|April 1. Rolfe's guidance proved true. The man brought us to one of the Great Spheres, and said here we might labor without interruption. He also introduced me to a former quartermaster of the E. Stokes company, a stern woman by the name of “Maddie” (Madelaine), who leads a crew of a dozen laborers in need of employment (The Stokes Company came to an unfortunate end when their compound was torched by rivals). She seemed not bitter by the experience, only matter-of-fact, and had no wish to build more walls to be burned down.
The Sphere is partially buried as the others and requires men to dig, but Maddie assured us her crew would put their backs to it if they knew what was good for them – and I had the coin to pay them. I assured them I did. The lie tasted sour in my mouth, but I will figure out a means to pay them – the work on the Great Sphere must begin in the meantime.