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Download Born to Exile (The first book in the Tales of Alaric the by Phyllis Eisenstein PDF

By Phyllis Eisenstein

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Additional info for Born to Exile (The first book in the Tales of Alaric the Minstrel series)

Example text

He doffed his cloak and the lute he wore beneath it, gently wrapping the instrument against the chill air and laying it across the saddle, so that only the tip of its sharply angled neck touched the damp ground. Then he backed off till he was out of sight - Lightfoot, having been trained for combat, did not shy easily, but his master preferred to take no chances. He stepped behind a tree and disappeared. For an instant, the hen house was silent, then all bedlam broke out as the startled birds scattered in every direction, flapping their wings and squawking in terror, bouncing off walls and perches and Alaric's body, clawing each other and shedding clouds of feathers.

He tethered his horse near a particularly large clump of grass and removed the heavy saddle. He doffed his cloak and the lute he wore beneath it, gently wrapping the instrument against the chill air and laying it across the saddle, so that only the tip of its sharply angled neck touched the damp ground. Then he backed off till he was out of sight - Lightfoot, having been trained for combat, did not shy easily, but his master preferred to take no chances. He stepped behind a tree and disappeared.

Seldom had he had so attentive an audience. As he pulled himself up on a table and strummed a few notes to loosen his fingers, the two men suspended their game and sat still as two matching statues, elbows on the board, chins cupped in their palms. The woman pushed her soapy rags aside and sat down, legs drawn up, feet tucked under her long skirt. He sang about the brave travellers on the western sea and how they fell over the edge of the world into fire and mist. It was a sad song, perhaps not one he should have chosen for a first impression, but he liked the melody - indeed, it showed his voice off to best advantage, and his voice, better even than Dall's, was his merchandise.

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