Книга Tehanu The Last Book of Earthsea. Содержание - Hawks

The child nodded.”

“Give it only to him!”

She nodded again.

Tenar tucked the paper into the child’s pocket, held her, kissed her, let her go.” Therru went, not crouching and sidling now but running freely, flying, Tenar thought, seeing her vanish in the evening light beyond the dark door-frame, flying like a bird, a dragon, a child, free.”


Therru was back soon with Sparrowhawk’s reply: “He said he’ll leave tonight.”

Tenar heard this with satisfaction, relieved that he had accepted her plan, that he would get clear away from these messengers and messages he dreaded. It was not till she had fed Heather and Therm their frog-leg feast, and put Therru to bed and sung to her, and was sitting up alone without lamp or firelight, that her heart began to sink. He was gone. He was not strong, he was bewildered and uncertain, he needed friends; and she had sent him away from those who were and those who wished to be his friends. He was gone, and she must stay, to keep the hounds from his trail, to learn at least whether they stayed in Gont or sailed back to Havnor.”

His panic and her obedience to it began to seem so unreasonable to her that she thought it equally unreasonable, improbable, that he would in fact go.” He would use his wits and simply hide in Moss’s house, which was the last place in all Earthsea that a king would look for an archmage.” It would be much better if he stayed there till the king’s men left.” Then he could come back here to Ogion’s house, where he belonged, And it would go on as before, she looking after him until he had his strength back, and he giving her his dear companionship.

A shadow against the stars in the doorway: “Hsssst! Awake?” Aunty Moss came in. “Well, he’s off,” she said, conspiratorial, jubilant. “Went the old forest road. Says he’ll cut down to the Middle Valley way, along past Oak Springs, tomorrow.”

“Good,” said Tenar.

Bolder than usual, Moss sat down uninvited. “I gave him a loaf and a bit of cheese for the way.”

“Thank you, Moss. That was kind.”

“Mistress Goha.” Moss’s voice in the darkness took on the singsong resonance of her chanting and spellcasting. “There’s a thing I was wanting to say to you, dearie, without going beyond what I can know, for I know you’ve lived among great folks and been one of ‘em yourself, and that seals my mouth when I think of it. And yet there’s things I know that you’ve had no way of knowing, for all the learning of the runes, and the Old Speech, and all you’ve learned from the wise, and in the foreign lands.”

“That’s so, Moss.”

“Aye, well, then. So when we talked about how witch knows witch, and power knows power, and I said-of him who’s gone now-that he was no mage now, whatever he had been, and still you would deny it-But I was right, wasn’t I?”


“Aye. I was.

“He said so himself.”

“0’ course he did. He don’t lie nor say this is that and that’s this till you don’t know which end’s up, I’ll say that for him. He’s not one tries to drive the cart without the ox, either. But I’ll say flat out I’m glad he’s gone, for it wouldn’t do, it wouldn’t do any longer, being a different matter with him now, and all.”

Tenar had no idea what she was talking about, except for her image of trying to drive the cart without the ox. “I don’t know why he’s so afraid,” she said. “Well, I know in part, but I don’t understand it, why he feels such shame. But I know he thinks that he should have died. And I know that all I understand about living is having your work to do, and being able to do it. That’s the pleasure, and the glory, and all. And if you can’t do the work, or it’s taken from you, then what’s any good? You have to have something

Moss listened and nodded as at words of wisdom, but after a slight pause she said, “It’s a queer thing for an old man to be a boy of fifteen, no doubt!”

Tenar almost said, “What are you talking about, Moss?’ ‘-but something prevented her. She realized that she had been listening for Ged to come into the house from his roaming on the mountainside, that she was listening for the sound of his voice, that her body denied his absence. She glanced suddenly over at the witch, a shapeless lump of black perched on Ogion’s chair by the empty hearth.

“Ah!” she said, a great many thoughts suddenly coming into her mind all at once.

“That’s why,” she said. “That’s why I never-”

After a quite long silence, she said, “Do they-do wizards-is it a spell?”

“Surely, surely, dearie,” said Moss. “They witch ‘em-selves. Some’ll tell you they make a trade-off, like a mar-riage turned backward, with vows and all, and so get their power then. But to me that’s got a wrong sound to it, like a dealing with the Old Powers more than what a true witch deals with. And the old mage, he told me they did no such thing. Though I’ve known some woman witches do it, and come to no great harm by it.

“The ones who brought me up did that, promising virginity.”

“Oh, aye, no men, you told me, and them yurnix. Terrible!”

“But why, but why-why did I never think-”

The witch laughed aloud. “Because that’s the power of ‘em, dearie. You don’t think! You can’t! And nor do they, once they’ve set their spell. How could they? Given their power? It wouldn’t do, would it, it wouldn’t do. You don’t get without you give as much. That’s true for all, surely. So they know that, the witch men, the men of power, they know that better than any. But then, you know, it’s an uneasy thing for a man not to be a man, no matter if he can call the sun down from the sky. And so they put it right out of mind, with their spells of binding. And truly so. Even in these bad times we’ve been having, with the spells going wrong and all, I haven’t yet heard of a wizard breaking those spells, seeking to use his power for his body’s lust. Even the worst would fear to. 0’ course, there’s those will work illusions, but they only fool ‘emselves. And there’s witch men of little account, witch-tinkers and the like, some of them’ll try their own spells of beguilement on country women, but for all I can see, those spells don’t amount to much. What it is, is the one power’s as great as the other, and each goes its own way. That’s how I see it.”

Tenar sat thinking, absorbed. At last she said, “They set themselves apart.”

“Aye. A wizard has to do that.”

“But you don’t.”

“Me? I’m only an old witchwoman, dearie.”

“How old?”

After a minute Moss’s voice in the darkness said, with a hint of laughter in it, “Old enough to keep out of trouble.”

“But you said . . . You haven’t been celibate.”

“What’s that, dearie?”

“Like the wizards.”

“Oh, no. No, no! Never was anything to look at, but there was a way I could look at them.. . not witching, you know, dearie, you know what I mean. . . there’s a way to look, and he’d come round, sure as a crow will caw, in a day or two or three he’d come around my place-’ I need a cure for my dog’s mange,’ ‘I need a tea for my sick granny,' -but I knew what it was they needed, and if I liked ‘em well enough maybe they got it. And for love, for love-I’m not one o’ them, you know, though maybe some witches are, but they dishonor the art, I say. I do my art for pay but I take my pleasure for love, that’s what I say. Not that it’s all pleasure, all that. I was crazy for a man here for a long time, years, a good-looking man he was, but a hard, cold heart. He’s long dead. Father to that Townsend who’s come back here to live, you know him. Oh, I was so heartset on that man I did use my art, I spent many a charm on him, but ‘twas all wasted. All for nothing. No blood in a turnip. . . . And I came up here to Re Albi in the first place when I was a girl because I was in trouble with a man in Gont Port. But I can’t talk of that, for they were rich, great folks. ‘Twas they had the power, not I! They didn’t want their son tangled with a common girl like me, foul slut they called me, and they’d have had me put out of the way, like killing a cat, if I hadn’t run off up here. But oh, I did like that lad, with his round, smooth arms and legs and his big, dark eyes, I can see him plain as plain after all these years. . . .

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