Brandy for the Parson,
’Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy – Rudyard Kipling
Like Border Reivers we slipped ashore with the booty. The harsh tattoo of a winter squall muffling the sound as we sped along the drovers’ road enveloped in a night as dark as a conjurer’s cloak.
Truckles of crumbly cheese from the ewes of the Dales, flitches of slow cured, oak smoked bacon from the moorland farms, hams from the cork oak forests of Iberia, cases rich red wines from Almería, flagons of golden oil and casks of olives from the Peloponnese, dried fruits from the Levant and spices from the orient – a rich cargo captured by a couple of genteel marauders. Hidden among the comestibles are treasures of great rarity, illuminated parchments, herbals and magik disks of silver which play wondrous sounds. Best of all are the small jars which glow like jewels and contain the perfumed essence and sweetness of autumn fruits for these are the precious gifts of friendship.