lood is thicker than water. That's what they say. While we've never performed any viscosity comparisons between the two, the statement seems reasonable. We know from experience, however, that the sentiment couldn't be further from the truth.

Justin decided we needed to find Shangri-la. The rest of us asked if there was beer there. With his affirmative answer came our enthusiastic assent.

We didn't see much beer hiking through the Tibetan mountains, but the beautiful sight that greeted us when we actually found the fabled land almost made up for it. Almost.

At the first farmhouse we came to, Justin engaged in a rather intense negotiation with the tenant. Not being familiar with the language, none of us could follow the conversation. If only we had. Justin had sold Blaise and Kilian to the farmer as laborers in exchange for a keg of the farmer's beer.

Blaise and Kilian were led out to the fields while the rest of us enjoyed several pints. It was quite some time before we really begain to feel guilty. We finally agreed among us that we had to make things right.

We went out to the fields to find the two brothers. When we came upon them, we offered them a pint each. They gratefully took it, and as they finished their drinks, we knew that all was well.

We set off for the nearest village, leaving Blaise and Kilian to their new life.