By Steven Brust

Vlad Taltos, sorcerer, someday witch, and previous murderer, and his trustworthy jhereg tackle the most important hitters of the home of the Jhereg.

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Mae, who was driving, stopped the cart and frowned. ” “They seem to be gathered around a cart,” said Pae. Mae stared for a moment longer, then clicked the team closer. “There’s Master Wag,” said Polyi, glancing at Savn as if he would be able to provide an explanation. They got a little closer, finally stopping some twenty feet down the narrow street from the crowd and the cart. Savn and Polyi stood up and craned their necks. “It’s a dead man,” said Savn in an awed whisper. “He’s right,” said Pae.

Savn started to say something, but Vlad raised his hand. “Think of it this way, my friend: many years ago, a man helped me to pull a nasty joke on your Baron. Now, on the very day I come walking through his fief, the man who helped me turns up mysteriously dead right in front of me. And the victim of this little prank moves to his manor house, which happens to be just outside the village I’m passing through. ” “I wouldn’t, either. ” “I’m not certain,” Vlad said. “Perhaps it was foolish of me to come this way, but I didn’t realize exactly where I was, and, in any case, I thought Loraan was ...

This last remark was enough to bring back all the revulsion that Savn had first felt when laying hands on the corpse. He went down in the road and wiped his hands thoroughly and completely, including his forearms, and then went into Tern’s house and begged water to wash them with. When he emerged, he made his way slowly through the crowd that still stood around the wagon, but he was no longer the object of attention. He noticed Speaker standing a little bit away, frowning, and not far away was Lova, who Savn knew was Fin’s friend, but he didn’t see Fin.

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