Thursday, March 7, 2019
Fool Chapter 13
THIRTEENA NEST OF VILLAINSEdmund. Edmund would have to be dealt with, forces false on him, and I fought the urge to find the black-hearted fiend and lift 1 of my throwing daggers betwixt his ribs, merely a design was already in place, or one of sorts, and I alleviate held the purse with the twain remain puffb anys the witches had turn backn me. I swallowed my anger and led snake oil into the castle.Lo, take Is that you, laddie? A Welsh accent. Is the major power with you?I saw the top of a mans head sticking through the stocks great deal in the middle of the courtyard. His pilus was dark and long and hung in his face. I approached and bent polish up to h superannuated in who it was.Kent? Youve found yourself a cruel collar.Call me Caius, utter the old sawbuck. Is the king with you?The poor fellow couldnt even look up.Aye. On his way. The men atomic number 18 stabling their horses in the town. How came you to be in the stocks?I tangled with that tool Oswald, Gone rils ste fightd. Cornwall judged me the offender and had me thrown in the stocks. Ive been here since last evening.Drool, fetch to a greater extent or less water for this good buck, utter I. The giant loped off to find a bucket. I walked around behind Kent, patted him lightly on his bottom.You know, Kent, er Caius, you ar a very attractive man.You rascal, Pocket, Ill not be buggered by you.I smacked his bottom again, dust rose from his tro workrs. no(prenominal) no, no, not me. no(prenominal) my cup of tea. however Drool, now hed shag the night if he wasnt afraid of the dark. And hung homogeneous an ox, that one is. I suspect youll extrude stools untapered for a fortnight once Drools put the bugger to ya. Supperll dump through you corresponding a cherry stone pit push through a church bell.Drool was harvestinging now carrying a wooden bucket and a dipper across the courtyard.No bear shouted Kent. Villainy Violation Stop these fiendsGuards were looking down from the wall s. I scooped a dipper of water from the bucket and threw it in Kents face to hush him. He sputtered and struggled against the stocks.Easy, good Kent, I was just having you on. Well get you out of there as soon as the king arrives. I held the dipper for the knight and he drank deeply.When he finished he gasped, Christs codpiece, Pocket, whyd you go on same that?Pure evil incarnate, I reckon.Well, stop it. It doesnt suit you.Im working on the fit, give tongue to I.Lear came through the gatehouse seconds later, flanked by Captain Curan and another older knight. Whats this? beared the king. My messenger in stocks How came this to be? Who put you here, man?Your young woman and son-in-law, sire, verbalize Kent.No. By Jupiters beard, I put forward, no, state Lear.Aye, by St. Cardomons scaly feet35 I say, aye, express Kent.By the flapping foreskin of Freya, I say, bugger all express Jones.And they looked at the puppet, confident on his stick. gigabyteght we was swearing by whate ver we could come up with, verbalise the puppet. Do go on.I say no, continued Lear. Tis worse than murder, to treat a messenger of the king so. Where is my daughter?The old king stormed through the inner gate, followed by Captain Curan and a dozen other knights from his train who had come into the castle.Drool sat down in the dirt, sp fix-legged, his face even with Kents, and verbalize, So, howve you been?Im in the stocks, give tongue to Kent. Locked like this everyplacenight.Drool nodded, starting a string of his namesake down his chin. So, not so good, thusly?Nay, lad, verbalise Kent.Better now that Pocket is here to save us, innit?Aye, Im a rescue in progress. Didnt attend any keys in there when you were get the water?No. No keys, state Drool. Theyve a laundress with shattering knockers works by the well some epochs, still she wont have a jocularity with you. I asked her. Five sequences.Drool, you mustnt just go asking that sort of thing wi kelvint some prelude, said I.I said please, said Drool.Well done, whence, buoyant youve kept your manners in the face of so much villainy. convey you, kind sir, said Drool in Edmund the diddlys clear ups verbalize, pitch-perfect, dripping with evil.Thats un-bloody-settling, said Kent. Pocket, think of you could get a line slightly liberating me? I lost looking ating in my hold a good hour ago and it wont go well for retentivity a sword if they have to be cut off from gangrene.Aye, Ill see to it, said I. let Regan vent some venom on her father, because Ill go see her for the key. She quite fancies me, you know?Youve weed on yourself, aint ya? said Drool, back in his own character, but with a sec of a Welsh accent, no doubt to comfort the disguised Kent.Hours ago, and twice since, said Kent.I does that some cartridge clip in the night, when its cold or its too remote to the privy.Im just old and my bladders shrunk to the size of a walnut.Ive started a war, said I, since we seemed to be sharing pri vacies.Kent struggled in the stocks to look at me. Whats this? From key to wee to, Ive started a bloody war, without so much as a by-your-leave? Im bewildered, Pocket.Aye, which concerns me, as you broadcast are my army.Smashing said Drool.The Earl of Gloucester came himself to release Kent. Im sorry, good man. You know I would not have allowed this, but once Cornwall has set his heedI heard you try, said Kent. The two had been friends in a former life, but now, Kent, lean and dark-haired, looked younger and more than a measure dangerous, bit the weeks had weighed like years on Gloucester. He was near feeble, and struggled with the heavy key to the stocks. I took it from him gently and worked the lock.And you, fool, Ill not have you chiding Edmund for his bastardy.Hes no longer a bastard, then? You married his mother. Congratulations, good earl.No, his mother is long dead. His legitimacy comes from the deceit of my other son, Edgar, who betrayed me.How so? I asked, knowing ful l well how.He planned to take my lands from me and hasten me to the grave.This was not what I had written in the letter. Certainly, the lands would be forfeit, but there had been no mention of murder of the old man. This was Edmunds doing.What have you done to anger our father? said Drool, pitch-perfect in Edmunds vowelize.We all dour and stared at the great oaf, the wrong-sized voice coming from his cavernous mouth.I have done nothing, said Drool in another voice.Edgar? said Gloucester.Indeed, it was Edgars voice. I tensed at what might come next.Arm yourself and hide, the bastards voice said. Father has it in his mind that you have committed some offense, and he has ordered guards to seize you.What? said Gloucester. What dodgy magic is this?Then the bastards voice again I have consulted the constellations, and they foretell of our father going mad and hunting you At that point I clamped my hand over Drools mouth.Its nothing, my lord, said I. The vivid is not right in his mind . Fever, methinks. He mimics voices but not intent. His intellections are a jumble.But those were the very voices of my sons, said Gloucester.Aye, but solely in sound. Only in sound. Like a jabbering shucks is the great fool. If you have quarters where I might take him And the kings closely favored fool, and abused servant, added Kent, rubbing at the rash on his wrists left field from the stocks.Gloucester considered a implication. You, good fellow, have been wrongly punished. Gonerils steward Oswald is less than honorable. And while I find it a mystery, Lear does love his Black Fool. Theres an unused solar in the north tower. It leaks, but it allow be out of the rise and close to your master, who will have quarters in the same wing.Aye, thank you, good lord, said I. The Natural postulate tending. Well wrap him in blankets then Ill run down to the chemist for a leech.We hustled Drool into the tower and Kent unsympathetic the heavy entry and bolted it. There was one cathedr al window with kookie shutters and two arrow loops, all set in alcoves, with tapestries pulled aside and laced to allow in the little light. We could see our breath in the wintertime air.Drop those tapestries, said Kent.Well, go grab some tin candles first, said I. Itll be dark as Nyxs36 bunghole once we pull the tapestries.Kent left the solar and returned a few minutes later with a heavy atomic number 26 candelabra with three lit candles. A chambermaid is bringing us a brazier of charcoal and some bread and ale, said the knight. senescent Gloucesters a good sod.And survivor enough not to speak his mind to the king about his daughters, said I.Ive learned some, said Kent.Aye. I turned to the Natural, who was playing with the wax dripping off the thick candles. Drool, what was it you were saying? That bit with Edmund and Edgar plotting.I dont know, Pocket. I just says it, I dont know whats said. But manufacturer Edmund beats me when I talk in his voice. Im an insult to nature a nd should be punished, says he.Kent shook his head like a great hound illumination his ears of water. What sort of convoluted wickedness have you set in motion, Pocket?Me? This isnt my doing, this villainy is authored by that blackguard Edmund. But it will work for our plan. The conversations between Edgar and Edmund lie on the shelves of Drools mind like forgotten volumes in a library, we lack only prompt the git to open them. Now, to it. Drool, say the speech communication of Edgar when Edmund advises him to hide.And so we pried events out of Drools memory using cues like a cats paw,37 and by the time we had warmed ourselves over the brazier and eaten our bread, we saw the pieces of Edmunds treachery compete out as in the voices of the original players.So Edmund wounded himself and claimed that Edgar did it, said Kent. Why didnt he hardly slay his brother?He needs to assure his inheritance first, and a dig to the back would have been suspect, said I. Besides, Edgar is a form idable fighter I dont think Edmund would face him.A traitor and a coward, said Kent.And those are his assets, said I. Or we shall use them thus. I patted Drools shoulder softly. Good lad, excellent fool-craft. Now, I need you to see if you can say what I say in the voice of the bastard.Aye, Pocket, Ill give it a go.I said, Oh, my sweet lady Regan, thou art more fair than moonlight, more radiant than the sun, more glorious than all the stars. I must have you or I shall surely die.In a wink Drool repeated my words back to me in the voice of Edmund of Gloucester, the intonation and desperation in the perfect key to unlock Regans affections, or so Id wager.Howzat? asked the git.Excellent, said I.Uncanny, said Kent. How is it that Edmund let the Natural live? He must know he bears witness to his treachery.That is an excellent question. Lets go ask him, shall we?It occurred to me, as we made our way to Edmunds quarters, that since I had seen the bastard, the power of my protection, being pansy Lear, had waned somewhat, while Edmunds influence, and therefore immunity, had expanded when he became heir to Gloucester. In short, the deterrents to upkeep the bastard from murdering me had all but evaporated. I had only Kents sword and Edmunds cultism of weirdoly retribution to protect me. The witches pouch of puffballs weighed heavily as a weapon, however.A squire showed me to an antechamber off Castle Gloucesters great hall.His lordship will achieve only you, fool, said the squire.Kent looked ready to bully the boy but I held up a hand to stay him. Ill see that the door is left unlatched, good Caius. If I should call, please enter and dispatch the bastard with lethal vigor.I grinned at the spot-faced squire. Unlikely, said I. Edmund holds me in very steep esteem and I him. There will be little time between compliments to discuss business. I breezed by the young knight and into the chamber where Edmund was alone, sitting at a writing desk.I said, Thou scaly scalawag of a corpse-gorged carrion worm, cease your feast on the bodies of your betters and receive the Black Fool before vengeful spirits come to distort the twisted soul from your body and drag it into the darkest depths of hell for your treachery.Oh, well spoken, fool, said Edmund.You think so?Oh yes, Im cut to the quick. I may never recover. all told impromptu, said I. With time and polish well, I could go out and return with a keener edge on it.Perish the persuasion, said the bastard. Take a moment to catch your breath and revel in your rhetorical dominance and achievement. He gestured toward a high-backed chair across from him.Thank you, I will.Still tiny, though, I see, said the bastard.Well, yes, Nature being the recalcitrant jackass that she is And still weak, I presume?Not of will.Of course not, I referred simply to your willowy limbs.Oh yes, in that case, Im a bit of a soggy kitten.Splendid. here to be murdered then, are you?Not immediately. Uh, Edmund, if you dont mind m y saying, youre being off-puttingly benignant today.Thank you. Ive adopted a strategy of pleasantness. It turns out that one can perpetrate all manner of heinous villainy downstairs a cloak of courtesy and good cheer. Edmund leaned over the desk now, as if to take me into his most intimate confidence. It seems a man will forfeit all mutualsense self-interest if he finds you affable enough to share your company over a flagon of ale.So youre being pleasant?Yes.Its unseemly.Of course.So, youve received the dispatch from Goneril?Oswald gave it to me two days ago.And? I asked.Evidently the lady fancies me.And how do you feel about that?Well, who could blame her, really? Especially now that Im both pleasant and handsome.I should have cut your throat when I had the chance, said I.Ah, well, water under the bridge, isnt it? Excellent plan, with the letter to discredit my brother Edgar, by the way. Went smashingly. Of course I embellished somewhat. Improvised, if you will.I know, said I. Implied patricide and the odd self-inflicted wound. I nodded toward his bandaged sword arm.Oh yes, the Natural talks to you, doesnt he?Curious, then. Why is that bloody great oaf still drawing breath, knowing what he does about your plans. Fear of ghosts, is it?For the first time Edmund let his pleasant and insincere grin falter. Well, there is that, but also, I quite enjoy beating him. And when Im not beating him, having him around makes me feel more clever.You simple bastard, Drool makes anvils feel more clever. How bloody common of you.That did it. Pretense of pleasantness fell when it came to questions of class, evidently. Edmunds hand dropped below the table and came up with a long fighting dagger. But alas, I was already in the process of swinging down hard with Joness stick end and struck the bastard on his bandaged forearm. The blade went spinning in such(prenominal) a way that I was able to kick the hilt as it hit the floor and flip it up into my own waiting weapon hand. ( To be fair, that is right or left, whether it was the juggling or the pickpocket training of Belette, I am agile with either hand.)I flipped the blade and held it ready for a throw. Sit Youre exactly a half-turn from hell, Edmund. Do twitch. Please do. Hed seen me perform with my knives at court and knew my skill.The bastard sat, cradling his hurt arm as he did so. strain was seeping through the bandage.He spat at me, and missed. Ill have you Ah, ah, ah, said I, brandishing the blade. Pleasant.Edmund growled, but stopped as Kent stormed into the room, roast the door back on its hinges. His sword was drawn and two young squires were drawing theirs as they followed him. Kent turned and smashed the lead squire in the forehead with the hilt of his own weapon, knocking the boy backward off his feet, quite unconscious. Then Kent spun and swept the feet out from under the other with the flat of his sword and the lad landed on his back with an explosion of breath. The old knight drew bac k to crush through the squires heart.Hold said I. Dont kill himKent held and looked up, assessing the situation for the first time.I heard a blade clang. I thought the villain was murdering you.No. He gave me this lovely dragon-hilted dagger as a peace offering.That is not true, said the bastard.So, said Kent, paying particular attention to my readied weapon, youre murdering the bastard, then? scarcely testing the weapons balance, good knight.Oh, sorry.No worries. Thank you. Ill call you if I need you. Take that unconscious one with you, would you? I looked at the other, who trembled on the floor. Edmund, do instruct your knights to be pleasant toward my ruffian. He is a favorite of the king.Let him alone, grumbled Edmund.Kent and the conscious squire dragged the other one out of the chamber and unsympathetic the door.Youre right, this being pleasant is the dogs bollocks, Edmund. I flipped the dagger and caught it by the hilt. When Edmund made as if to move, I flipped it again and caught it by the blade. I raised a comical eyebrow at him. So, you were saying about how well my plan had worked.Edgar is brand a traitor. Even now my fathers knights hunt him. I will be lord of Gloucester.But, really, Edmund, is that enough?Exactly, said the bastard.Uh, exactly what? Had he already set his sights on Albanys lands, not even having spoken with Goneril? Now I was doubly unsure of what to do. My own plan to pair the bastard with Goneril and undermine the realm was the only thing keeping me from sending the dagger to his throat, and when I thought of the lash marks on poor Drools back my hand quivered, lacking(p) to loose the knife to its mark. But what had he set his sights on?The spoils of war can be as great as a kingdom, said Edmund.War? How knew he of war? My war.Aye, fool. War.Fuckstockings, said I. I let the knife fly and ran out of the room, bells jingling.As I approached our tower, I heard what sounded like someone torturing an elk in a tempest. I thought that Edmund might have sent an assassin for Drool after all, so I came through the door low, with one of my daggers at the ready.Drool lay on his back on a blanket, a golden-haired woman with a white nightdress spread around her hips was riding him as if competing in the nitwit steeplechase. Id seen her before, but never so solid. The two were wailing in ecstasy.Drool, what are you doing?Pretty, said Drool, a great joyous, goofy grin on him.Aye, shes a vision, lad, but youre knobbing a ghost.No. The dim giant paused in his upward thrusting, lifted her by her waist and looked closely at her as if hed found a flea in his bed.Ghost?She nodded.Drool tossed her aside and with a long shuddering scream ran to the window and dove through, shattering the shutters as he went. The scream trailed off and ended with a splash.The ghost pulled her clothe down, tossed her hair out of her face, and grinned. Water in the moat, she said. Hell be fine. Guess Ill be going away half-cocked, though.Well , yes, but jolly good of you to take time from chain rattling and delivering portents of bloody doom to shag the beef-brained boy.Not up for a spirity tumble yourself, then? She made as if to lift her gown above her hips again.Piss off, wisp, Ive got to go fish the git out of the moat. He cant swim.Not keen on flight, neither, evidently?No time for this. I sheathed my dagger, wheeled on my heel and started out the door.Not your war, fool, said the ghost.I stopped. Drool was slow at most things, perhaps he would be so at drowning. The bastard has his own war?Aye. The ghost nodded, fading back to mist as she moved. A fools best planPlays out to chance,But a bastards hope,Arrives from France. Thou loquacious fog, thou nattering mist, thou serpent-tongued steam, for the love of truth, speak straight, and no sodding rhyme.But in that moment she was gone.Who are you? I shouted to the empty tower.