Siegfried Ansel kept Adewole well into November before he was allowed to return to Mrs. Trudge's lodgings. That teapot-shaped lady welcomed him back with tears and tea cakes before she left him in his old rooms. Deviatka's personal effects had been brought down from Risenton, and Blessing had directed Mrs. Trudge to pack up the dead man's belongings and send them to his family. The guitar remained; Mrs. Trudge said it belonged to Adewole now, his family didn't want it. He picked it up, plucked a few chords and put it down. Too soon for music, too soon for anything stringed, too soon for anything of Deviatka's. The man he knew hadn't existed. Nothing about his friend had been real, not even the friendship, but when Major Berger cleared him to return to Risenton, Adewole took the guitar along.
Councilwoman Imogen Lumburgher
The young Chorister serving as Melody Hall's gatekeeper was apologetic but firm: "The Choirmaster cannot see you, nay, he will not see you."
"But why not?" said Adewole. "Has a bad report of my character come to him? If so, I wish to address it with him, not through third parties."
"Nay, nay, you have the wrong of it, sir. Choirmaster Chandler turns away all from Dunalow."
"Why? What has happened?"
The baby-faced girl frowned. "Have your own folk not told you? Summon from Dunalow stole a Duet, sir--Poole, the creature. That 'un's the prince of all lies," she muttered.
Adewole must have missed some crucial events while buried in books. "But no one can leave the island without an autogyro, and there are few places to hide here. Surely he has been caught."
"He has not, else your Major hides him, the false deludin' man. And here I am, made a fool, Duet and heart stole together!" Color mounted high on her cheeks, and her eyes were puffy. "Now go along, sir. The Osters speak well of you, but Choirmaster says no one from Dunalow in the Hall ever again, and that's fine by me."
The formal diplomatic mission arrived a week after the landing; though the Risenton Council was offered a fact-finding mission of its own to Eisenstadt, all six declined in horror. The diplomats' arrival relieved Professor Adewole of most of his duties as translator; along with Ambassador Weil came a small cadre of Middle Rhendalian scholars. Adewole spent two weeks teaching them the Risenton dialect--some as he learned it himself--and by the middle of Juli he found himself more or less free to do as he wished. "I would very much appreciate having you on the island for consultation," said the Ambassador. "You still possess greater linguistic skills than the rest of the translation corps. While I almost understand the aristocracy here, the common people are near-incomprehensible."
Adewole assured her his fellow academics would soon be up to speed but he'd be delighted to stay, "especially if I might be granted access to the University of Risenton Library."
Councilwoman Lumburgher was in nominal charge of the University, and upon applying to her, Ambassador Weil was repelled. "I suggest you try directly, Professor," she said. "You have dealt with Henrik Blessing. I'm sure you can manage Imogen Lumburgher."
"Keep a sharp lookout, people, guns away for now," said Berger.
"Oster," called a Council member, an irritable-looking man in blue, "what are you doing here?"
Peter's face veiled itself in stupidity; he touched a knuckle to his forehead. "They landed in the turnip field, sir. Asked me to come with."
"And you let them? Who are you to let a gaggle of--of clearly deranged people onto my property!"
"Peter Oster, move off," called Captain Winston. "These are none of yours."