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started by xred456 on 28 Nov 14
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    There was a good deal of hanging in those days; and yet the authorities had an ugly way of reprieving condemned men on whom the sight-seers had been counting. An air of gloom would gather on my old friend's countenance when he told how he and his contemporaries in Thrums trudged every Saturday for six weeks to the county town, many miles distant, to witness the execution of some criminal in whom they had local interest, and who, after disappointing them again and again, was said to have been bought off by a friend. His crime had been stolen entrance into a house in Thrums by the chimney, with intent to rob; and though this old-fashioned family did not see it, not the least noticeable incident in the scrimmage that followed was the prudence of the canny housewife. When she saw the legs coming down the lum, she rushed to the kail-pot which was on the fire and put on the lid. She confessed that this was not done to prevent the visitor's scalding himself, but to save the broth. The old man was repeated in his three sons. They told his stories precisely as he did himself, taking as long in the telling and making the points in exactly the same way. ralph lauren polo sale
    By and by they will come to think that they themselves were of those past times. Already the young ones look like contemporaries of their father.THE FIRST ORDEAL The shaman advanced to my side and asked me courteously how I fared. I answered, "Better. Far better, oh, my host--but how are you named?" "Simbri," he answered, "and, as I told you by the water, my title is Hereditary Guardian of the Gate. By profession I am the royal Physician in this land." "Did you say physician or magician?" I asked carelessly, as though I had not caught the word. cheap mens ralph lauren shirts He gave me a curious look. "I _said_ physician, and it is well for you and your companion that I have some skill in my art. Otherwise I think, perhaps, you would not have been alive to-day, O my guest--but how are _you_ named?" "Holly," I said. "O my guest, Holly." "Had it not been for the foresight that brought you and the lady Khania to the edge of yonder darksome river, certainly we should _not_ have been alive, venerable Simbri, a foresight that seems to me to savour of magic in such a lonely place. That is why I thought you might have described yourself as a magician, though it is true that you may have been but fishing in those waters." "Certainly I was fishing, stranger Holly--for men, and I caught two. ralph lauren wholesale uk
    " "Fishing by chance, host Simbri?" "Nay, by design, guest Holly. My trade of physician includes the study of future events, for I am the chief of the Shamans or Seers of this land, and, having been warned of your coming quite recently, I awaited your arrival." "Indeed, that is strange, most courteous also. So here physician and magician mean the same." "You say it," he answered with a grave bow; "but tell me, if you will, how did you find your way to a land whither visitors do not wander?" "Oh!" I answered, "perhaps we are but travellers, or perhaps we also have studied--medicine." "I think that you must have studied it deeply, since otherwise you would not have lived to cross those mountains in search of--now, what did you seek? Your companion, I think, spoke of a queen--yonder, on the banks of the torrent." "Did he? Did he, indeed? Well, that is strange since he seems to have found one, for surely that royal-looking lady, named Khania, who sprang into the stream and saved us, must be a queen.

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