Nihondras Day (part 1)
After the haberdashery disaster, I flew home, over rooftops and through trees. I was rather tired of people watching at me, and grinning. Perhaps I shall go somewhere with more Zi Ri at some point soon.
Dubaille had, of course, bought a Nihondras Day cake, and he did, of course, share it with us -- us being Havune and myself, and Dubaille's children. But a sorry sort of Nihondras Day cake it was. A proper N.D. cake is swollen, bulging outwards before curving inwards and coming to a point, rather like an inverted beet. It is a large and generous cake, bigger than a Rassimel's head. It is fearsomely dense, made with dried apricots and dried cherries and dried prens and dried raisins and candied turnip and candied onion and candied illiocampus and candied apple. It is stuffed with almond paste.
Dubaille's mighty powers of Acquiring the Insufficient had produced a smallish cake, of a size which might have contented Dubaille alone but not even generously for him. It was lopsided, flat on one side and somewhat caved-in on the other; before the natural disasters, it might have been conical -- cooked in the mold for a springtime-cake I suppose. It was fearsomely dense, but more with bran and oats than dried fruit; and it lacked cherries, onions, illiocampus, and apple, and in their place had candied radish and dried melon. There was almond paste, but smeared casually on the outside, not as a stuffing.
Dubaille complained about his wife and his children. Earlier I conjectured that he negotiated with the Lady Quissenden to see his children rather than get a stipend. In fact, he had negotiated for both, but sneakily. Dawdry, who is Dubaille's older son, is the Baron of Noultevviam. Six times a year, including Nihondras Day, he recieves the rents for Noultevviam. Dubaille had written to the mayor of Noultevviam and told her to send the rents to Dawdry at our home. But they did not come there by dawn. At noon or so he asked around. Lady Quissenden had also written to the mayor of Noultevviam, and evidently bribed her to send the rents to Dawdry at her home.
Which I think was mean-spirited of her, as she scarcely needs money, and it would be particularly convenient if Dubaille were able to pay rent. I do doubt that Lady Quissenden is quite the ulgrane that Dubaille says; but perhaps the fault is not entirely his.
Nihondras Day (part 2)
Fortunately I have other Rassimel friends. Thery was not a bit unhappy to open the window for me, when I clattered my claws on it. She and Yarwain had had their cake earlier in the day, with Iska -- who had none of her own, not because she is not Rassimel, but because she is very foreign and her people do not even celebrate the invention of the oven at all. How odd. In any case, Thery and Yarwain had bought a proper N.D. cake, which meant that there was plenty left.
They also had a great deal of sympathy for me about the whole matter of Spirshash and Strenata and all. Though they laughed greatly about the puppet shows. I pried; I interrogated; I demanded!
It seems that, in certain basements, there are puppet shows, but not the sort that appear on city streets. These basement puppet shows are, not to put too fine a point on it, pornographic. The conjecture is that these shows, not the street performances, are the ones that Tillissa and Oostmarine despise Spirshash watching. Especially with Oonspath or me.
And Yarwain reminded me that he and Iska and I have to finish up that spraddled analysis of Durnokk's glass collection, and in not too long. The end of the term is approaching.
Nihondras Day (part 3)
When I returned home, we had had a Changing of the Rassimel. Dubaille and his children were gone, presumably on a quest for money. Tethezai was there, with Dustweed. And with a largish segment of her family's N.D. cake. Tethezai's cook does not simply make a proper cake; they make an extraordinary one. It must have been the size of a pumpkin when it was whole; it was solid yet not dense; it contained all the obligatory items, and dried sparrowberries, and candied shrimps, and butternuts, and candied petals of a species I did not recognize. It was stuffed with almond paste and sweet cheese.
Part of the extraordinariness was candied shrimps. Now, this was surely an extravagance with its teeth and claws to it: Dustweed, being Herethroy, cannot digest meat. Tethezai was fuming that never before was the family's N.D. cake graced with any meat -- after all, the whole point is that the cake be shared with everyone, even Herethroy.
Dustweed was not offended, or perhaps was very used to being offended; zie had simply picked the shrimps out and wrapped them in a napkin, and was feeding them to Tethezai on the bed when I got home. Dangerously cute, they are.