“You’ve found my office in Proscenium Hall,” Courtney observed. “When you can explain Ettore’s Chapter Three to me—his first two chapters are just definitions—we should talk.”
“I’ve already looked at it.” I paused. “Won’t be soon,” I said. “But sometimes definitions are traps, not neutral phrases.”
Master Courtenay gave me a thumb’s up. “Perhaps that’s where he goes wrong. Few writers care about those very familiar definitions.”
“Someday, not soon,” I answered. I stood and bowed. “I am most grateful, Serene Master.” That was the last time for a long time that I ate at the General Magic table.
While it had taken a while to remember the obvious, I did send my parents a long letter describing what had happened, and a short letter to Grandpa Worrow thanking him for his combat training and describing some of what I’d done against Fourbridge. I emphasized, as he’d warned me, that I had a lot more to learn, because the metal scarecrow thing – golem, a lictor had called it – had been remarkably stubborn about falling apart at the seams. Constructs are supposed to be fragile; this one hadn’t been. Theo had given me the list of Outremer Houses that were clients of Senators; that I included in my letter to Gramps. Letter-writing was interrupted by an interview with a pair of senior lictors. They were clearly very embarrassed by what had happened, but somehow had the idea Triskittenion House had a house feud with the Fourbridges. We do have a few long-standing feuds, but not the violent sort, more commercial contests that went sour and escalated, but none with House Fourbridge. Having mailed the letter, I took a nap.