The Many Deaths of the Black Company (Chronicle of the Black Company)

The Many Deaths of the Black Company (Chronicle of the Black Company) by Glen Cook

Book: The Many Deaths of the Black Company (Chronicle of the Black Company) by Glen Cook Read Free Book Online
Authors: Glen Cook
it, a Vehdna woman from Jaicur could do it.
    “We got to kill him,” One-Eye said. “How you want to do it?”
    “That’s always your solution these days, isn’t it?” I asked.
    “The more we get rid of now, the fewer there’ll be around to aggravate me in my old age.”
    I could not tell if he was joking. “When you start getting old, we’ll worry about it.”
    “Guy like that will be easy, Little Girl. He won’t be looking for it. Bam! He’s gone. And nobody’ll care. Strangle his ass. Leave a rumel on him. Blame it on our old buddy Narayan. He’s in town, we need to put all kinds of shit off on him.”
    “Language, old man.” One-Eye babbled on, putting a name to animal waste in a hundred tongues. I turned my back. “Sahra? You’ve been very quiet.”
    “I’ve been trying to digest what I picked up today. By the way, Jaul Barundandi was distraught because you stayed home. Tried to take your kickback out of my wages. He finally found Minh Subredil’s limit. I threatened to scream. He would’ve called my bluff if his wife hadn’t been around somewhere. Are you sure it’s safe to let this librarian live? If it looked natural, no one would suspect—”
    “It may not be safe but it could pay dividends. Master Santaraksita wants to make some kind of experiment out of me. To see if a low-caste dog really can be taught to roll over and play dead. What about Soulcatcher? What about the shadows? Did you learn anything?”
    “She loosed everything she had. Just an impulse. No master plan except to remind the city of her power. She expected the victims to be immigrants who live in the streets. No one much cares about them. Only a handful of shadows got back before dawn. Our captives won’t be missed until tomorrow.”
    “We could go catch a few more—”
    “Bats,” Goblin said, inviting himself to take a seat. One-Eye appeared to have dozed off. He still had hold of his cane, though. “Bats. There’s bats out there tonight.”
    Sahra offered a confirming nod.
    Goblin said, “Back before we marched against the Shadowmasters, we killed all the bats. Had bounties on them big enough for bat hunters to make a living. Because the Shadowmasters used them to spy.”
    I recalled a time when crows were murdered relentlessly because they might be acting as Soulcatcher’s far-flying eyes. “You’re saying we should stay in tonight?”
    “Mind like a stone ax, this old gal.”
    I asked Sahra, “What did Soulcatcher think about our attack?”
    “It didn’t come up where I could hear.” She pushed some sheets from the old Annals across. “The Bhodi suicide bothered her more. She’s afraid it might start a trend.”
    “A trend? There could be more than one monk goofy enough to set himself on fire?”
    “She thinks so.”
    Tobo asked, “Mom, are we going to call up Dad tonight?”
    “I don’t know right now, dear.”
    “I want to talk to him some more.”
    “You will. I’m sure he’s interested in talking to you, too.” She sounded like she was trying to convince herself.
    I asked Goblin, “Would it be possible for you to keep that mist thing going all the time so we could keep Murgen connected and any time we wanted, we could just send him where we needed to know about something?”
    “We’re working on it.” He took off on a technical rant. I did not understand a word but I let him roll. He deserved to feel good about something.
    One-Eye began to snore. The smart would stay out of reach of his cane anyway.
    I said, “Tobo could keep notes all the time.…” I had had this sudden vision of the son of the Annalist taking over for the father, the way it goes in Taglian guilds, where trades and tools pass down generation after generation.
    “In fact,” One-Eye said, as though no time had passed since the last remark, and as though he had not been faking sleep a moment ago, “right now’s the time you could play you a really great big ol’ hairy-assed, old-time Company dirty trick, Little

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