As his footsteps crunched on the gravel paths, Carel heard little boys’ voices reciting multiplication tables coming from a wooden schoolhouse. Women and girls were bringing water from the river and a blacksmith was heating metal in his forge, anvil at the ready to make more horseshoes.
He had spent the past three days riding through forests and meadows, calming his jittery horse on a ferry across the Elbe at Hamburg, and traversing small towns and farms to reach a new town further north than he had ever been. He had a vague memory of falling asleep and waking up sometime last week to an old friend asking him to go to Schwabstedt. The friend gave him directions and told him to find the tailor shop, and an old woman who fed the birds in the town square would tell him why he was needed there.
Carel had wanted to take a trip to buy some fresh supplies and see how other tailors were using some of the new materials for a while, so he was happy to help his friend. After he made sure that his helper could take care of the Thüringia tailor shop, he headed out.