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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 112)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(112) by Anne Bishop
  • Burle looked at Ranon and shrugged. “They wanted to come.”

    *Puppies!* Wynne wagged her tail at the smaller landen children.

    Then Duffy froze for a moment before shooting straight up into the air to hover well above the buildings. His tail began wagging so hard the motion knocked him sideways as he shouted, *Sheep!*

    Oh, shit,Ranon thought.

    “You outrank the rest of us,” Rogir said.

    The man didn’t have to sound so damned cheerful—and relieved—about it. Of course, Keely had taken up residence with Rogir’s family. Having enough experience now trying to deal with just one, the man could be somewhat forgiven for not wanting to deal with a pair of Scelties.

    “Duffy, come down now,” Ranon said.

    *They havesheep !*

    And may the Darkness have mercy on them. “Duffy,” he said firmly.

    Duffy dropped out of the air so fast, Ranon was sure the dog would hit the ground. But he came to a stop an arm’s length from the ground and gently floated down the rest of the way.

    “What did your lady want to know?” Burle asked.

    Looking a little apprehensive, James pulled his attention away from the Scelties. “There isn’t an ice chest that she could find in the kitchen area.” He sounded apologetic. “It would help our food last longer if we could purchase some ice.”

    Burle frowned. “There are cold boxes, and each of them have a small freezer inside the main box. I checked them out, and they’re all in good working order. Need a good scrubbing, of course, but if that’s been done, they’re ready for a cold spell.”

    Seeing James’s discomfort, Ranon said, “I think that’s the problem, Burle. The cold boxes don’t work without Craft, and landens can’t do Craft.”

    “There aren’t any youths in your village who are interested in earning some pocket money?” Burle asked. Then he huffed. “Look. I know things have been hard here. You just need to look around to see it. And I know there have been bad troubles here between the Blood and landens. But the fighting is over, and from what I understand there wasn’t any of that kind of fighting in Eyota. These people are here because you all decided you were willing to work together to build a new life. Isn’t that so?”

    “Yes,” Ranon said.

    “So.” Burle looked at James. “Cold box is more dependable than ice. The spell needs to be renewed on a weekly basis.” Now he looked at Ranon and Rogir. “Around Weavers Field, where I come from, a couple of enterprising young Warlords go to the neighboring landen village where some of the people have bought cold boxes. They charge a fee for maintaining the spell on each cold box. Now I know things are tight here and no one has much coin to spare, but these houses also have a tank for hot water that needs Craft too. So it seems to me that charging three coppers a week for both spells would be fair. At least for this first little while.”

    “I can ask around the village and see if anyone is interested,” Ranon said.

    *We could do those spells,* Wynne said.

    *We know our Craft,* Duffy said.

    The men looked at one another. No one had noticed the Scelties joining them.

    “Well,” Burle finally said. “You come with me. I’ll show you the spells, and you can give them a try. Then we’ll see.”

    *What happens if they do it wrong?* Ranon asked Burle.

    *Then I guess I’ll be buying that landen family another cold box or ice chest,* Burle replied as he and the Scelties went into one of the houses.

    “We didn’t expect you for a few more days,” Rogir said.

    “That was my decision, sir,” Jaego said.

    “Mine too,” Ristoff said. “Moore is about a day behind us with the rest of the landen families and livestock.”

    “You must have driven the animals awfully hard,” Rogir said.

    “No, sir. We had help.” James shook his head and sounded like he still didn’t quite believe what had happened.

    Jaego nodded, then looked at the other guard. “Ristoff and I took the liberty to make some decisions on the Queen’s behalf.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire