[Out of Character note to visitors: You can read the story from the beginning, read the dramatis personae and glossary, and various other useful things, from the web site .]
Consultations and Convulsions [10 Trandary 4261]
Me:"Where is Floosh?"
Floosh's Herethroy assistant:"The pond, I think."
Me:"Ah, well. Might I have one poptaloop, please? And tell her I called, and would talk to her."
Floosh's Herethroy assistant:(To the Rassimel assistant)"We must get a new board, planed flat, eight or ten feet long."
Floosh's Rassimel assistant:"A new board? Whatever for?"
Floosh's Herethroy assistant:"For a sign of rates."
Floosh's Herethroy assistant:"If Floosh charged for her advice as well as her pastries, we would be quite rich indeed."
Dustweed and Tethezai
Me:"A friend of mine is doing something wicked and dishonorable in a matter of love, or so I fear."
Tethezai:"Ask to join in!"
I met my Evil Neighbor as we came out of our apartments.
Ghirbis:"Hyrru there, small blue cave lizard!"
Me:"Good morning to you, Ghirbis."
Ghirbis:"You seem troubled. Yesterday and today both."
Me:"Well, I am ... a friend of mine is doing something wicked and dishonorable in a matter of love, or so I fear."
Ghirbis:"Many people do, in greater or lesser degree. In what role are you involved?"
Me:"No role, truly, save as friend to most of the people involved."
Ghirbis:"So much the easier for you. When my countryprime said that, he was the one doing the wicked and dishonorable thing."
Me:"Doing wicked and dishonorable things in a matter of love has certain prerequisites, which, unfortunately, I do not currently possess."
Ghirbis:"Unfortunate! I, too, lack these prerequisites at the moment, though I am in no hurry to acquire them."
Me:"Still, I do not know what to do in this matter."
Ghirbis:"Confront the villain with the evidence of his villanies? Explain to him that you -- and others -- may think worse of him for his actions."
Me:"He may take offense that I am meddling in his, well, affairs. What he plans is wicked, yes, but not strictly improper."
Ghirbis:"Would you rather take offense at him, or have him take offense at you?"
Me:"That would be the heart of the matter, would it not?"
Ghirbis:"When I was the victim in such a matter -- back on Yistreia -- I would have preferred that the gentleman have been given a hint were entirely inappropriate. Though in his case they were illegal as well."
Ghirbis:"I say so. The duke did not agree. However, as the gentleman in question, not I, was the son of the duke, the laws may would have been interpreted in a more subtle way than originally intended, had I pressed my case. Which is why I am here, instead of somewhere closer to home."
Me:"Oh, seven staring gods!"
Ghirbis:"... So I certainly recommend reining in this sort of wickedness by whatever means possible."
Me:"I should think so..."
She came back from riding with Nestrune with the word "Captain" in her hat, and an annoyed twitch in her tail, and a thirst in her throat that could not be satisfied alone. I supplied her with Zouville de Mrood, and conversation. It was not our most pleasant of hours together (which would be the time we were eating cities on First Day). But there is some satisfaction in having a companion for sitting and scowling with.
Me:"Why do you ride with him, Captain Strenata, if he angers you so?"
Strenata:"An obligation, which I mayn't discuss and that's the end of that. Why, is it stinging insects in your fur?"
Me:"A bit, truly, though a different and larger and stingier insect is in my fur today."
(It is an idiom, mind. Scales and feathers I have, but no fur unless I change cosmetics. Even Herethroy will speak of insects in their fur, and they have no call to use such cosmetics as mine.)
Strenata:[Smiling a broad whiskersome smile.]"Come, there's no need for jealousy. But what is this different and larger and stinkier insect?"
Me:"Stingier -- though stinkier as well, I suppose. I think I have discovered that a friend is about some thoroughly wicked and dishonorable deed."
Strenata:[Not smiling any more.]"Me?"
Me:"Not a bit you."
Strenata:"Very well, for I should dislike to be thought to be doing anything wicked and dishonorable. What is it?"
Me:"A treason in love, which I shouldn't discuss in detail."
Strenata:"Love attracts treasons as honey attracts flies. Yet do not blame it! Would you rather have honey and flies, or no honey and fewer flies?"
Me:"Honey, to be sure."
Strenata smiled herself well, and twisted a stickful of honey into her kathia. And in a quick moment in the short hallway leading to the longer hallway in Sprowlween Hall, I tasted it on her lips.