Only the chimney’s of Collinsburg were visible from this side of the hill. Eletteria Latham took a final glance, watching the smoke tilt north in the breeze. The kick of her heals started the horses moving again, down the narrow path between fields in which green stalks were just starting to put out leaves. It was not uncommon for her to ride through this countryside on a pleasant afternoon, and a horse laden with bags would not seem amiss today. The young woman had been traveling throughout the town for days, gathering supplies for a party at the estate. The welcome home party was for her eldest brother, the heir, which she was going to miss. With a little luck, her absence would go unnoticed until the next afternoon. A few miles from town, past the last little farm house, was a small grove of trees. It should prove to be an obvious enough meeting place, even for someone who didn’t frequent these pathways. He might be family, the grandson of Opa’s cousin, but that only provided an excuse to talk with him. She still didn’t know him, and would pay him well to help her across the country, beyond the Grant River and into Toron city. Eletteria had found time to get away earlier than expected and dismounted in the shade of the trees to wait. Waiting was nerve-wracking. What if he decided not to come, or to tell someone at the estate their youngest hostess had no intention of returning? Offering a fresh sprig of weeds to the horses, stroking their noses, was the only comfort she found in the midst of the worry. At last she sat down, dragging a stick through the dirt until he would come.