Книга Tehanu The Last Book of Earthsea. Содержание - Home
“They’ll be welcome at Oak Farm,” she said. “Though not as welcome as you would be."
“I will come when I can,” he said, a little sternly; and a little wistfully, “if I can.”
Most of the people of Valmouth came down to the docks to see the ship from Havnor, when they heard that the king was aboard, the new king, the young king that the new songs were about. They didn’t know the new songs yet, but they knew the old ones, and old Relli came with his harp and sang a piece of the Deed of Morred, for a king of Earthsea would be the heir of Morred for certain. Presently the king himself came on deck, as young and tall and handsome as could be, and with him a mage of Roke, and a woman and a little girl in old cloaks not much better than beggars, but he treated them as if they were a queen and a princess, so maybe that’s what they were. “Maybe it’s his mother,” said Shinny, trying to see over the heads of the men in front of her, and then her friend Apple clutched her arm and said in a kind of whispered shriek, “It is-it’s mother!”
“Whose mother?” said Shinny, and Apple said, “Mine. And that’s Therru.” But she did not push forward in the crowd, even when an officer of the ship came ashore to invite old Relli aboard to play for the king. She waited with the others. She saw the king receive the notables of Val-mouth, and heard Relli sing for him. She watched him bid his guests farewell, for the ship was going to stand out to sea again, people said, before night fell, and be on her way
home to Havnor, The last to come across the gangplank were Therru and Tenar. To each the king gave the formal embrace, laying cheek to cheek, kneeling tO embrace Therru. “Ah!” said the crowd on the dock. The sun was setting in a mist of gold, laying a great gold track across the bay, as the two came down the railed gangplank. Tenar lugged a heavy pack and bag; Therru’s face was bent down and hidden by her hair. The gangplank was run in, and the sailors leapt to the rigging, and the officers shouted, and the ship Dolphin turned on her way. Then Apple made her way through the crowd at last.
“Hello, mother,” she said, and Tenar said, “Hello, daughter.” They kissed, and Apple picked up Therru and said, “How you’ve grown! You’re twice the girl you were. Come on, come on home with me.
But Apple was a little shy with her mother, that evening, in the pleasant house of her young merchant husband. She gazed at her several times with a thoughtful, almost a wary look. “It never meant a thing to me, you know, mother,” she said at the door of Tenar’s bedroom-”all that-the Rune of peace-and you bringing the Ring to Havnor. It was just like one of the songs. A thousand years ago! But it really was you, wasn’t it?”
“It was a girl from Atuan,” Tenar said. “A thousand years ago. I think I could sleep for a thousand years, just now.
“Go to bed, then.” Apple turned away, then turned back, lamp in hand. “King-kisser,” she said.
“Get along with you,” said Tenar.
Apple and her husband kept Tenar a couple of days, but after that she was determined tO go to the farm. So Apple walked with her and Therru up along the placid, silvery Kaheda. Summer was turning to autumn. The sun was still hot, but the wind was cool. The foliage of trees had a weary, dusty look to it, and the fields were cut or in harvest.
Apple spoke of how much stronger Therru was, and how sturdily she walked now.
“I wish you’d seen her at Re Albi,” Tenar said, “before-’” and stopped. She had decided not to worry her daughter with all that.
“What did happen? “ “ Apple asked, so clearly resolved to know that Tenar gave in and answered in a low voice, “One of them.”
Therru was a few yards ahead of them, long-legged in her outgrown dress, hunting blackberries in the hedgerows as she walked.
“Her father?” Apple asked, sickened at the thought.
“Lark said the one that seems to be the father called himself Hake. This one’s younger. He’s the one that came to Lark to tell her. He’s called Handy. He was.., hanging around at Re Albi. And then by ill luck we ran into him in Gont Port. But the king sent him off. And now I’m here and he’s there, and all that’s done with.””
“But Therru was frightened,” Apple said, a bit grimly. Tenar nodded.
“But why did you go to Gont Port?”
“Oh, well, this man Handy was working for a man
. . . a wizard at the lord’s house in Re Albi, who took a dislike to me She tried to think of the wizard’s use-name and could not; all she could think of was Tuaho, a Kargish word for a kind of tree, she could not remember what tree.
“Well, so, it seemed better just to come on home.’”
“But what did this wizard dislike you for?”’
“For being a woman, mostly.”
“ Bah,” said Apple. “Old cheese rind.”
“Young cheese rind, in this case.”
“Worse yet. Well, nobody around here that I know of has seen the parents, if that’s the word for “em. But if they’re still hanging about, I don’t like your being alone in the farmhouse.’”
It is pleasant to be mothered by a daughter, and to behave as a daughter to one’s daughter. Tenar said impatiently, “I’ll be perfectly all right!”
“You could at least get a dog.”
“I’ve thought of that. Somebody in the village might have a pup. We’ll ask Lark when we stop by there.”
“Not a puppy, mother. A dog.”
“But a young one-one Therru could play with,” she pleaded.
“A nice puppy that will come and kiss the burglars,” said Apple, stepping along buxom and grey-eyed, laughing at her mother.
They came to the village about midday. Lark welcomed Tenar and Therru with a festivity of embraces, kisses, questions, and things to eat. Lark’s quiet husband and other villagers stopped by to greet Tenar. She felt the happiness of homecoming.
Lark and the two youngest of her seven children, a boy and a girl, accompanied them out to the farm. The children had known Therru since Lark first brought her home, of course, and were used to her, though two months’ separation made them shy at first. With them, even with Lark, she remained withdrawn, passive, as in the bad old days.
“She’s worn out, confused by all this traveling. She’ll get over it. She’s come along wonderfully,” Tenar said to Lark, but Apple would not let her get out of it so easily. “One of them turned up and terrified her and mother both,’” said Apple. And little by little, between them, the daughter and the friend got the story out of Tenar that afternoon, as they opened up the cold, stuffy, dusty house, put it to rights, aired the bedding, shook their heads over sprouted onions, laid in a bit of food in the pantry, and set a large kettle of soup on for supper. What they got came a word at a time. Tenar could not seem to tell them what the wizard had done; a spell, she said vaguely, or maybe it was that he had sent Handy after her. But when she came to talk about the king, the words came tumbling out.
“And then there he was-the king!-like a sword blade- And Handy shrinking and shrivelling back from him- And I thought he was Spark! I did, I really did for a moment, I was so-so beside myself-”’
“Well,” said Apple, “that’s all right, because Shinny thought you were his mother. When we were on the docks watching you come sailing in in your glory. She kissed him, you know, Aunty Lark. Kissed the king-just like that. I thought next thing she’d kiss that mage. But she didn’t.”
“I should think not, what an idea. What mage?” said Lark, with her head in a cupboard. “Where”s your flour bin, Goha?’”
“Your hand’s on it. A Roke mage, come looking for a new archmage.”
“Why not?”’ said Apple. “The last one was from Gont, wasn’t he? But they didn’t spend much time looking. They sailed straight back to Havnor, once they’d got rid of mother.”