At the crack of dawn he left the town. Against the night grey sky its silhouettes were slightly outlined. In the middle the big tower, on all sides stood around with houses – it was a town where the houses stood at close quarters and the alleys were narrow, at market days you barely forged ahead. The people pushed each other, numerous traders with their stalls lined the streets up to the market place from where the voices of the barkers chimed from afar: ”Marvellous jewellery for the young maiden”, “Elfwort root, a remedy for almost everything, the new woman has to have a supply of it”, so they induced their mainly female public to buy.
When Said at market days was on his way through the narrow alleys he had scarcely had eyes for the women and the prodigies of the traders, it has been his assignment to care for the safety of his lord.
But that time has gone now. While Said, who leaned on a stick, chewed over it, he went away on and on of the town that was slowly better and better to perceive. It lay on a hill, and from its high position the environment was good to oversee: Wide meadows, lush Green, rich bearing trees.
While Said stepped down the meandering way, his thoughts wandered back to the past: What kind of a life it has been! Safe shelter and delicious food in the palace, the courtly ceremoniousness and the rituals of the daily routine – yes, they have been starchy, but with dignity, too, and they have given a completely peculiar structure and order to the day.
That would surely be lacking to him. However he couldn’t stay. Indeed nobody drummed him of, but nevertheless he saw himself forced to leave. At this site, where he had for years his firm place, he felt now completely incongruous. He had no task anymore, was indeed tolerated as a cripple with a splendid past – but he didn’t want that at all.
As he could again walk fairly on his own he made his package and turned his back on the town – on the one hand glad over it, on the other hand sad. Glad because he could so end that unfortunate condition of inaction, sad because he left so much. But he simply had to do that. Absentmindedly he leaned on his stick. Yes, now he was free, that was right. But where he should go now? Where his journey would lead him?
Slowly he went on, completely absorbed in his thoughts.
In front of his inner eye images of regions draw near that he has seen in the course of his lifetime: The desert of Arabia with its heat dry width and fertile oases, the tumultuous coastal towns, that unusual other land of Europe with its mountains, rivers, lakes and wide green land. In his young life he really had seen a lot and experienced so much more.
Because of his absorption he didn’t realise where he was going, only as he tripped he raised his eyes. Heaven, where has he landed here? His cloak became entangled in the undergrowth, his feet stumbled over raw stones, and soon he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face. As he stumbled again and tumbled he barely stayed lying down, in this darkness a way was anyhow no longer to find. He looked upwards, but he couldn’t even spot a star, only gloomy Grey over the dark branches. “Well, that fits at least into my mood”, he said before he fell asleep in the gloom.