The Devourer Within. Death's Scepter. Sin Catenas. The Death of Brendon Ensolare.
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Object Lesson. Acurrhir Todo; Nada Perdonad. Set a Thief. The Honor of the Guild. A Proper Escort. Midsummer Night's Gift. The Speaking Touch.
Red Sun of Darkover (Daw UE2330) (Darkover)
Invitation to Chaos. Meeting of Minds. Ten Minutes or So. Carmen's Flight. The Madwoman of the Kilghard Hills.
Destined for the Tower. Bonds of Sisterhood. To Keep the Oath.
author : Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Hawkmaster's Son. Lesson of the Inn. Hilary's Homecoming. Hilary's Wedding. The Word of a Hastur. Poetic License. A Capella. Cradle of Lies. One Drink Before You Go. At the monastery, I had a letter from Ruyven; he is well, and loves the work he does, and is happy. He sends his love and a kiss to all of you, and bids me speak of him again to Father when I judge the time is right.
Darren shook his head. Romilly turned on him, blinking in disbelief. She had never known or guessed this, she had always taken it for granted that all her siblings shared the Gift she had come to take for granted even before she knew what it was. She turned with relief to Davin, who was coming through the courtyard. Not with success, unless they were yard-hatched.
And this was a haggard? Who trained her? A girl? But why not, you are a MacAran. In the Tower where I dwelt for a time, some of the woman tamed and flew verrin hawks taken in the wild, and we are apt to say there, to one who has notable success with a hawk, Why, you have the hand of a MacAran with a bird…. Most hill-folk would be proud.
Now he will even try to hammer this bent nail into the place laid out for my brother. Romilly chuckled. Darren grinned mirthlessly. And so she is, are you not, precious one? They must be taught to bring the prey down to their master, and to wait until the meat was given to them from the hand.
Romilly handed it to him with relief. Romilly gave the sharp whistle which the hawk was being taught to associate with food, and scooped Preciosa up on her glove, tearing the food from the lure. Blood burst out, staining her dress; Romilly set her mouth and did not cry out, but as the crimson spread across the blue fabric, Darren cried out sharply.
At his scream, Preciosa tottered again and flew upward, checking with a shrill scream of rage at the end of her lines. Get back before you frighten her worse than that! Get out of here! He was standing in the door of the hawk-house, watching the three young people unseen. His voice, even in his anger, was low — he knew better than to raise his voice near a frightened bird.
He stood silent, staring with his brows knitted in a scowl, as Romilly coaxed the hawk down to her wrist and untangled the lines. But that I knew your mother so well, I would swear you had been fathered by some chance — come beggar of the roads. Bearer of Burdens, why have you weighted my life with a son so unfit for his place? Take this hawk — no, not like that, damnation take you, you have hands like great hams for all your writing and scribbling! Romilly, fighting for calm- there was no sense in upsetting Preciosa again — threaded meat on the lure again.
Without words, Alderic reached for the line and began to swing it high, and Romilly watched Preciosa wing off, both of them frying to ignore Darren, his face red and swollen, clumsily trying to unhood a strange hawk at the far end of the stableyard. It was all they could do for Darren now.
She thought; at least, he is trying. Perhaps that is braver than what I did, defying Father; I had the Gift, I was only doing what is natural for me, and Darren, obeying, is going against everything which is natural to him. It would not help Darren. Nothing would help him except trying to conquer his own nervousness. And, somewhere inside her, she could not help feeling a tiny sting of contempt. Romilly did not see the first of the guests arrive for the Midsummer-feast; the day had dawned clear and brilliant, the red sun rising over just a hint of cloud at the horizon. For three days there had been neither snow nor rain, and everywhere in the courtyard flowers were bursting into bloom.
She sat up in her bed, drawing a breath of excitement; today she was to fly Preciosa free for the very first time. This was the final excruciating test for hawk and trainer. All too often, when first freed, the hawk would rise into the sky, wing away into the violet clouds and never return.
Playfellow (Darkover Short Stories) by Elisabeth Waters
She faced that knowledge; she could not bear to lose Preciosa now, and it was all the more likely with a haggard who had hunted and fed for herself in the wild. But Preciosa would return, Romilly was confident of that. As she slipped out into the corridor she stumbled over a basket set in her door; the traditional Midsummer-gift from the men of the family to mothers, sisters, daughters.
Her father was always generous; she set the basket inside, rummaged through it for a handy apple and a few of the sweets that always appeared there too, and thrust them into her pockets — just what she wanted for hunting, and after a moment she pocketed a few more for Darren and Alderic. And a tiny one clumsily pasted of paper strips, which she had seen Rael trying to hide in the schoolroom; she smiled indulgently, for it was filled with a handful of nuts which she knew he had saved from his own desserts.
What a darling he was, her little brother! She would arrange some special treat for him later. She went silently down the hallway and joined Darren and Alderic, who were waiting at the doorway, having let the dogs outside — it was, after all, well after daylight.
The three young people went toward the stable. He gave you leave to fly his racer if you would, Alderic. If father had bidden me to exercise one of his birds, I would obey him; but in honor of the holiday, perhaps, he forbore to lay any such command on me. No doubt. Romilly set Preciosa on the perch as she saddled her own horse.
She would not command any man to disobey her father against his conscience; but she would not ride sidesaddle on this holiday ride, either.
If her father chose to punish her, she would accept whatever he chose to do. It was sheer ecstasy to be on a horse again in proper riding clothes, feeling the cool morning wind against her face, and Preciosa before her on the saddle, hooded but alert. She could feel a trickle of awareness from the bird which was blended of emotions Romilly herself could not identify. And there are always small birds and small animals in the coverts.