Книга Tehanu The Last Book of Earthsea. Содержание - Winter
She nodded. “Warriors of the God-Brothers,” she said. “I made a . . . a fog-spell. To confuse them. But they came on, some of them. I saw one of them run right onto a pitchfork-like him, Only it went clear through him. Below the waist.”
“You hit a rib,” Tenar said.
“It was the only mistake you made,” she said. Her teeth were chattering now. She drank her tea. “Ged,” she said, “what if they come back?”
“They could set fire to the house.”
“This house?” He looked around at the stone walls.
“They won’t be back,” he said, doggedly.
They held their cups with care, warming their hands on them.
“She slept through it.”
“It’s well she did.”
“But she’ll see him-here-in the morning-”
They stared at each other.
“If I’d killed him-if he’d die!” Ged said with rage. “I could drag him out and bury him-”
He merely shook his head angrily.
“What does it matter, why, why can’t we do it!” Tenar demanded .
“I don’t know.”
“As soon as it gets light-”
“I’ll get him out of the house. Wheelbarrow. The old man can help me.”
“He can’t lift anything any more. I’ll help you.”
“However I can do it, I’ll cart him off to the village. There’s a healer of some kind there?”
“A witch, Ivy.”
She felt all at once abysmally, infinitely weary. She could scarcely hold the cup in her hand .
“There’s more tea,” she said, thick-tongued.
He poured himself another cupful.
The fire danced in her eyes. The flames swam, flared up, sank away, brightened again against the sooty stone, against the dark sky, against the pale sky, the gulfs of evening, the depths of air and light beyond the world. Flames of yellow, orange, orange-red, red tongues of flame, flame-tongues, the words she could not speak.
“We call the star Tehanu,” she said.
“Tenar, my dear. Come on. Come with me.”
They were not at the fire. They were in the dark-in the dark hall. The dark passage. They had been there before, leading each other, following each other, in the darkness underneath the earth.
“This is the way,” she said.
She was waking, not wanting to waken. Faint grey shone at the window in thin slits through the shutters. Why was the window shuttered? She got up hurriedly and went down the hail to the kitchen. No one sat by the fire, no one lay on the floor, There was no sign of anyone, anything. Except the teapot and three cups on the counter.
Therru got up about sunrise, and they breakfasted as usual; clearing up, the girl asked, “What happened?” She lifted a corner of wet linen from the soaking-tub in the pantry. The water in the tub was veined and clouded with brownish red.
“Oh, my period came on early,” Tenar said, startled at the lie as she spoke it.
Therru stood a moment motionless, her nostrils flared and her head still, like an animal getting a scent. Then she dropped the sheeting back into the water, and went out to feed the chickens.
Tenar felt ill; her bones ached. The weather was still cold, and she stayed indoors as much as she could.. She tried to keep Therru in, but when the sun came out with a keen, bright wind, Therru wanted to be out in it.
“Stay with Shandy in the orchard,” Tenar said.
Therru said nothing as she slipped out.
The burned and deformed side of her face was made rigid by the destruction of muscles and the thickness of the scar-surface, but as the scars got older and as Tenar learned by long usage not to look away from it as deformity but to see it as face, it had expressions of its own. When Therru was frightened, the burned and darkened side “closed in,” as Tenar thought, drawing together, hardening. When she was excited or intent, even the blind eye socket seemed to gaze, and the scars reddened and were hot to touch. Now, as she went out, there was a queer look to her, as if her face were not human at all, an animal, some strange horny-skinned wild creature with one bright eye, silent, escaping.
And Tenar knew that as she had lied to her for the first time, Therru for the first time was going to disobey her. The first but not the last time.
She sat down at the fireside with a weary sigh, and did nothing at all for a while.
A rap at the door: Clearbrook and Ged-no, Hawk she must call him-Hawk standing on the doorstep. Old Clear-brook was full of talk and importance, Ged dark and quiet and bulky in his grimy sheepskin coat. “Come in,” she said. “Have some tea. What’s the news?”
“Tried to get away, down to Valmouth, but the men from Kahedanan, the bailies, come down and ‘twas in Cherry’s outhouse they found ‘em,” Clearbrook announced, waving his fist.
“He escaped?” Horror caught at her.
“The other two,” Ged said. “Not him.”
“See, they found the body up in the old shambles on Round Hill, all beat to pieces like, up in the old shambles there, by Kahedanan, so ten, twelve of ‘em ‘pointed their-selves bailies then and there and come after them. And there was a search all through the villages last night, and this morning before ‘twas hardly light they found ‘em hiding out in Cherry’s outhouse. Half-froze they was.”
“He’s dead, then?” she asked, bewildered.
Ged had shucked off the heavy coat and was now sitting on the cane-bottom chair by the door to undo his leather gaiters. “He’s alive,” he said in his quiet voice. “Ivy has him. I took him in this morning on the muck-cart. There were people out on the road before daylight, hunting for all three of them. They’d killed a woman, up in the hills.”
“What woman?” Tenar whispered.
Her eyes were on Ged’s. He nodded slightly. Clearbrook wanted the story to be his, and took it up loudly: “I talked with some o’ them from up there and they told me they’d all four of ‘em been traipsing and camping and vagranting about near Kahedanan, and the woman would come into the village to beg, all beat about and burns and bruises all over her. They’d send her in, the men would, see, like that to beg, and then she’d go back to ‘em, and she told people if she went back with nothing they’d beat her more, so they said why go back? But if she didn’t they’d come after her, she said, see, and she’d always go with ‘em. But then they finally went too far and beat her to death, and they took and left her body in the old shambles there where there’s still some o’ the stink left, you know, maybe thinking that was hiding what they done. And they came away then, down here, just last night. And why didn’t you shout and call last night, Goha? Hawk says they was right here, sneaking about the house, when he come on em. I surely would have heard, or Shandy would, her ears might be sharper than mine. Did you tell her yet?”
Tenar shook her head.
“I’ll just go tell her,” said the old man, delighted to be first with the news, and he clumped off across the yard. He turned back halfway. “Never would have picked you as useful with a pitchfork!” he shouted to Ged, and slapped his thigh, laughing, and went on.
Ged slipped off the heavy gaiters, took off his muddy shoes and set them on the doorstep, and came over to the fire in his stocking feet. Trousers and jerkin and shirt of homespun wool: a Gontish goatherd, with a canny face, a hawk nose, and clear, dark eyes.
“There’ll be people out soon," he said. “To tell you all about it, and hear what happened here again. They’ve got the two that ran off shut up now in a wine cellar with no wine in it, and fifteen or twenty men guarding them, and twenty or thirty boys trying to get a peek He yawned, shook his shoulders and arms to loosen them, and with a glance at Tenar asked permission to sit down at the fire.
She gestured to the hearthseat. “You must be worn out, she whispered.