I made good progress on the way to Latham, but never really felt like I was getting nearer: like some things you just can’t reach. I also passed some signs to Perth on the way. It was a bit of a roundabout way to get to Perth, but Latham did sound rather interesting, as Lassie’d suggested.
Reaching and Walking All Over Latham
I shapeshifted into an emu for the last part of the journey and made good progress after that. I didn’t know I’d arrived when I got there, because the Welcome sign said MAHTAL rather than LATHAM, like there was expected to be some kind of mirror effect or something. I thought it seemed kind of weird, so I quickly changed into a human.
But it seemed really nice when I got inside, with lots of people happily playing sports and doing fun things in forested parks and pristine lakes.
However, then I crossed the tracks and it didn’t seem nice at all, with lots of people surviving in the sewers and slaving in sweat shops; and this not surprisingly led to a rather depressing and hostile atmosphere. I felt more at home on this side of the tracks funnily enough. I think Green would have preferred the other.
Meeting Twentieth Century British People Used as Forced Labour
A ball fell into my path, and I kicked it back to its owners. They asked where I was from, and I said I’d just been sent over from Britain. They said that was funny, because the same had happened to them as child migrants fifty years before.
Moreover, as I hadn’t been allowed contact with Green, they never heard from their families. They had also been used as forced labour, so at least I was a little better off, being free.
They said life had improved now, and bought me lunch in a pub where we continued our chat. It was a nice atmosphere in the pub, and although I only intended to drink a schooner or two, once I had the taste I found it difficult to leave.
I awoke the next day on the edge of town.