Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2: A Night in the Lonesome October-fest

As Zach observed in an earlier comment, these first chapters are really pretty short.

We took a walk last night, acquiring mandrake root in a field far from here at the place of a killing by somebody else. The master wrapped it in silk and took it to his work space direct. I could hear him engage in good-natured banter with the Thing in the Circle. Jack has a long list of ingredients, and things must be done properly on schedule.
The cat Graymalk came slinking about, pussyfoot, peering in our windows. Ordinarily, I have little against cats. I can take them or leave them, I mean. But Graymalk belongs to Crazy Jill who lives over the hill, in towards town, and Graymalk was spying for her mistress, of course. I growled to let her know she had been spotted.
"About your watching early, faithful Snuff," she hissed. 
"About your spying early," I responded, "Gray."

Again, another short chapter providing atmosphere and introductions. Gray and Snuff size each other up as both individuals and fellow participants in the Game. We learn the identities of more of the players, "The owl, Nightwind, consort of Morris and MacCab," and Quicklime, "the black snake who lives in the belly of the mad monk, Rastov".

Gray offers up information on a whim, and Snuff replies with some of his own immediately.
"Ah! And why do you tell me this?" 
"I pay my debts." 
"There should not be debts between our folk." 
"This is between us." 
"You are a strange hound, Snuff." 
"You are a strange cat, Graymalk." 
"As it should be, I daresay." 
And she was gone amid shadows. As it should be.

And that's it for Chapter 2. I like the slow beginning. It's fun to see their friendship grow.

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