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¡¡"You are to join us," Thea said at last in her cooing voice. "Yet you do not know our ways. Have you need of money?"I hesitated, but Jonas said, "That's something that's always welcome, Chatelaine, like the misfortunes of an older brother.""Shares will be set aside for you, from this day, of all we take. When you return to us, they will be given to you. Meanwhile I have a purse for each of you to speed you on your way.""We are going, then?" I asked."Were you not told so? Vodalus will instruct you at the supper."I nike free run mens had supposed the meal we were eating would be the final one of the day, and the thought must have been reflected in my face."There will be a supper tonight, when the moon is bright," Thea said. Someone will be sent to fetch you." Then she quoted a scrap of verse: "Dine at dawn to open your eyes,Dine at noon that you be strong.Dine at eve, and then talk long,Dine by night, if you'd be wise . . .But now my servant Chuniald will take you to a place where you can rest for your journey."The man, who had been silent until now, stood and said, "Come with me."I told Thea, "I would speak with you, Chatelaine, when we have more leisure. I know something that concerns your schoolmate."She saw that I was serious in what I said, and I saw that she had seen. Then we followed Chuniald through the trees for a distance, I suppose, of a league or more, and at length reached a grassy bank beside a stream. "Wait here," he said. "Sleep if you can. No one will come until after dark." ¡¡ ¡¡"You are wrong in that, I fear," Vodalus burberry handbag told her. "I have it on good authority that this world of ours has been called by that name from the utmost reaches of antiquity. Still, your error is so charming that I would rather have it that you are correct and I mistaken."Thea smiled at that, and Vodalus turned again toward me. "Though it does not explain why Urth is called as she is, my dear. Chatelaine's tale makes the vital point well, which is that in those times mankind traveled by his own ships from world to world, and mastered each, and built on them the cities of Man. Those were the great days of our race, when our fathers' fathers' fathers strove for the mastery of the universe."He paused, and because he seemed to expect some comment from me, I said, "Sieur, we are much diminished in wisdom from that age.""Ah, cheap air jordans now you strike to the heart. Yet with all your perspicacity, you mistake it. No, we are not diminished in wisdom. We are diminished in power. Study has advanced without letup, but even as men have learned all that is needful for mastery, the strength of the world has been exhausted. We exist now, and precariously, upon the ruin of those who preceded us. While some skim the air in their fliers, ten thousand leagues in a day, we others creep upon the skin of Urth, unable to go from one horizon to the next before the westernmost has lifted itself to veil the sun. You spoke a moment ago of checkmating that mewling fool the Autarch. I want you to conceive now of two autarchs - two great powers striving for mastery. The white seeks to maintain things as they are, the black burberry outlet online to set Man's foot on the road to domination again. I called it the black by chance, but it would be well to remember that it is by night that we see the stars strongly; they are remote and all but invisible in the red light of day. Now, of those two powers, which would you serve?"The wind was stirring in the trees, and it seemed to me that everyone at the table had fallen silent, listening to Vodalus and waiting for my reply. I said, "The black, surely." The edges of the blade, keen enough to part a hair, cut them both; the man with the scarred face threw himself backward, and Jonas, by hooking one of his feet behind the scarred man's and pressing his leg with the sole of the other, managed to tumble him over the railing of the howdah.Meantime, the black-bearded man had dropped Terminus Est and was staring at his wound, which was very long, though no doubt shallow. I knew that weapon as I know my own hand, and it took only a moment to turn and crouch and grasp the hilt, and then, wedging it between my heels, to cut the thongs that bound my wrists. The black-bearded man drew a dagger then and might have killed me had not Jonas kicked him between the legs.He bent double, and long before he could straighten himself I was up, with Terminus Est ready.The contraction of his muscles snapped him erect, as often happens when the subject is not made to kneel; I think the spray of blood was the first sign the trainer had (so swiftly had it all taken place) that something was amiss. He looked back at us, and cheap air jordans outlet I was able to take him very neatly, swinging the blade one-handed in the horizontal stroke, as I leaned out of the howdah.His head had no more than struck the ground when the baluchither stepped between two great trees growing so close together that he seemed to squeeze himself like a mouse through a crevice in a wall. Beyond lay a glade more open than anything I had seen in that forest - where grass grew as well as fern, and spots of sunlight, unshaded with green and rich as orpiment, played over the turf. Here Vodalus had caused to be erected his throne, beneath a canopy woven of flowering vines; and here, as it chanced, he sat with the Chatelaine Thea beside him just as we entered, judging and rewarding his followers. ¡¡ I saw now that Vodalus was as tall as Thecla or taller, and that Thecla's half-sister Thea was as tall as she. Then I knew them to be truly of the exalted blood, and not armigers merely, such as Sieur Racho had been.It was with Thea that I had first fallen in love, worshipping her because she belonged to the man I had saved. Thecla I had loved, in the beginning, because she recalled Thea. Now (as autumn dies, and winter and spring, and summer comes again, the end of the year as it is its beginning) I loved Thea once more - because she recalled Thecla.Vodalus said, "You are an admirer of women," and I lowered my eyes."I have been little in polite company, sieur. Please forgive me.""I share your admiration, so there is nothing to forgive. But you were not, I hope, studying that slender throat with the thought of parting it?""Never, sieur.""I am delighted to hear it." He picked up a platter of thrushes, selected one, and put it upon my plate. It was a sign of special favor."Still, I own I am a trifle surprised. I would have thought that a man in your profession would look on us poor human beings much as a butcher does on cattle.""Of that I cannot inform you, sieur. I have not been bred a butcher."Vodalus laughed. "A touch! I am almost sorry now that you have consented to serve me. If you had only elected to remain my prisoner, we would have had many delightful conversations while I used you - as I had intended to - to cheap for the unfortunate Barnoch's life. As it is, you will be away by morning. Yet I think I have an errand for you that will consort well with burberry sale your own inclinations.""If it is your errand, sieur, it must.""You are wasted on the scaffold."
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