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Chapter Eight


“That vase has a spell on it,” Pol said.

“Yes. Flowers stay fresh longer in it.”

“So does the teapot.”

“It keeps the tea the way I like it,” Ann said.

Pol nodded. “And the silver untarnished?”

“Just some aids for modern living,” Ann said.

“It’s gone. I can’t keep it for very long.”

“You’ve been doing it for less than a week. When you started, it wasn’t even five minutes; now, it’s nearly nine minutes.”

“I thought it was just easier to cast.”

“Probably that, too. Did Dr. Dakin discuss problems with true sight?”

“Other than not doing it in the middle of a crowd of strangers?” At Ann’s nod, Pol continued: “Only that it’s a basic spell. It’s not protection, it’s just an alert or a precaution.”

“Yes. It’s good for stationary spells, spells on things and places, doors, cars, and the like.”

“She said I could use it on people, but carefully? She didn’t have time to explain.”

“Invoke it in a crowd and someone will probably notice. The person who notices may not be pleased to be discovered. It’s also a little rude to focus it on one person. It’s rather like asking ‘are those real’ about a woman’s jewels.”

“Or her rack,” Pol thought. He considered the first part of her comment. “Oh. Is this another unloaded gun?”

“It’s another tool to be used with discretion, yes,” Ann said. “On the other hand, it may keep you from walking into a trap.”

Taz appeared in the living room. He staggered over to the long sofa and stretched out on it. Wearily, he put one arm over his eyes.

“And the boys?” Ann asked.

“Safely home. I avoided my sisters and made my escape.”

“Which ride today?” Pol asked.

“The Ripper. I just rode it twice,” Taz said. “That was enough. The boys kept right on. However, even their appetite for rollercoasters seems slaked. At least temporarily. I’m done.”

“How is Binheng?” Ann asked.

“He enjoyed it tremendously,” Taz said. “He was carrying a cup full of water the last couple of times. Watching the level and trying to estimate where down was. He got soaked. It didn’t faze him.”


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