The next morning Baranyi ran into Mira at the rice store. It had taken no planning at all, in fact she’d only just been thinking of how she could talk to her friend on a day she didn’t have a lesson with Andulo when she turned around and there the older woman was. After exchanging greetings, Baranyi asked, “Do you know a fisherman named Buldaveho? His boat berth’s next to where I’ve been painting in the evenings.”
“I knew his mother and older brother better,” admitted Mira, as they waited in turn to be served. “Buldaveho went away for a few years, I think he and Geaholo either argued too much to work together after their father died or agreed that the boat couldn’t support the two of them and their mother. Maybe both. Then Geaholo drowned and his younger brother came home to look after their mother.” Mira sighed. “Genna died too, almost a year and a half ago now. Buldaveho’s alone in the house, no mother, no brother, no wife….”
“Talking to me a few times and asking me if I wanted to know him well enough for him to use my familiar name is hardly a statement of intent,” protested Baranyi, blushing all the way through her ears.
Mira asked practically, “Well, are you looking for a husband? He is available, and he owns the boat and the berth, even if his father sold the house before he died.” The older woman looked at her speculatively.
“I didn’t think about it at all,” answered Baranyi. She then added reflectively, “If I’d thought about it, I would have assumed that here was just like back home – anyone of an age, temperament and condition that I might be interested in who wanted to be married, already is.”
“So how did that happen?” Tizanna, a friend of Mira’s had just come up to them. If she’d been Calenyan Baranyi would have compared her to a sparrow, but she was a tall Bitrani and so was more like a stork or a heron.
Baranyi looked helplessly from one to the other, feeling rather like a trapped frog. She said, “I had several…suitors but then my mother got sick, it turned out she’d been slowly poisoning herself while preparing her pigments, and I was the only one still at home to help look after her. When that was all over and our mourning had finished, those men had all moved on and there was no-one else who was interested. Then my father was so lost and sad for the next few years, I couldn’t leave him and then he began to get frailer with old age.” She shrugged. “It just sort of happened.”
Tizanna nodded firmly. “Mira’s right. Buldaveho could be a very suitable man, and you have your recent losses in common. That kind of thing can be more important than most people realise. You should find out if you like him.”
In the chandler’s shop not so far away, Buldaveho was talking to another fisherman of his own age, when the man said, “I see that the little Northerner who’s renting Hakapa’s place has been hanging around near your berth. Causing you any trouble?”
Buldaveho shrugged. “Nope. She’s careful to set up out of our way. Minds her own business.”
“You’ve been talking to her.” There wasn’t quite an accusatory note in there.
“She’s easy to talk to. And she doesn’t complain about the smell,” added Buldaveho.
“I heard,” jumped in the chandler himself, “that she came into a little money when her father died. It can’t hurt to talk to her.”
This is now followed by Legacy 6.