The Horse Town
The next day, BabyJane and I got in the small bus of the Archeological Institute, and left Grasic. Whistle Mountain is north of Grasic, and reasonably far away. Happily it is also far from the Lojbandian mountains. Fred (the small part of the fungus that we brought) is in a portable incubator, joined to the computer, happily studying music theory. For the first part of the trip, I drove, and Hoover sat on BabyJane's lap.
At midday meal time, we stopped at a town situated in the middle of a large plain. BabyJane told me that the people of that region are expert riders, and breed the best horses. In fact I saw several herds of horses while we were approaching the town. In the town many riders and horse carts were to be seen, but few automobiles. The several men in the town wore embroidered waistcoats and heavy cloaks, and had wide poiinted moustaches. The men seemed to have a bold and fiery masculinity. However, all the men smiled at BabyJane and courteously raised their rabbit-fur caps.
We ate the noon meal in an inn that was built in the style of that region. It was a low building, surrounded by a large yard, which was entered from the road by a large gateway, sculpted in wood, and painted. The typical local food was a very spicy beef stew with dumplings. In the afternoon, BabyJane was going to drive, because I was drinking a large goblet of wine from Whistle Mountain.
Whistle Mountain is reasonably large, and surrounded by a ring of other smaller mountains. However, this group covered a rather small area of the plain. The group resembled a crater, enclosing Whistle Mountain, which reminded me of Xanthippe's story. Have you seen, Gentle Readers, high-speed photos of a drop falling into a liquid? It forms a ring similar to those mountains.
After we left the town, we continued on the plain, and soon after saw the peak of Whistle Mountain on the horizon, still far away. We arrived at the mountain ring at the end of the afternoon, and climbed. The inner side of the mountain ring is much steeper than the outside. The road is narrow and winding, and there are frequent precipices on one side of the road. I was glad that BabyJane is a very careful driver.
We were invited to stay with the teacher of the main town of the valley, and easily found his house, which was near the school. He is a friend of Xanthippe, and knows everything about Casleun. When the bus stopped at his house, he, and his wife came out, and greeted us with the Casleun whistling, and then greeted us individually according to Loglandian custom. His name is Popopos, and his wife's name is Popopopos. These are Casleun names, and, while the first name seems similar to the second to Loglandians, their melody is different. Popopos suggested hat we use Loglan names The man is called John in Loglan, and the woman Mary. John and Mary have two children, the older is called Peter in Loglan, and the younger is Paul.
Hoover went with the family dog to explore the town, and BabyJane and I entered the house. Mary gave us tea, and afterwards, we showered, and rested a short while.
After the evening meal, there was a family concert. Mary played the piano, and John the horn. The two boys whistled very prettily. Naturally, everyone that speaks Casleun is very muscically talented. When they hear or play music, they understand also the meaning. Because of this, their appreciation of music is richer than ours. Whenever they play on a musical instrument they are in fact singing.
Before the concert, I brought a microphone so Fred could also hear the music. Afterwards he discussed music theory learnedly with John and Mary. However, when someone said that the music was certainly very beautiful, Fred replied that it had a very interesting form, but that he did not understand the word beautiful.
We decided to spend a few days exploring the valley, and after that John and several of his pupils would teach Casleun to Fred. John thought that Fred would learn it quickly, by reason of his knowledge of music theorty. I explained that Fred did not understand emotions, and that I hoped that Casleun would help him.
"Certainly", John said, "I think that will help. You know that Casleun pertains principally to feelings and social relations. Whistle Mountain taught us all that. And Fred must learn to listen to the mountain."
John informed me that there was a special cave, which let anybody hear the mountain easily. It was on the other side of the mountain, and, after Fred will have learned about Casleun, we should take him there. Fred suggested that he would like to stay with John and Mary, while BabyJane and I visited the valley. Because of this, we would be able to walk on the hillsides and narrow paths, and visit the vineyards. John showed us some maps and indicated interesting places, and telephoned some of his friends, so that we could visit them.