After breakfast, the party members head into the swamp together with the Professor, not wanting to delay things as a result of the Professor getting eaten by a swamp critter.
The Professor is like a kid in a candy store wading through the murky, fetid, freezing water, pointing out the different species of plant as he goes. One weed looks pretty much like another to everyone else, but it sends the Professor into raptures.
It takes an hour before the Professor finally exclaims, “There she is – Tarsuline!” He points to some of the moss half sub-merged on the trunk of a rotten tree. If the party were expecting to find kilos of the stuff growing on every tree, then they would have been disappointed – the Professor is only able to find a few clumps. They get a little nervous that the crop isn’t going to be good enough for SuSAG to want to do the deal. The Professor explains though that Tarsuline grows only in small clumps and at certain times of the year – that’s why Cr.2000 per kilo is a decent price for it – a kilo of Tarsuline takes some finding.
As the day progresses, the Professor uncovers more and more of it. He can’t have gathered more than 5 kilo by mid-afternoon, but he is happy with that and says that, for this time in the season, that’s pretty good going. He says that his recommendation to SuSAG will be for them to do the deal, much to the relief of everyone.
They head back to the ranch to warm up. Arvor makes sure that the Professor drinks as much celebratory whiskey as possible trying to get him drunk.
“So this Tarsuline – it’s used in the production of psi-drugs, I imagine?” he casually drops into the conversation.
The Professor just smiles at Arvor and gives him a wink. Then he goes back to rambling on about pink violets until he falls asleep in his armchair.