Friend searched Eremite's luggage. Later, they met someone who was very happy to see Friend & Eremite, though they weren't in the playing mood. [...] The eremite drew himself a map as he was lost. He tried to make it apparent to Friend that they were not on a path, but she knew. They were leaving the pestilence of Loss. The town was likely dead by this time, from his accidental release of breaths. [abrupt ending]
Friend & Eremite found Jenny Garganta where Eremite left her. Friend took a like to her and cleaned her. There's a bit here about the pinae and navis. Friend and Eremite ate around the diplomat, but she was still upset from the navis. He did not light a fire as the diplomat was plenty warmth enough. Even despite the Diplomat's heat, however, Friend still hates it and disappears off into streets of luggage. The eremite remembers that Friend told him she thought he was not God. He references "the day men and girls" come to see him in his luggage. Eremite remarls that he loves her, even when she rolls around in dust, thinking that's what "clean" is. [remember the people of Loss hate water]
They hike the shores of a botulate -- a word which here means "a plagued land, plagued by such as a neurotoxin". What follows is some insane babble followed by his frustration that she won't walk in a straight line. He appears to suggest she is cleaning herself with water by a lake, and may be playing with her own nipples, which keeps her lively and awake. He says he does not know how to make her love him again.
He is now completely focused on returning (note!) to Ring-In-Opal. Despite promising himself he'd never dream, he dreamt of a fish, and it appears he rode a giant mollusk to RIO. The Eremite gives her a small bit of luggage and says to meet him in two days. He muses and believes she does not miss her old home at all. Here he meets Whale-Bane, who we know as Wayle, and Wayle is a bit of a bard, playing "gut", which sounds like it's whale gut. The Eremite sets up a breakfast table from his luggage and notes that RIO (and I believe Loss) did not have chairs, but were fascinated by them. The Eremite remarks that he never had time to finish Wayle's work.
Time passes. New place. Friend creeps into his tent when rain starts, and cuddles her parts against his, for warmth. Eremite remarks "lesson went well". Time passes again; he says there will not be room in his tent tonight due to his growing head, which grows with the moon. He appears to have suffered a wound and gangrene, which he likens to the genital gangrene suffered by the RIO tribe. Friend began to become Wodwo or feral; wild-child.
Time passes. Eremite feels very hot in the suns and goes down to the water and daydreams about RIO. He went on a whale hunt with the people of RIO and Wayle offered him a ring from a pierced whale as payment for a debt. He danced with Wayle on the ice.
Time passed. Friend had made her mind up about Eremite killing her father. Friend attempted to lay Eremite down, which he believes would kill him. He fought her off and she ran away from him.
Time appears to pass backward here. He muses about Loss. He imagines the black crowns on their backs were the gods riding their people.
Time passes backward again. The eremite discovers ruins that were not there previously on his journey. He says he was not in Loss long enough for an entire civilization to rise and fall. Whoever they were paved a straight road.
Time passed backward once more. Or maybe it doesn't - I admit these "dates" confuse me. Eremite is teaching Friend the Prima, and she likes the brass. Here the eremite hates Friend again, while she says it isn't fair that it's so easy for him to endure the pain. He says she doesn't know how many breaths he held for her and how ungrateful she is for all he saved her from. They are nearly "homeward bound" at the end of this miasma.