• Graded • Equine Emergencies

Rosamond seeks medical treatment for her horse. Mr. Gardener thinks it a job for Vluharqih.

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Rosamond
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Equine Emergencies
Timestamp : 10 Ymiden 716
Location: Etzos


Rosamond studied the horse with a sinking feeling. Hiverne had carried her all the way from Ne’haer and at the end of the journey she had bought him. Everything had seemed to be in order and the horse had seemed perfectly healthy. But after just a short time in Etzos the rashes had appeared. They looked like small bumps in Hiverne’s dark brown skin. Rosamond hadn’t been knowledgeable enough about horses to know what it was, but people who knew more had informed her; rashes. And she had also been told that while rashes could be harmless, they could sometimes also be signs of some really serious condition, so she’d better have the horse treated.

It was troublesome. She had work to do, and it wasn’t easy. Her experience in finding out things about business competitors in Ne’haer helped a bit. But back in Ne’haer she had known the city and had a lot of useful contacts. This wasn’t the case in Etzos. She had barely scraped the surface. It was still something of a challenge just to find her way there and she didn’t know anybody, had no one to turn to except for the elderly mister Tagley in the citizen’s office. And she was supposed to report to him, as he was her employer, or a representative of her employer, she didn’t really know. She didn't intend to turn to Tagley with this.

She had been focused on finding information about fraudulent tax collectors.

But now the horse had rashes. This had to come first, as he was valuable and she needed him. It would be easier to find a new employer than it would be to save up to buy a new horse. Besides she had gotten attached to the animal. She had ample reason to take time off from work to find help for him.

Rosamond found it best to do proper research before she took action, so she spoke with a number of people in the neighborhood. The military veterinary station was the first tip she was given; the place where veterinaries working with the army horses could be found. This was the advice of a military man who looked to be some kind of officer, although she wasn’t familiar enough with the army to be sure. He seemed trustworthy, but Rosamond decided to ask more people, as she didn’t want to take premature decisions. She asked a few additional questions though, in order to ensure that she didn't miss any important details.

The next tip she got was to try to experiment with simple and cheap treatments herself; sometimes it could help to just take some common cooking oil and smear it on the rashes and if she was lucky this would help, nearly for free. This was the advice of a somewhat haggard and sweating woman in simple attire who was washing clothes while several small children played around her feet. She seemed to be a no-nonsense person and told Rosamond that plain honest cooking oil was useful for treating most things, if you weren’t too picky and didn’t care about all the people who thought they knew better. Rosamond spoke with the woman for a while and asked for more details, and the laundress seemed happy to have a chat. Her teachings couldn't be said to be advanced, but Rosamond kept asking questions and gained a general insight in many a spectacular use of cooking oil.

The third tip was that she ought to try and ask at the apothecary shop of one mister Gardener. She might get some potent by affordable treatment from that shop, not that they were known to treat horses, no professional veterinaries there, but they were known to be knowledgeable in “medicine allsorts”. She asked for more details but was told that she would need to ask the apothecaries, as it required specialized knowledge. The boy who gave her this advice had a great deal to say about horses, so she took it he might be an animal handler, perhaps a stable boy. But he tired of it and ran away before she had time to ask.

Now she decided she had done sufficient research and gathered the information she needed.

She continued with a serious appraisal of the three options.

The first, the military veterinary station, seemed excellent, but she feared it would also be expensive, if they would take on a civilian horse at all. It was maybe only for the army horses. In that case she might have to bribe them, and pay even more. Economic as she was, she didn’t want to pay more than necessary. From this point of view the second option “do it yourself” appealed, but she knew it could also be wasted time and she might wind up losing lots of working time in vain without succeeding to cure the horse. And what if it was something dangerous and all she did was smear oil on the rashes? There was a risk for whatever ailed the horse would get worse. As it used to be, the “nearly free” option wasn’t really free. Only in a pauper’s dreams about a cheap quick fix. In the past when her family had been out of money a few of those cheap quick fixes had been tried and turned out to be just cheap and bad. In comparison the third option seemed better. The apothecary people could hardly be as expensive as a professional military horse expert, but she didn’t doubt that they would be better at medicine than a laundress who used cooking oil for most everything.

When this appraisal was done, she settled for going to the apothecary. This seemed best.

A bit later in the day she arrived to the shop. It had been a pain to find the way, as usual in Etzos. But here she was now.

She entered, spotted a short and somewhat stocky girl with dark red hair, tied back from her freckled face. Rosamond looked no further. She approached the girl with her errand. “I’m looking for a cure for a horse. He has some kind of illness. They call it rashes. I have been told it’s best to have it examined and treated. “
Last edited by Rosamond on Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:40 am, edited 5 times in total. word count: 1072
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Vluharqih
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Alex looked up as the woman entered the store.

Tall, but dark clothes and a pinched face in my opinion. She seems to be walking fine, so it's likely not for her. I'm guessing...a child is ill. Or she's a maid and the masters child is sick.

She sat back, and waited for the woman to approach her. She continued to work, grinding the petals down in the mortar and flipping through her large book. As the woman walked straight for her, Alex closed the book and stood.

As the woman spoke, Alex was surprised. Huh, didn't take her for a horse lover. She was confused though, and gave the woman a puzzled look as she spoke. This is an apothecary, not a veterinary. Why would she come here?

Regardless, she mentally shrugged and called back for Mr.Gardener. Crashes were heard as he made his way up the stairs, and bustled out, vainly trying to wipe his hands clean on a dirt-encrusted apron.

"Yes, what is it?"

"This woman is looking for a cure for her horses rash." Alex managed to keep the confusion from her voice.

"Ah, okay. Well grab the medical kit and go out. This one you can handle. I'm in the middle of something, and I'm sure you can handle it. Oh- wait a trill." He didn't appear to have any issue with treating a horse, and as he ducked beneath the counter he emerged with a book, a detailed drawing of a horse on the cover. Blowing off the dust, he handed it over to Alex.

"Well go on then." He shooed her out, then paused as he realized he was missing something. "Alex can tell you the cost when she finishes up."

Alex grabbed the heavy bag and headed out the shop, waiting for the stranger to lead the way.
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Rosamond
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When Rosamond had stated her errand the girl didn’t even try to answer. Instead, she immediately called for support from somebody else. Due to this behavior, Rosamond concluded the girl was only an ignorant shop assistant, or possibly an apprentice of low knowledge, who carried out simple shop transactions and other easy tasks. This didn’t bother her in the least. It was commonplace for crafters and scholars to use assistants and apprentices to handle routine work. It was even to be expected by competent business folks.

So she waited patiently. She could hear somebody come crashing up the stairs nearly at once, and then a man entered the shop. He wore dirt-encrusted apron and was wiping his hands at it. This, in combination with the crashing sounds when he’d come up the stairs, made it obvious that he had instantly dropped whatever he had been working at and rushed up as fast as he could as soon as he heard they had a customer.

The young woman told him Rosamond was looking for a cure for a horse with rashes.

Rosamond watched the man pull out the book about medicine for horses. She peered at when she saw noticed that there was a picture on it ... a picture of an animal, but a but unclear ... she focused and tried to see what it was it actually seemed like picture of a horse, though a bit dizzy. Then, when the man blew away the dust that had blurred the image, she detected that it really was a picture of a horse. The amount of dust made it clear that the book must been on the shelf for a long period of time time, unread. That young woman behind the counter didn’t show any signs of having seen the book before.

When the girl obediently grabbed the book and the medicine bag and rushed towards the door at high speed, Rosamond called out to her. “Wait a bit! This isn’t settled yet!” But if the girl reacted to this or not was unclear to her, because she kept looking at the man.

They seemed to take it for granted that she would buy their services without knowing what she would get, and also agree to be charged an unknown cost after the treatment. But oh no! To Rosamond the deal wasn’t done yet. She had some experience at business management and could recognize a smart try when she saw it.

“I haven’t decided to buy anything yet” she said in the pleasant and well-modulated voice she used when she discussed business. Business discussions could sometimes become so tough. It was important to “speak pleasantly when tightening the thumbscrews”, her mother had told her.

Business rhetoric came easily to her. “I was so far only asking what you can offer, in terms of competence for curing horses, and the cost. I have several options I’m comparing. Which level of medical competence does your employee have? Does she know anything about horses? I don’t want her to touch my horse if she isn’t competent! In that case I’ll prefer to turn to the veterinary station even if they are expensive... and besides, I expect you to charge less than them. I guess a competent veterinary would charge around four gold nels or so. I’ll pay two gold nels, no more. But only if the girls is compentent. And I’ll pay when I can see if the treatment really worked.“

She heard a sound behind her. The door, probably. But she didn’t know if it was Alex going out, Alex returning in, or a new visitor in the shop. Her gaze attention was on the man with apron. He was clearly the boss.

OOC: As agreed, Rosamond will not follow at once but try to haggle a bit, due to me being a nerd about staying true to the PC ... she can be sadly tightfisted.
Last edited by Rosamond on Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 666
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Vluharqih
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Mr.Gardener sighed as she loudly voiced her complaint. She's obviously not from around here. When was the last time I cheated someone on their price? He felt almost outraged, but calmed himself with years of practice.

"Well as anyone who knows anything about medicine can tell you, there is no way to give you a price unless we look at the animal and figure out what's causing the issue." He looked up as Alex returned, realizing that the woman hadn't followed her out the door.

"I'll let Alex explain. I've got a pot about to bubble over, and trust me when I say we'd all appreciate it if that didn't happen."

He disappeared as abruptly as he entered, leaving Alex to stare at the woman. Alex sighed, and launched herself into an emotionless explanation, obviously not her first time doing so.

"We can dole out medicine, if you feel you can do a diagnosis yourself. That is a set price. Or you can have us actually treat the person- er animal- which involves us going out to see them. Since we don't actually know whats wrong, we can't give you a set price no matter what anyone else has told you. If, for example, your horse has been... I don't know... bit by an odd bug, or has a strap that rubs the wrong way, that is far cheaper and easier to discern and fix than something wrong internally."

She realized that the woman was used to bartering to get her way, but she'd have to realize that there was no possible way for them to come to an agreement.

"The best I can do is to offer 15 silver nel for my services, and you pay, at-cost for whatever materials we use."

Either this woman was going to take the deal, or walk. Now that she had become used to the idea, she was rather looking forward to treating a horse; it reminded her of her trip out west. She hoped the woman would agree, but there was no way she was working for free.
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Rosamond
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Rosamond didn’t like it much to part from her money, but she wasn’t stupid and she had to admit it made sense to examine the horse and figure out what ailed it before they could come to a conclusion about a suitable treatment.

Rosamond appraised the offer, taking the person as well as the price into consideration. She found Alex’s emotionless style convincing. It came off as the calm and self-assured reasoning of a skilled professional who knew what she was doing. There was no sign of the overly thrilled enthusiasm of an absolute beginner who isn’t aware of their own lack of competence, and also no signs of the anxious insecurity of a novice who knows enough to realize they aren’t competent enough.

The calm and fact based explanation Alex gave her was just the right stuff for making Rosamond feel a bit more trusting. There was no hint of despise in the girls emotionless voice, but the way Alex said “dole out medicine” still seemed to mean “we aren’t quacks”. And to put value on their work and demand to be paid was the hallmark of a professional; Rosamond would for sure not have trusted Alex if her services had been for free.

“Alright” she said. “I’ll pay you the 15 silver nels. When it comes to the materials, I’ll pay for this too, but you need to be aware that I’m not made of money. Most of my money has gone into a house so I have somewhere to live, and I’m new at my job and haven’t received any payment yet. So, if the cost of the treatment turns out to be manageable we’ll go on to the treatment. But if it turns out to be too expensive I’ll need to reconsider and wait until I get my wages and can afford it. Anyways, I’ll pay you the fifteen silvers for your work.”

She walked to the door, speaking as she walked, and assuming they had a deal and Alex would come.

"Let’s go and have a look at Hiverne then, Alex. My horse, that is. Hiverne. I live in the Eastern Civilian Outer Housing and I keep the horse at a paddock with a horse shelter, not far from my house. There’s other horses in the paddock too. They are herd animals and enjoy the company of other horses ... ”

Rosamond was going to keep up the light chit-chat all the way from the Northeast Outer Area, through the Crafting Area, and into the Eastern Civilian Outer Housing area until they reached the paddock! She would do this whether Alex responded or not.
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Vluharqih
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Alex nodded at the woman's words, expecting as much. When she had put up such a fight from the beginning about the price, Alex assumed there was a reason behind it. She offered another solution to the woman, in case things were that bad.

"Worst case scenario you can always pay us back once you get paid- we have a couple of customers who regularly do that who only get paid once every season or so. Besides, if you have a house here, it's not like you can stiff us on the payment."

She paused, and realized a glaring error she had made.

"Oh, just about forgot. What's your name?"

As the woman turned to leave, Alex followed, happy that there was no further issues. The steady stream of talking that came from her surprised Alex at first, but she soon warmed to the woman and became her regular self.

They chatted back and forth as the woman led Alex to her horse, luckily avoiding the city itself. The zoo that were the streets made Alex feel claustrophobic, and she preferred the slightly less crowded Outer Ring.

As they arrived, Alex paused and looked at the horses, soon spotting Hiverne, as the woman had called her horse. The poor animal had red rashes all across her flank, and Alex hopped the fence, bag in hand, to get a closer look.

From what she could see, the red bumps didn't appear too serious, but that was hard to tell from a surface inspection. She decided to launch into the typical questions she asked, modifying them slightly considering her patient was a horse, and couldn't actually speak.

"Has his diet changed at all since he came into Etzos? And how long did you have him before? Sometimes rashes can come and go, so its good to know if this is something he's had for a long time. Also, I'll need to do a quick inspection of the other horses to make sure none of them have it, as it could've spread to or from Hiverne."

She was all business, her eyes studying the marks as she pulled out the book, flipping through the pages. It was in Mr.Gardeners shorthand, and it was a good thing that she had spent a season working under him, learning his writing.
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Rosamond had felt relieved that the financial part Hiverne's medical treatment seemed to be possible to solve in a flexible way. So far they seemed to understand each other, she and this Alex.

"Rosamond Bruac" she said. "People use to just call me Rose."

Rose. This was her, herself, the one she had been in the old times, before the family business was successful, before she became a wealthy woman and married a wealthy man, and people started to call her Mistress Bruac, before she ended up as the half-widow of a husband who had cheated on her, before ...

Rose. Once upon a time in Ne'haer for what seemed like a lifetime ago. But as Alex was just Alex she had wanted to be just Rose.


The apothecary girl had seemed very reserved at first, but as they walked and chatted she seemed to thaw up and Rosamond felt the atmosphere between them was nice. It cheered her up. New as she was in the city she had few aquaintances. Her mute errand boy Sandro was for natural reasons not much to speak with. Rosamond wasn't exactly a compulsive chatter and she could enjoy being on her own, but not all the time. She had grown up in a merchant's home and worked in the family business, where speaking with other people was essential. There had been the family too, and people she had known in Ne'haer, taverns she had frequented, and so on. During the journey here there had been Minna to chat with, and Giles Milton, such as he was. But here in Etzos she was alone. The chat she had with Alex while they walked was the longest conversation with another person since she arrived to the city, except for speaking with Marlin Tagley.

They arrived at the paddock and Rosamond followed Alex into the paddock. In her case he didn't jump over the fence as she didn't want to risk to get tears or unecessary dirt on her skirt. Instead she walked a bit further down the fence and there she climbed a small ladder people used when they wanted to go in without bothering with the gates. She walked over to the horse and waited patiently while Alex started to examine Hiverne.

Alex seemed to know what she was doing. Her businesslike tone was convincing and the way she was browsing the book in search of more detailed information was reassuring too. Rosamond felt hopeful and tried her best to answer the medics questions.

"His diet? I ... he eats the grass in this paddock just like the other horses, and also the hay they provide here. It's over there, at the shelter."

There was indeed a big stack of golden yellow hay, under the shelter. It was a simple construction, open on all sides, No walls, just a roof placed on top of sturdy poles so the horses could stand there if it would rain. She guessed it also protected the hay. Several horses were standing in there, busy munching at said hay.

"I don't know if this means his diet has changed. On the way here he grazed on the meadows where we made rests and camps. But grass is grass and hay is grass too, isn't it? There was nothing wrong with him before we arrived here. The rashes didn't appear until yesterday. And I didn't buy him until ten days ago, but I rode him the whole way from Ne'haer and he seemed totally healthy. I don't know anything about his past though."

She patted Hiverne. The horse nudged her hand with its soft muzzle, obviously ignorant about her worries. If Alex had more questions she would try to answer. Otherwise she guessed she would follow the girl and watch her examine the other animals.

OOC: Hiverne has now officially entered Rosamond's CS and you can check out his looks there.
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Vluharqih
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Alex hadn't noticed the woman take the ladder, and likely wouldn't have bothered with it. Composure and elegance was not normally part of her day-to-day life. She preferred the more direct approach.

She looked down to the book, and back up, but she recognized the pattern of rashes. She covered her bases, however, and made sure that she asked all the standard questions she'd ask during any other overview.

As Rose answered her questions, she mulled over the answers. The grass is not likely to have changed much. If he had been oat fed, that might cause an outbreak, but this doesn't look like what's in the book. Besides, I think I know what this is.

The fact that Hiverne was new to the area meant that it was likely mange, a fairly easy-to-treat disease. It spread from horse to horse incredibly fast, so she left the beast with a soft pat on its neck in way of an apology for poking around its sores.

Crossing the field, she continued flipping through the book, looking for the cure. Finding it, she dog-eared the page to return to after her examination of the rest of the paddock.

As she carefully approached the other horses, mindful that she knew nothing about them, she caught sight of several other spots across their lower legs and shoulders. She caught sight of a bald spot or two, and smiled inwardly. Perfect...this lets me sell it to all the horse owners here.

While she didn't herself profit from making the shop more money, she had realized when she first started working, the more she brought in the easier it was for Mr.Gardener to pay her, and the more he would teach her.

Regardless, she was looking forward to getting some more contacts in the area. Those with horses often had a bit more disposable income, something she could use in a friend.

Flipping back to her dog eared page, she quickly scanned for the cure:
Mange
  • 3 Scoops Crushed Limestone
  • 4 Phoenix Flowers, Dried and Ground
  • 3 Rock Mushrooms
  • Water for consistency


She returned to Rose, her face neutral but friendly. She knew this woman didn't like spending money, so telling her that she'd need to buy a cream for her horse for several weeks wouldn't put her in her good books. But at the very least the woman didn't have to purchase it from Alex.

"Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is I know what the problem is. The bad? Well it's not exactly a super cheap solution. Its a cream that you apply to the horses legs, and anywhere a set of spots breaks out. It should be applied ideally for about a week to a week and a half. You can probably put it off for a little bit, but I wouldn't push it much past the end of Saun. The legs can dry up, and make it hard to walk. Plus, the horse is in pain."

She felt bad for the poor beast, and frowned as she realized she felt worse for animals than she did for people. It was rare to elicit a true and honest emotional reaction to a fellow humanoid's plight, but an animal? She felt that no problem.

"So materials and whatnot should cost about 3GN, simply because they have to be imported from Sirothelle. Also, do you know who runs this paddock? I need to talk with them, as I'm not sure who had it first, but the rest of the horses all have it too."

She paused, as if realizing something.

"And if you don't mind, don't go around telling others how much you paid. You obviously pay better attention to your animal than these others do, so we'll be charging them more to actually make a profit here."

She hoped the woman would realized they were running a business and not a charity. Immortals forbid she go blabbing to others about the reduced cost they were charging her.
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The horse was in pain? Rosamond didn’t like the idea of letting Hiverne suffer for a whole cycle. And hearing that there was a risk that his legs would “dry up” and make it hard to walk made her feel really uneasy. Waiting with the treatment seemed like a bad way to treat an animal and she realized it would also be stupid as it could make the horse useless for her.

She watched Alex while she spoke and noticed that she frowned when she spoke about the animal’s plight and of postponing the application of the salve. Even if the girl didn’t say it, her empathy for the horse and her opinion about how a horse owner ought to do was clear.

“A salve to apply for one or two weeks, to the legs and anywhere spots break out, and this will cost 3 gold nels ..." It was just one gold more than what she had suggested to the man in the apothecary shop. Better than she had dared to hope for! Rosamond felt relieved and she was already nodding in agreement, when Alex asked who was running the paddock and said all the other horses had mange too and needed to be treated too.

A quick glance at the small “herd” of horses told her business minded brain they and their mange represented a lot more money for the manufacturer of that salve than just the three gold nels from Rosamond. It wasn't hard for her to draw the correct conclusion, when Alex asked her to not tell others what she paid. There was only one reason for wanting her to keep her mouth shut about how much she paid for a treatment that would be offered to many; she was being offered a kick back and the others would need to pay more. Alex admitted as much, though she was too smart to say it openly and instead credited Rosamond for being a better horse owner. Some other horse owners were probably in for an expensive treatment.

“I understand” she said. “The 3 golden is alright. And I’ll of course not upset people by telling them you consider me better at taking care of my horse. People can be so sensitive. My lips are sealed, I promise. But I want the salve as soon as possible. When can I get it? And what is this mange, really? Do you know what causes it? And what if some other people don’t care to treat their horses? Will the treatment be in vain then, and he’ll just catch it again from the other horses and ... “

This possibility and it’s implications in form of an endlessly afflicted horse and an endless need of buying more salve for him made her feel slightly riled up, no matter it hadn’t even happened yet. It took her no time to realize she wasn’t going to leave it to Alex to speak with the paddock owner all on her own. No way. A brand new financial threat had appeared at Rosamond's horizon. She vinced at the thought. If she would need to isolate Hiverne in an expensive stable place she feared it would be a totally other cost level than this cheap paddock.

Why was everything so expensive when she was so low on money and hadn’t even had a chance to start to work for real ? Why did one cost lead on to another cost this dastardly way, and how would she do if she ran out of coin? Sell the cottage ? She didn’t want to sell it, as the small cottage suited her better than a room at an inn. She had the dog to think of, and she had a feeling it could be hard to keep Hazard in a rented room. There was that boy too ... letting him sleep under her roof once in a while was free, but an inn would charge for it, she was sure.

So Rosamond was going to make sure this outbreak of a horse disease would be handled in a good enough way. “I’ll come with you to the paddock owner” she said. “I want to know how he will deal with the situation.”
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As the woman agreed, Alex relaxed. She'd hate to have to get nasty with her, but sometimes the clients were too noble for their own good. Arguing that 'everyone should get this price' just meant that no one would, including the original client.

As she asked, Alex nearly interrupted, but decided to let the woman finish.

Rudeness isn't typically good for business.

As she ran on, Alex simply smiled. She knew how this was going to go down, as it was the same principle as people with anything infectious; either get it treated, or get out.

'You could have the salve by...tomorrow morning? I can mix it up tonight, and first thing tomorrow it can be applied. I wouldn't wait too long after it's mixed- applying it tomorrow would be best for the horse. As for what mange is... That's a difficult question. Mr.Gardner has proof here that it's some form of tiny insect that feasts on its flesh...Not pretty."

She tapped the book she firmly grasped as she said this before continuing to address Rose's concerns.

"As for the rest.... I doubt you need to worry about that. Mange is the kind of thing that you either have to treat, or the corral owners will most likely kick out the horse. It does them no favours to see half a dozen horses limping around with sores across their skin." She described the situation, relying on what she knew of running Mr.Gardener's business, applying it to the paddock owner. She assumed that it would be the same, but she didn't know.

She turned, and headed off towards the stable hand. He wouldn't have the authority to actually do anything, but he might know where they could find the paddock owner.

"Hey, do you know where the owner of this paddock is right now?" She called out, and the boy turned with a start. He was young, perhaps 12 or 13, and still had the baby fat from childhood clinging to his cheeks. He stammered out a reply, saying he was due back any bit.

Alex turned away from him, ignoring him as she faced Rose.

"Well, guess we're sticking around for a bit."
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