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datatime: 2022-09-25 13:53:47 Author:nDWBVbZO

"I fetched her wood," said she, and said no more.

"I don't expect you boys to see Maerlyn's glass . . . but I didn't expect to be seeing you off at fourteen with revolvers tucked in your bed-rolls, either. Ka's at work here, and where ka works, anything is possible."

"Never mind the wood for now," he said, "or all that came before. We'll talk of that later, mayhap, but not just yet. What happened as you were leaving? What did she say to you about your hair?"

So the three of them rode toward their end of the Great Road, while summer lay all about them, breathless as a gasp. Roland looked up and saw something that made him forget all about the Wizard's Rainbow. It was his mother, leaning out of her apartment's bedroom window: the oval of her face surrounded by the timeless gray stone of the castle's west wing. There were tears coursing down her cheeks, but she smiled and lifted one hand in a wide wave. Of the three of them, only Roland saw her.

"You don't need to see," Alain said. "Seeing's not what we want right now. Close your eyes so you can't do it at all."

"Whispered in my ear. And she had a Jesus-man."

"What did Rhea whisper in your ear?"

"Roland Get us out of this deadhouse before I shiver the skin right off my bones"

Here it was. He nodded to Alain. Alain bit his lip and stepped for-ward. He looked frightened, but as he took Susan's hands in his own and spoke to her, his voice was calm and soothing.

"Yes, but what happened later? What happened while you stood in the doorway?"

"Whispered in my ear. And she had a Jesus-man."

Slowly, slowly, Steven took off his hat, stepped back, and swept them a bow. "Go in peace, boys. And return in health."

"Long days and pleasant nights, sai," Alain said.

"Do you know who told you to cut it?"

Steven nodded. "Thankee-sai-I love you, too. My blessings, boys." He said this last in a loud voice, and the other two men-Robert Allgood and Christopher Johns, who had been known in the days of his savage youth as Burning Chris-added their own blessings.

"I don't know. That part is pink."

"What did Rhea whisper in your ear?"

"Never mind the wood for now," he said, "or all that came before. We'll talk of that later, mayhap, but not just yet. What happened as you were leaving? What did she say to you about your hair?"

"Cry your pardon," Roland said. An uneasy peace had descended between him and his father, and he would not rupture it. Still, he was wild to be off. Pusher jigged beneath him, as if seconding that.

So the three of them rode toward their end of the Great Road, while summer lay all about them, breathless as a gasp. Roland looked up and saw something that made him forget all about the Wizard's Rainbow. It was his mother, leaning out of her apartment's bedroom window: the oval of her face surrounded by the timeless gray stone of the castle's west wing. There were tears coursing down her cheeks, but she smiled and lifted one hand in a wide wave. Of the three of them, only Roland saw her.

Roland looked at Cuthbert, who shrugged. Alain spread his hands. Roland thought of asking the latter boy to step forward, and judged it still wasn't quite time.

Roland turned to Susan. "After the first time we were together an-tet, you went to the stream in the grove."

"Do you know who told you to cut it?"

"Whispered in my ear. And she had a Jesus-man."

A long pause. Roland was about to turn to Alain when she said, "Rhea." Another pause. "She wanted to fiddle me up."

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