Our roads shall be your roads, our waters, your waters."
21 The Giant turned to his brethren and they discussed for several minutes. "We can accept your proposal!" he agreed finally. "We will not directly sell to you the land we hold, but we will do as you say, lease it, under the conditions you propose. But we wish, also, to share in the cash payment you are proposing. We will consider this a separate bargain outside the general agreement."
22 "Now I do not think this is fair," argued The Old Chieftain,"you are charging them twice, while the rest of us are charging them once."
23 But Bold Fox rose his hand. "I do not consider," he said, "their request unreasonable. What is done now, will only guarantee them the income they have enjoyed before. It would be unfair to deny them a share in the profits their

Page 80

Go To The Next Page