They stood on a balcony overlooking a very large circular space. All around the outside of the space he could see people milling around various market stalls. Right in the centre stood a single stall. There seemed to be no interest in this stall. He could make out a lone figure sat on a stool next to the stall, patiently waiting. But nobody came.
"Here, take a closer look." The Guide handed him a pair of powerful binoculars.
The Visitor put the binoculars to his eyes and fiddled with the focus until he got a clear picture of some of the market stalls round the outside of the market place. It was a hive of activity. He could see pushing and shoving, intense haggling. There seemed to be a kind of frenzied madness on the faces of those trying to buy. He scanned around various stalls. One was selling alcoholic beverages. The next was selling electric gadgets. Another was selling fine clothes and another jewellery. The next seemed to be offering pleasures of the flesh. Beautiful, scantily clad men and women posed as the stall owner took handfuls of bank notes from eager customers. Many more stalls he viewed. Each purveying its own particular pleasure. Each surrounded by eager buyers with that frenzied look in their eyes, jostling to reach the front of the queue.
The Visitor then turned his attention to the centre of the market place. He adjusted the focus a little once more until the stall at the centre came sharply into view. On the stall he could see several bottles of red liquid. On the label, three letters were printed: L, J, H. He had seen these bottles before. He remembered tasting one in The Land of Obstacles. He would never forget tasting one.
Next to the stall sat an old man on a stool. He appeared very still and relaxed. Patiently waiting. Waiting. Nobody came. Still he waited.
"Why does nobody visit the central stall?" The Visitor asked The Guide.
"That old man is a fool. He gives away his drinks for free. Everybody knows that if something is free it must be worthless. The people don't bother wasting their time turning towards the centre. They have their hard earned money and they are going to spend it! Look at all the wonderful treasures they can buy. Look at the shiny gold, the beautiful silk. Look at the fit young bodies. Look at the array of wines. Look at all the marvellous different foods. Who is going to bother with something that is free? It is bound to be rubbish. Nobody ever bothers turning towards the centre." The Guide explained.
Just then The Visitor caught sight of a familiar face. He recognised Will from The Land of Obstacles. Will bounded up to the old man at the central stall. The old man raised his right hand and Will gave him a high five. He took four bottles off the stall and uncapped one with a twist. Then he swigged half of it down. His already energetic enthusiasm was immediately boosted. Will could see him talking to the old man. He could not make out what they were saying, but after a few moments, both broke out into uproarious laughter.
"There's Will!" The Visitor exclaimed.
"Oh, him!" The Guide said cynically. "That bloke is crazy. Totally lost it, he has."
Will made his way out of the market. As he passed some of the outer stalls, he offered one of his spare bottles to those he passed. The Visitor could make out sneers on the faces of those who turned down his generosity. Then they quickly turned back towards the pleasure stalls.
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