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Old 09-12-2015, 09:02 AM   #111
Itinerant Songster
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
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Eodwine had been about to dismiss Rowenna with a thanks for the water when a pair of high pitched screams and two small bodies hurtled out of his own rooms, across the hall, into the kitchen. He could not help watching ... and grinning. Saeryn quickly took matters in hand. Eodwine couldn't help chuckling as Eoghan left the hall and Ruari sat glowering. Oh, that one would make a fine head mistress someday in some eorl's hall. No doubt. Unless she chose to be a shield maiden instead. He pulled a mildly horrified face then returned his attention to Scyld.

But Rowenna had not left. "Did I hear you say that you have become skilled in leatherworking, Nydfara?" she asked, wiping absently with her apron at a small spill on the table.

Nydfara's brow furrowed a moment as he turned to answer, but Eodwine raised a hand. "Yes, it is as you must have overheard, Rowenna," he interrupted. "Please leave us. Nydfara and I have something to speak about and I want us to be left alone. If we want more of anything I will call for it."

Her lips pursed but she nodded and left.

"Scyld," he said, but paused a moment, gathering his thoughts, "though I do not like Linduial, her word was never in question, only her pride. That is a point to the good. You, however, withheld the truth from me and mine while you were with us; a point to the ill. Perhaps those two points even out, perhaps not.

"I will tell you the truth. When I first read this letter, I thought to call my men to us and put you under guard. That tells you how much I dislike falsehood. Yet what you have been telling me now rings true. I see a man who has been bred to mistrust and caution, who has here learned that he can place trust, while still being cautious. That tells me that you have a sharp mind.

"I wish to be just and I wish to be merciful. Here is what I have a mind to do. I will take you on as a leatherworker for a year and a day. If, when the time has come, and you have done well in your work and in your deeds toward all in Scarburg, then I would speak with you at length ... about how Scarburg could benefit from that good mind of yours. What say you?"
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