Gypsum, the more philosophical of the two, pointed out that everything had a good chance of getting wet again during the river crossing, so there was no reason to await the drying before tackling the river.
But how to accomplish that crossing was a point of contention. They arrived at the river where thick and strong pylons, set deep into the ground on the riverbank, gave evidence of a bridge or pier that was long ago swept away. They could see similar pylons on the opposite bank about two hundred feet away. They had more than enough rope to cover that distance.
Feldspar proposed that one end of the rope be tied around him and the other around one of the pylons. Then he would wade or swim across, attach his end of the rope to a pylon on the other side, and Gypsum could then cross.
Riotori do not swim well or often, but they can propel themselves successfully through the water with a savage dog paddle that treated the water like they treated any enemy.
The younger twin had another idea. According to the map the closest of their destination villages was two miles upriver. He wanted to walk that way on their current side and see if a bridge or boat or some other means of crossing presented itself.
Feldspar insisted that crossing the river first made more sense. Here was a definite means for crossing. There was no certainty that any other would be available further upstream.
Gypsum retorted, reasonably, that a chance for a bridge or boat was more likely nearer the village.
While they stood, almost arguing, the far side of the river filled up with a herd of buffalo. These six-legged six-horned ruminants weighed about three times that of the largest Riotori. They also were blessed with grumpy dispositions and a particularly hostile attitude toward anything that walked on two legs. Ranchers had managed over the generations to domesticate some of them, since they taste quite good, cooked or raw, and their hides after tanning are practically indestructible.
But the three dozen quenching their thirst at the opposite riverbank were not domesticated. Two of the largest bulls took turns watching the two Riotori. Their body language betrayed an unmistakable hostility.
The oldest brother sighed with aggravated resignation and the twins began the trek upstream.