Once again, my father’s persistence had overcome my mother’s anxieties, as well as my own ten-year-old objections. I had objected primarily because I did not want to be moved; as even slight movements pained my leg’s infected wound, I did not relish the prospect of a bumping wagon trip of at least a day and a half each way. My mother, too, was concerned about my condition; she also feared that the reputed healer of Lake Iumena, where Father wanted to take me, would prove an ignorant quack, and the trip only do me harm. “Miracle cures are always some sort of trick!” she had maintained. “Especially when one person claims to possess some unique power. Why won’t you just take him to a house of healing in the city, where he can get real treatment?”
But Father had been adamant. “You know what Tamona”—our village’s healer-woman—“told us about that. Their skill can do no more for this wound than hers could. If we take him to a house of healing, they’ll only cut off his leg, and he will spend the rest of his life with only one leg. Think about what that will mean for him.” Then he described at length all the sufferings of a one-legged man’s life, until I was so wracked with anxiety that I wanted to yell. I was relieved when he reached his conclusion: “Taking Anthan to Lake Iumena at least offers him a chance of recovery. Isn’t it worth a bit more effort, even risk, for the life and wholeness of our son?”
At this, I knew instinctively that he had won. Mother would not be proof against this appeal to her feelings. Her sigh and reluctant, “Well . . .” only confirmed my intuition.
By the next afternoon, all necessary arrangements were made. Leaving the household in the care of my oldest sister, my parents gathered such things as would be necessary for three days of traveling and set out with me in the wagon. That was how it came about that we went to Lake Iumena, where I found so much more than a cure that I have since come to consider it worth the wounded leg to have been there.