1154. Otis was acquainted with three types of persons you might come across that smelled of the blood of their own species. Soldiers, murderers and cannibals, and from the smell of things the people in the distance seemed to be of the second variety. Murderers would be of two types, those who had acted in self-defence, and the murderer-thief variety, and it was hard to separate those categories because the one so often morphed into the other in a short time.
1155. Figuring out these things would be unimportant if he had been alone; he would have simply disappeared. But as a house dog he had to go along and act his part. Thanks-be to the wolf's immortal God's that his spy status had not compelled him to give up his religious observances. Otis had been able to practice his pagan ceremonies because the local dogs, although Christians, still retained many of their old pagan practices, although devoid of any spiritual significance for them.
1156. So Otis offered up this prayer to the Immortal Gods. 'Dear Immortals, you fields and streams, tree-trunks and Mulberry bushes, if ever I have offered up to you my small libations then hear my prayer. Yonder persons, I am sure you see them, please visit them with some affliction so that they will be unable to attempt to do us any violence, and it will not be necessary for me to un-sheath the weapons you granted to me at my birth.'
1157. And the Immortal Gods heard Otis' prayer. There was a big boulder at the side of the road, carved on it was a number indicating a distance to some city that years ago had ceased to exist. Otis had never once passed this mileage marker without offering it a small libation, and that stone in appreciation of Otis' attentions now managed to bump itself into the rear wooden wheel of the cart approaching them, although it appeared that the cart had struck the stone.