My Dinner With Esory, IIa [7 Thory 4261]
This time, I flew to Esory's house with confidence and dignity, as well as a detailed awareness of the vast array toasting-forks that awaited me. I was not disappointed. Esory was ready -- Esory was free of tasks -- Esory had not devoured half of the cheeses of Oorah Thrassen the hour before.
Esory also hadn't slept the night before, which is not unusual for Rassimel. I presume she had been taking care of some assignments, or ... star-gazing, as I am given to understand that the Star-Serpent was chasing one of the Fencers around under Hren Tzen's chin rather dramatically last night.
In any case, she was waiting for me, dressed in a burgundy kirtle sort of thing, with a chain sort of thing with amber and occasional copper links around her waist, and a distinctly symmetrical corsage of odd and distinctly symmetrical burgundyoidal flowers placed distinctly symmetrically between her distinctly approximately symmetrical breasts. And had acquired or constructed a distinctly symmetrical coronet of the same flowers for me, though it quickly became distinctly approximately symmetrical when we tried to get it on over my feathers.
Burgundyoidal and blue is a highly appropriate and dignified combination, or so I am given to understand by people whose taste I ought to trust.
Then we were brought to Gounne Gousse. When I say "brought", I do not mean that we walked, nor do I mean that she rode any sort of horse and I rode her shoulder, nor do I mean that we took a carriage and team, nor even that she had four strong matched burgundyoidal-draped Herethroy servants tote us around on a palanquin. Esory is the heir of a long line of enchanters, and, today, wanted everyone to know it. We did not get permission to take her family's Great Chariot, which is ... not yet described to me.
Instead we took the Insignificant Ruby Bone Chariot.
The Insignificant Ruby Bone Chariot is not very accurately named. It is not insignificant; it is ten times the size of any other carriage in town. It is not a chariot; it is more of a carriage on big spidery bone legs. It is not greatly ruby: it has only one ruby, set in its central eye socket. The other twenty-four eye sockets have other red items: a glass rose, a curl of crimson cloth, a frozen flame, a fresh strawberry (which is replaced every time the Insignificant Ruby Bone Chariot is used), and so on. These red items serve no magical purpose; they are merely the personal symbol of Esory's great-aunt, who made the thing.
But the Insignificant Ruby Bone Chariot is, in fact, made of bone. I imagine that almost as much effort was spent making the bone seats soft and comfortable as was spent making the thing get up and wander around town with people ride it.
Riding around in the Insignificant Ruby Bone Chariot is an imposing experience. People are more likely to notice one, when one's conveyance towers three or four times higher than even the biggest buggest pedestrians. ["buggest", because the biggest pedestrians are generally Herethroy. -bb] The fact that most of this height is in the form of eleven tall spindly legs detracts only slightly from the image -- indeed, watching Kaim-Su Connecticality Strenata leap aside when an Insignificant Ruby Bone Chariot leg stepped right in front of him was nearly worth the price of dinner.
When I can, I shall have to make a similarly imposing gadget for it myself, and stampede with it all around whatever city I'm living in. It is an excellent antidote for being tiny.
We arrived at Gounne Gousse in quick order, and the Insignificant Ruby Bone Chariot let us dismount, then clambered up the wall and curled up on the roof to wait for us.