Book 2 - She Is The Darkness

Lire ebook Book 2 - She Is The Darkness
Auteur: Glen Cook

Book 2 - She Is The Darkness
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1
    The Old Man looked up. His quill twitched, betraying his
irritation at being interrupted. “What is it,
Murgen?”
    “I went for a walk with the ghost. That earth tremor we
felt a while ago?”
    “What about it? And don’t give me none of that
around-the-bush crap One-Eye’s always handing out. I
don’t have time for it.”
    “The farther south you go the worse the destruction
is.”
    The Old Man opened his mouth, closed it to think some before he
said anything else.
    Croaker, the Old Man, the Captain of the Black Company, the
right-now-by-god military dictator of Taglios and all its
tributaries, dependencies and protectorates, does not look the
part. He is in his middle fifties, possibly closer to sixty. He
stands more than six feet tall. He has grown slightly heavy during
four years spent mainly in garrison. He has a high forehead with a
feeble crop of hair farther back. Lately he has been affecting a
beard on his chin. It is grizzled. So is what hair still lurks upon
his head. His icy blue eyes are deeply set, giving him a hard,
scary look, like some kind of psychopathic killer.
    He does not know. Nobody ever told him. Sometimes he is hurt
because people back off. He does not understand why.
    Mostly it’s his eyes. They can be really spooky.
    He considers himself just one of the guys. Most of the time.
    If he understood it he would use his impact to its limit. His
belief in the value of creating illusions in the minds of others
borders on religious conviction.
    He stood up. “Let’s go for a walk,
Murgen.”
    In the Palace it is always best to be moving if you want to keep
your conversations your own. The Palace is vast, a honeycomb
networked with a labyrinth masking countless secret passageways. I
have been mapping those but could not winkle them all out in a
lifetime even if we were not heading south any day.
    The point is, there is always a chance our friends will be
listening to anything we say.
    We have been very successful at driving our enemies out beyond
arm’s reach.
    Thai Dei picked us up at the doorway. The Old Man grimaced. He
has no personal prejudice against my bodyguard and brother-in-law
but he abhors the fact that so many Company brothers have acquired
similar companions, none of whom are bound to his direct command.
He does not trust the Nyueng Bao. He never has, never will and
cannot explain clearly why.
    He does understand that he was not there in hell’s forge
when the bonds were hammered into existence. He will stipulate
that. He has done his time in other hells. He was suffering one at
that time.
    I made a small gesture to Thai Dei. He dropped back a step,
symbolically acknowledging our need for privacy rather than
actually accepting it. He would hear everything we had to say
anyway.
    So every word we said would be spoken in the dialect of the
Jewel City Beryl, which lies six thousand miles beyond the edge of
any world Thai Dei can even imagine.
    I wondered why Croaker bothered walking when he was

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