Chapter 5 Part 8 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

The Sign of the Owl was one of Reggiston's best inns, and certainly its best post house. For the quality, the Owl kept a neat set of rooms, and a neater set of post-horses and chaises for hire. The one leaving this morning for the northwest was hired by a young woman and her mother, a woman who seemed to be in a tearing hurry.

"I don't understand, Mama," said the daughter. "I don't want to leave! Why are we moving so far away, so suddenly--to Corland of all places? How can we afford to go post instead of on the mail, or even the stage--new clothes--where did all this money come from?"

"Don't ask questions, Mattie, just get in," said Tellis, shooing Mattie into the carriage. Tellis looked over her shoulder, let the ostler hand her in, and sighed as the door closed behind her.

Chapter 5 Part 5 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

Temmin slept late the next day, but went out on his usual ride; while he had no marketing of his own to do this Paggday, he had the day off with everyone else. "No hangover, Jebby! There's a rare thing after a party. I wouldn't even have minded one today, what a night," Temmin said to his horse. The gelding snorted. They walked at a leisurely pace through the King's Woods, down a tributary path of the War Road. He knew the Woods were safe, but he still half-expected to see Brothers secreted in the underbrush.

The morning chill lifted. Mist rose thready from the meadows he glimpsed through the trees; birdsong and the murmur of streams rushing down to the Shadow River were the only sounds. A beautiful day, the kind of day that made him wish to ride until dark, and sleep where he stopped. He certainly hadn't slept well the night before. He knew the assassination attempt was political, but in his young heart he could not get over it: why would anyone want to kill him?

Into this green restfulness came a discordant sob. Temmin pulled Jebby up short, listening. It came from just ahead on the trail; he urged Jebby toward it, until they came to a downed log just off the path, and a girl sitting atop it, crying tears enough to join the Shadow in their own little salty stream.

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