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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 14:59:18
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By the time half an hour had passed, it was all she could do not to shriek wildly and beat her head against the stone. She gritted her teeth, sensing that self-control was her only hold on sanity. How could mere darkness hurt the eyes so? Kelpie began fingering her sgian dhu longingly. It was escape, escape from this torment and that to follow. She had no great fear of death, in spite of all she had heard of Hell, for at worst it was almost certain to be interesting.

Sssss!” said Kelpie contentedly.


She applied the eye to the hole. Sure enough, Argyll’s pale face was twisted with anger, the habitual sneer deeper than usual. And Alex had that faintly amused smile on his face, despite bound hands and swollen foot, and despite his fear.

But why? Why not be silencing him and taking it?” demanded Kelpie. He shrugged, looking aggressive. Montrose, it seemed, had ordered no sacking, no looting, no harm to the citizens.

Alex gave her a crooked grin. Sorry I am to agree with you even in part,” he confessed, but no doubt some men are fighting for power. No, no, Eithne,” he added as she opened her mouth. Do not deny it too quickly. What about Argyll?”

So. Son of a chieftain, then. And what were you doing skulking in Lochaber?”

By the time it was really light, she had passed the tip of Loch Fyne. She rested for a while, but it was cold sitting still, she was getting more and more hungry, and as there was little enough chance of being seen through the thickness of the mist she went on again. Once out of Campbell country she might risk stealing as well as begging, but she must be careful about telling fortunes or selling charms, for she would be getting near the Lowlands, where the arm of the Kirk was long and strong and people were narrow-minded about such activities. And Kelpie very much wanted to avoid any more trouble of that sort.


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