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confirmed.  As for the judges  he grinned  well, she used a spate of
Sheveschkem on Windhoek that turned Captain Kejesli a remarkable shade of
green. He s been muttering the same words under his breath for a week. Maggy
may not have been talking, but she s certainly been listening.
 It was her not talking that concerned me. Even insults are something of
a relief. She eyed the arachne sternly and added, in warning,  As long as
you don t make a habit of it.
Chapter Sixteen
T
HE STORM RAGED through the night but it was not the storm that kept Tocohl
awake. Bayd had accompanied the party and she put the time to good use,
conferring with Tocohl through Maggy.
Tocohl had the easier time of it, for Maggy screened out most of the blinding
light and the deafening thunder to convey only the sprookjes and Bayd s
commentary.
 I ll take the next storm watch, Tocohl said.  I wish I d thought of that
sooner; it would have saved us a lot of time.
There was a pause as Bayd waited out the thunder.  It s hardly a matter of
neglect. This is not something I d volunteer for more than once. If there
is a next storm watch, you ve surely got it. Most of us are only here because
we wanted to see if it lived up to Buntec s lurid description.
 And? Tocohl prompted, amused.
 Buntec didn t tell the half of it.
Again there was a momentary silence from Tocohl s vantage point; again
Tocohl knew from the sharp reactions of those nearest Bayd Nevelen Darragh
and swift-Kalat that Maggy had blotted out another thunderclap. The sprookjes
sat content, excited only by Bayd s questions and answers. They had already
learned that thunder and lightning distracted her, although neither Bayd nor
Tocohl could tell
if they understood why.
Given the ruffling of their feathers, Tocohl thought there was a good chance
they were speculating on the subject among themselves. She could only make
out a phrase here and there, and the one that recurred most often was
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 strange sprookje.
When the sound faded back in, Alfvaen Tocohl saw her at Bayd s glance in her
direction said,  Bayd, I m just curious, but do they have any trouble telling
you from the other Hellsparks? When they talk about me, Om im says, he can
always tell because they look like me for just a moment.
 No, they can tell us apart better than we can them. They ve had to give us
names, though, which they continue to use. Random syllables don t translate
well into sprookje, and Tocohl and I decided it was safer for us to learn
sprookje before we confuse the issue again by trying to teach them a purely
verbal language like GalLing .
 What sort of names? The voice was swift-Kalat s, Bayd turned to give Tocohl
a view of him through dimming rain and said,  Remember that they
weren t aware each of you was from a different culture. When they discussed
you among themselves they referred to you with a proxemic and kinesic
overlay that defined each of you unmistakably; in practice, you were
 the Jenji, Kejesli is  the northern Sheveschke, Dyxte  the ti-Tobian, and
so forth.
 Oh, is that all, said Alfvaen, sounding disappointed.
For Bayd s ear, Tocohl said,  She was hoping for something more romantic.
Bayd took the cue and said,  You got an actual name, Alfvaen. You,
they call
 One-Who-Was-Poisoned. It took us three days to puzzle that one out. We kept
being distracted by the Siveyn overlay they used and didn t realize they were
being more specific than that.
Alfvaen looked from Bayd to LightningStruck, suddenly embarrassed.
 Oh, Bayd! Can you tell
LightningStruck that I didn t mean to hurt Tocohl, so she won t be afraid of
me?
 She s not afraid of you, Nevelen Darragh said, in such a way that Alfvaen
was fully reassured by the sound of the statement alone, and once again Tocohl
too was somehow reassured by the judge s perspicacity.
 How about you? Alfvaen asked.  If I understand this correctly, Tocohl simply
would have been
 the Hellspark. But so are you and Bayd and 
Bayd laughed.  What they use to signify Hellspark is any behavior that
compromises between two or more cultures.
Tocohl is now officially known as
Strange-Sprookje-Hellspark-With-A-Crest-Like-The-Sun-On-Penny-Jannisett, and I
got dubbed all of that plus  Newly-Arrived. 
Alfvaen turned widening eyes on Darragh who smiled and, making the
Siveyn gesture of formal self-introduction, said,
 Strange-Sprookje-With-A-Crest-Like-Frostwillow, at your service.
Alfvaen began a smile but it froze and faded. Crossing upturned arms at her
wrists, she said only,  I
understand. The gesture said in no uncertain terms that the two of them were
barely on speaking terms but that Alfvaen would be civil.
Bayd turned swiftly, granting Tocohl a view of Darragh s reaction: a swift
upcurling of both hands that said, Give me time to prove myself.
 The best she could do, under the circumstances, Tocohl commented, for Bayd [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]