Chapter 12:

When we last left Romilly, she’d gone on a field trip to bring Caryl back as promised, and they’re puttering on their horses through some plains known as the Plains of Valeron. Although it’s barely spring, everything’s already green and fertile, with the crops already blooming in the fields and whatnot. Romilly strikes up another rather boring conversation with Caryl, where she learns that he was sent up to Nevarsin to avoid the fighting in the lowlands. Of course, this is a perfect time for us to get a soapbox on the horrors of war:

It now seemed, to her hypersensitive consciousness, bestrewn with the black of blood under the crimson sun, all dark, the very ground crying out with the slaughter of innocents and the horrors of armies treading the crops into the soil from which they sprung. She shuddered, and abruptly the whole scene winked out and Romilly knew she had been sharing the child’s consciousness. (Pg. 622)

You know, I wonder why more Sues don’t have their speshul powers pose more problems or activate at inconvenient times. Fire mages don’t accidentally set things on fire with actual consequences, turning people into donkeys is actually viewed as a danger instead of something cute to be laughed at, and telepaths don’t go batshit insane from hearing everyone’s thoughts all the time. Oh wait, that was a stupid question. They wouldn’t be Sues otherwise; the whole point of them is to learn what they need to do when they need it, sometimes for no reason at all. Why should I not be surprised her powers randomly activate so as to lead into a page of psuedophilosophical musings?

A small side note on the backstory of this setting:

“During the early years of space exploration and colonization, Earth-based humans on their way to a new colony planet crash-land on Darkover, a planet which circles a red giant. They are unable to repair their ship and can not re-establish contact with Earth. The ethnic background of the colonists was mostly Celtic and Spanish, and this mix is reflected in the resultant blended culture(s). To increase the available gene pool and maximize the chances of colonial survival, the colonists intermarried extensively and produced as many children with as many different partners as possible. Psychic and psionic abilities were introduced through mutation, external stimulants, and/or interbreeding with the native chieri of the planet.”

All right. So this is just totally SCIENCE, like McCaffrey and Maxey. At the very least, to her credit, I haven’t seen the great MZB sitting in the background, shitting and giggling about how she’s pulled a fast one over the readers, how everything is totally SCIENCE and how superior technology is. Which is good, because I’m pretty much about to have my head explode as it is already.

This will become important soon.

Anyways, we get pages upon pages of philosophical musings while they ride, in which the great MZB teaches us about the following:

-The reason people need gods is because they want solace from the horrors of the world. (Pg. 622)
-Falconry cannot be taught, it “comes from the heart”. (Pg. 623)
-More moping about her majeek. (Pg. 623)

There’s some more use of the Animal Companion as an emotional tampon:

She could not endure the sorrow in Caryl’s small face. She at least was a woman grown and could bear her own burden, but he was a child and should not have to. She broke in upon him, gently, asking, “shall I call Preciosa from the sky to ride with you? I think she is lonely—” and as she whistled to the hawk, and set her upon Caryl’s saddle she was rewarded by seeing the unchildlike weight disappear from the childish face, so that he was only a boy again, gleefully watching a hawk fly to his hand. (Pg. 623)

(Breathes into paper bag) Steven Brust, Steven Brust, Steven Brust. There, better.

So it’s three days later after the wonderful and great philosophical musings of Romilly, and we come across a village that’s TOTALLY NOT RADIOACTIVE:

Dread silence lay over the village, and now Romilly could see a faint greenish flickering as if the houses were bathed in some dreadful miasma, an almost intangible fog of doom. The lay, pulsing faintly greenish, and she knew suddenly that when night fell the street and houses would glow with an uncanny luminescence in the dark. (Pg. 625)

Apparently, this is the work of “bonewater-dust”, which is totally not radioactive. Which raises the question of where bonewater-dust comes from, how it is extracted, and how the payload is delivered to the target considering that these people have currently NO knowledge of the workings of radiation whatsoever, and have no lead-lined suits. Or how this dust got to be dangerously radioactive, since no one knows how to do nuclear fission and considering how old a planet should be and that it supports native life, most of the more radioactive substances initially present should have decayed into more stable elements a long time ago.

Could someone familiar with the setting try explaining this to me?

And no, most radioactive items DON’T glow green in order to tell everyone that they are radioactive, even at high intensities, AND if it’s strong enough for to be glowing so strongly and they’re within sight of the bloody village, Romilly and company should have been inhaling radioactive particles carried by the weather long before they even saw the bloody village. The main reason why radiation is so dangerous is less of what it does to you and more of the fact that you don’t know it’s happened to you until symptoms appear, and by then it’s too late. Think of Chernobyl and how far the cloud dispersed—I’m not sure if it scales down by the same amount, but fuck, they should already be suffering from radiation poisoning.

So in short, this is just here for MZB to wail and whine through Jandria’s mouth about the horrors of nuclear war, in a soapbox that is highly inappropriate considering the current tone of the setting as introduced thus far and in as contrived a manner as possible.

God, do I NEED someone to tell me that nuclear war is bad? That’s like someone saying fire is hot or water is wet. As if I didn’t need more confirmation, we get more crap:

“Should she eat of game tainted by that stuff of war, she would die, but not soon enough to save her great suffering; and should we eat of it, we too might lose hair and teeth if no worse. The taint of the foul stuff lingers long in all the country round, and spreads in the bodies of predators and harmless beasts who wander through the blighted countryside. (Pg. 626)

Considering you were close enough to see that crap without any protective material…the halving thickness of air is 150 meters. At 800 metres a man is a small dot in the distance, so given the level of detail of description of the village, my estimate of their location from the village is…what, 300 metres, for Romilly to have noticed so much about the village? The whole description is about a page long.

What, why aren’t they bloody well melting already? I’m sure 1/4 of the dose of radiation enough to turn the whole village dead should be enough exposure to cause serious problems, and note that they probably had even more exposure as they approached. Whatever the case, it should be damn well more than losing a bit of hair and just shrugging it off:

“Evanda be praised,” she said, “who has guarded her maidens. I found some loose hair this morning when I combed my hair, but I am growing old and must look to falling hair as a woman’s lot in age. Still I could not help fearing that we had not ridden wide enough round that cursed site. What madman will destroy the very land of his own vassals? Oh, yes, I have ridden to war, I can see burning a croft—though I like it not to kill the humble folk because of the wars of the great and mighty—but a croft, burned, can be rebuilt, and crops trampled down can be grown again when the land is at peace. But to destroy the very land so no crops will grow for a generation? Perhaps I am too squeamish for a warrior,” she said, and fell for a moment into silence. (Pg. 627)

Hello, humans have been doing that for centuries before the discovery of radiation. It’s called SALTING THE EARTH. You don’t need radiation to do that, just salt. Much more cost-effective. But nooo, it’s not as scary as radiation, and it wouldn’t have let the great and wonderful MZB lecture us on the horrors of nuclear war.

Unsurprisingly, Romilly is completely unaffected by the radiation:

“Any sign of loosening teeth, falling hair?”

Romilly bared her teeth in a smile, then raised her hand and tugged graphically at her short hair. “Not a bit of it, Janni,” she said, and the woman breathed a sigh of relief. (Pg. 627)

Yes, folks. She’s so much of a Sue that even RADIATION finds her repulsive. Furthermore, the stupid bird isn’t allowed to nom, which makes sense:

And so for two days Romilly carried Preciosa on her saddle, and, though she had sword to herself that she could never again confine her freed bird, she yielded to fear at last and tied jesses about her legs. (Pg. 626)

Please note: jesses are not meant to prevent a bird from flying away. Lenka states that they’re used to manage the bird, especially while training, and with hawks (not falcons, where you raise your hand and wait for it to fly off on its own), the jesses can be used to “throw” a bird towards a target, to make taking off easier on the bird and give it a bit of a head start. Even wikipedia has this to say:

“Their intent is more to prevent the risk of the bird deciding to chase something it shouldn’t, and less to keep the bird from getting away, as falconry birds are routinely (and as part of the sport) set free – the bond between bird and falconer serves as a much better leash than any leather or rope ever will; however, it is not always desirable that a bird be able to take flight at its own whim, and both on the glove and on the perch, jesses help ensure this.”

Of course, EVERYONE knows that jesses are horrible symbols of oppression. And of course, Romilly “oppresses” her bird for it’s own good and that’s perfectly fine, but when other people “oppress” her…

Yeah.

As I’ve pointed out before, the GREAT and WONDERFUL MZB is simply trying to soapbox about far too many bloody things in the space of one book. So far we’ve had her trying to blend feminism, homosexuality, veganism, animal rights, anti-war, anti-nuclear sentiments into a slurry.

I’m sure you’ve all used a blender before. I’m sure you’ve all tried putting all sorts of stuff into a blender, starting it, and seeing what comes out. And the more stuff you put in, the less likely that the flavours are going to mix well and you’re going to come out with something edible, let alone appetising.

It’s the same principle here. MZB is trying to cram so much shit into one book that it effectively ruins the story, much like Touched by Venom. Feminism alone is hard to do well, since it’s been treaded and retreaded to death by the genre already, even by 1982 standards. So many things thrown together—well, you get a shitstorm like what this book is.

In any case, Romilly notices that Jandria’s looking a little worried, and asks why. She replies that it’s because she and Caryl’s father used to be lovers, and that she doesn’t want to get too near to him for fear that he’ll have his revenge on her for spurning him. Since none of the other women are high-bred and know of proper manners, the task falls upon Romilly to deliver Caryl in person:

Jandria’s heavy sigh was audible. “Something you know of courtly ways and the manners of a Great House,” she said. “I feel traitor to the Sisterhood to say as much, having sworn to leave rank behind me forever. Mhari, Reba, Shaya—all of them are good women, but they know no more than the clumsy manners of their fathers’ crofts, and I cannot send them on a mission of diplomacy.” (Pg 628)

What? Romilly? Diplomacy? Since the beginning of the book, she’s been as bloody undiplomatic as possible, whining, crying, and generally acting like a spoilt brat with the attitude of “it’s my way or the highway”. Diplomacy? What is she going to do, scream and whine at the EVVVVIL COUNCILLOR?

So Romilly takes Caryl to Hali, and we get some description of the streets, which were totally made by SCIENCE. Before that, though, another typo:

“—for the last few days he ha [sic] been wearing bits and pieces…” (Pg. 629)

And now for the SCIENCE:

Hali was an unwalled city, with broad streets which were uncannily smooth under foot; at her puzzled look, Caryl smiled and told her they had been laid down by matrix technology, without the work of human hands. At her skeptical glance he insisted, “it’s true, Romy! Father showed me, once, how it can be done, laying the stones with the great matrix lattices under ten or twelve leroni or learanzu’in. One day I will be a sorcerer as well and work among the relays and screens!” (Pg. 631)

All right, fine. There’s more description of the city, and of the clothing the people wear and the likes, essentially about a page of filler. Now notice that everyone is staring at Romilly. Why? Because they think Romilly’s royalty:

One or two of the people in the streets paused to stare at the blazing red head of the boy, and the slender, trousered earringed young woman who rode at his side in the scarlet of the Sisterhood and the old-fashioned mountain-cut cloak of fur and homespun. Caryl said under his breath, “they recognize me. And they think you, too, one of the Hastur-kind because of your red hair. Father may think so too. You must be one of our own, Romilly, with red hair, and laran too…” (Pg. 632)

PILLS HERE

P-P-P-P-PILLS HERE

GRABBING PILLS

GRABBING PILLS

PILLS HERE

GONNA GRAB EVERYTHING I CAN

PIIIILLLLLSSSS HEEEERRRREEEE

Ugh. So they go (or rather, in the words of the book, “roe”, although I think someone meant “rode”) through the streets of the city and reach the Great House that is Caryl’s home. There’s a guardsman there, and he’s appropriately misogynistic:

Romilly felt the man’s eyes travel up and down across her, from the feather in her knitted cap to the boots on her trouser legs. (Pg. 633)

So Romilly wants to get away, but Caryl asks her to come in and meet his dad, the EVVVVIL COUNCILLOR. So there’s little choice but to let herself be ushered into the Great House, whereupon she meets the EVVVVIL COUNCILLOR:

A tall, slightly-built man rose from the depths of an armchair, where he had been holding a small harp on his knee; set it down, bending forward, then turned to Caryl and took both his hands. (Pg. 633-634)

Fair enough. Lyondri and Caryl talk for a bit about what’s happened to the latter, then Romilly realises that she’s subconsciously reading his mind Just Because:

I should keep this woman hostage; she may know something of Orain’s whereabouts, and where Orain is, Carolin cannot be far. (Pg. 634)

However, Caryl’s been listening in on the telepathic conversation and pleads and whines for Romilly. EVVVVIL CHANCELLOR relents, and instead grills Romilly on Orain’s whereabouts. Romilly realises that she can’t lie to Lyondri because he is a telepath like her, and tries to obfuscate without outright telling a lie—which doesn’t make much sense either, because if he can detect lies there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to detect deception and press further. She tries to listen in on his thoughts further:

I have made promises I could not keep…I knew not what manner of man I served, that I have become Rakhal’s hangman and hard hand…and with shock, Romilly realised that she was actually receiving this thin trickle of thoughts from the man before her. (Pg. 635)

It isn’t long, though, before EVVVIL CHANCELLOR realises that she’s listening in and clamps down hard. He then asks what she wants as a reward, and Romilly remembers what Jandria’s said to her and asks for medical supplies for the Sisterhood, which he agrees to. Furthermore, since Caryl’s taken a fancy to her, he offers her a place in his house, which supposedly isn’t strange since he has Sisters in his employ.

What do you think Romilly does?

She wanted nothing more to get away. Much as she liked Caryl, she mad never met anyone who terrified her as this dry, harsh man with the cold laughter and hooded eyes. (Pg. 636)

Because as we know, Romilly has never misjudged anyone or anything. So she makes an excuse, the audience is over, and she hurriedly leaves the room, which ends the chapter.

Ugh.

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Comment

  1. Danielle on 15 March 2010, 14:55 said:

    Apparently, this is the work of “bonewater-dust”, which is totally not radioactive. Which raises the question of where bonewater-dust comes from, how it is extracted, and how the payload is delivered to the target considering that these people have currently NO knowledge of the workings of radiation whatsoever, and have no lead-lined suits. Or how this dust got to be dangerously radioactive, since no one knows how to do nuclear fission and considering how old a planet should be and that it supports native life, most of the more radioactive substances initially present should have decayed into more stable elements a long time ago.

    All I read in that passage was RADIOACTIVE RADIOACTIVE RADIOACTIVE. MZB put radiation into a medieval fantasy novel? Look, I’m all into blending genres, but to me, that’s like putting basil leaves into chocolate brownies. You don’t do that. You just DON’T.

    You must be one of our own, Romilly, with red hair, and laran too…

    I thought Romilly was blonde?

    There’s a guardsman there, and he’s appropriately misogynistic.

    Wait—how did the guard recognize Romilly as a girl? Did her magic boobs inflate again?

    I have made promises I could not keep…I knew not what manner of man I served, that I have become Rakhal’s hangman and hard hand…and with shock, Romilly realised that she was actually receiving this thin trickle of thoughts from the man before her.

    I would’ve laughed so hard if his thoughts had gone more like this:

    I wonder what’s for lunch today. Man, am I hungry. What’s with this girl, anyway? Her boobs keep inflating and deflating and it’s very distracting. I wonder why that is? Oh…em…gee….she’s gone near the bonewater-dusty village! The dust has gotten into her system and now it’s making her boobs do funny things! I need to get away….there’s gotta be some way I can get out of this conversation and into the bonewater-dust shelter!

    Sorry for the crassness, but this book is just so ridiculous I couldn’t resist.

  2. Anonymous45 on 15 March 2010, 17:26 said:

    Actually radioactive things do glow.—> the Red Forest
    When Chernobyl happened, the wind carried the radioactive stuff over a nearby pine forest (like within 1 km). It died instantly and glowed green at night as a result of chemical interactions/breakdown etc. It was buried soon after.
    There is also that Cherenkov Radiation thing, when wires in some reactor glowed bright blue, and some incident in Brazil where marauders found a radioactive compound in an abandoned hospital that glowed blue, thought it was a precious stone, and tried to get it out to sell/make jewelry of it. They all died.
    So radio active things do glow, but they are extremely dangerous.

    Issues with this village are:
    a) if it got bombed, it should not even BE THERE. It should be vapourised. Especially if it is full of wattle and daub medieval cottages.
    b) if it got bombed it should not glow. Hiroshima bombs carried a few kilos of radiocative stuff. Chernobyl threw out ca. 6 tons. I don’t think thats enough to make it glow. Plus it would depend on how long ago it happened, becaue the dangerous stuff would be washed out by rain. Plus they would HAVE to have seen/felt the blast—if the light is bright enought to blind and shock/heat waves can even be sensed by seismologists.
    c) why are they looking for hair/tooth loss? If they are starting to get irradiated they should be vomitting within minutes.

    Wait.. if they are medieval? how do they even make that stuff? and how do they drop it on unsuspecting ppls if they probably have no planes?

  3. Kyllorac on 15 March 2010, 21:21 said:

    Actually radioactive things do glow.—> the Red Forest

    But glowing radioactivity is uncommon, and glowing = radioactive is not true. Plenty of radioactive compounds (like plutonium and radium) do not glow. Lccorp2’s whole point is that if something is radioactive, even if it is glowing, you’d be fatally irradiated by the time you got within sight of the thing.

  4. Anonymous45 on 16 March 2010, 00:13 said:

    The red forest is radioactive. They bulldozed it away but the rates in that area are still as high as 1 rontgen/hour. And this is decades later.

    fatality depends on how radioactive it is. And you don’t necessarily die from being near it. There must be certain levels of radiation to cause death.
    Granite is radioactive. Bananas are radioactive. by that logic if you ever got near a kitchen countertop or a banana you’d be dead. And everyone else who ever has would be dead. Especially geologists, miners and banana farmers. As well as all the tourists that visit Chernobyl every year.
    Plus those buildings might not even be radioactive they could just be bioluminescent. Or covered in phosphorus.

  5. Danielle on 16 March 2010, 00:28 said:

    Plus those buildings might not even be radioactive they could just be bioluminescent. Or covered in phosphorus.

    True, but the author seemed to be implying that they were radioactive. And judging from the subtlety of MZB’s other messages in this book, I’d guess that she made the village radioactive so she’d have another soapbox to preach from.

  6. lccorp2 on 16 March 2010, 02:00 said:

    Huh.

    *The whole argument was that there was absolutely no reason for a whole village to be irradiated save for someone to preach to us about the horrors of nuclear war and what Kyllorac said is right: glowing radioactive sources isn’t the kind you find most often—but it’s the kind you find most often in media to let the layman know that radiation is present, hence the entrenched idea. And yes, it IS radiation, from all the comic-book greeness to descriptions of radiation poisoning to mentions of mutated animals. Looks like shit, smells like shit, tastes like shit, doesn’t matter if it isn’t shit because for all intents and purposes it IS shit.

    *Assuming that the village can be considered a point source and they were about 300 metres from it, 1/4 of lethal dosages should produce serious symptoms at the very least. Please. The author is whining about whole villages being killed off and the earth being laid to waste, and you’re comparing that to a banana?

    Please don’t obfuscate.

  7. Kyllorac on 16 March 2010, 15:39 said:

    @Anonymous – What? o_O I never disputed that the Red Forest was radioactive. What I and Lccorp2 were disputing was the ideas that radioactive substances always glow, that glowing substances are always radioactive, and that you can waltz into sight of a highly radioactive site and not be the worse for wear.

    Also, considering that we’re talking lethal levels of radioactivity, levels of which were high enough to completely wipe out a town, contaminate the ground for miles around, and make it so that it would be lethal to eat anything that had passed through that area, it makes absolutely no sense to compare the radioactivity of a banana or granite, or even carbon, to the radioactivity of bonewater dust. It’s like saying a galaxy is the same as a planet; the sheer difference in magnitude makes such a statement ridiculous.

    Also, considering the effects of bonewater dust listed above, I highly doubt that that MZB ever intended the glow to be the result of phosphorescence or bioluminescence.

  8. Chant on 16 March 2010, 19:41 said:

    “Animal Companion as an emotional tampon”? lolz

    I HATE it when they mix medieval settings with futuristic “science.” It just clashes weirdly. I mean, if humans are advanced enough to be able to colonize other PLANETS, you’d think they would at least not revert back to fourteenth-century-esque lifestyles. Even if they are shipwrecked, or whatever.

  9. ProserpinaFC on 17 March 2010, 10:52 said:

    ROFL!

    Wait, this is a space colony?! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Fail.

    ~~~

    If “glowing” is a recognized trope to indicate “radioactivity,” I don’t think it is productive to argue about whether all radioactive substances glow. Fiction is about lying to tell a truth, after all.

    The other parts of the argument are reasonable, though. Using a trope to introduce a concept is necessary, but DAMNIT if the author shouldn’t know MORE about the concept than just the arch/stereotype. They should have been getting sick a mile before reaching a radioactive site.

    You know, digressing, this is why I get annoyed by some fantasy tropes: the dragons are the same. You take a trope and it has some assumptions under it. The writer just uses the cliche and depends on those assumptions to carry the thing the whole damn story.

    Lazy. And boring. If your dragon is like every other dragon I’ve ever read, why should I read your story?

    Even these “animal-psychic” plus “medieval-futuristic” have been DONE BEFORE. And better.

    Space Amish
    Lost Colony

    Adding the feminazi theme, and I’m annoyed like f4ck! A super-scientific lost colony that SOMEHOW reverted back to medieval thinking? HOW? WHY? What was the point of making a futuristic explanation of your world, but push it back 1000 years in technology JUST so that you can bitch about misogyny?! (Shallow misogyny, BTW, where the heroine bitches about babies.)

    I’d rather hear a story about futuristic women pioneering on a new planet and noticing that the physically difficulty of it all is reinstituting old-time gender roles. I’d rather read a Hillary-type, Palin-type and Oprah-type, discussing, tongue-in-cheek, that they know that they are able to do harder work, but damn it all if they don’t want to. About how to keep egalitarianism in a wilderness environment.

  10. Penny on 17 March 2010, 13:04 said:

    Ugh, the “twist” of “we are a medieval space colony!” is lame. Not the concept itself; if done well, I could probably like it. But this sort of “oh btw these ppl are the descendants of marooned space marines so I can teach you, dear reader, about the evils of nuclear war” is grating and confuses the reader by jolting them out of the setting that was established more than 10 chapters ago. Bleh.

  11. ProserpinaFC on 18 March 2010, 10:43 said:

    If MZB wants to preach to us using sci-fi and fantasy cliches in the same book, it’s her right! :D

  12. Danielle on 18 March 2010, 12:00 said:

    And it’s our right under the First Amendment to mock her endlessly for it! :D I love the Constitution!

  13. Anonymous45 on 18 March 2010, 22:42 said:

    Soon they should find a Stargate, and then Wraith will fly out and feed on everyone.

  14. ProserpinaFC on 26 March 2010, 09:34 said:

    And it will be horrible, for a time, but then they will find the Oracle, who will prophecy that Romily is the Chosen Astronaut to fly to the spacestation and shut off HAL9000 by throwing his batteries into a volcano.

  15. Zombie on 28 December 2010, 03:24 said:

    Had none of the previous chapters happened and the idea of them being a colony to a technologically advanced race much like theirs, I would find this extremely interesting. (Don’t forget to add in better writing.)

    It’s been done before, but I do like the idea of it. Too bad MZB ruined it with… Well, the book itself, really.

    When you mentioned the back story for Darkover, I was pleasantly reminded of Star Ocean which I really liked.

  16. Tim on 10 May 2012, 11:51 said:

    Romilly felt the man’s eyes travel up and down across her, from the feather in her knitted cap to the boots on her trouser legs.

    What the hell were they doing there? o_O

    Also, you have to remember that in fiction when you read “radiation” you are supposed to parse it as “glowing invisible acid.”

  17. Tim on 18 June 2012, 06:44 said:

    c) why are they looking for hair/tooth loss? If they are starting to get irradiated they should be vomitting within minutes.

    Just to elaborate on this; no, not really. The effects of radiation are hugely overstated by the anti-nuclear lobby, and short of events which realise enormous amounts of radiation (eg an ongoing meltdown or touching two subcritical masses together) you’d never see that level of radioactivity, for the simple reason that something throwing off that many rads would quickly degrade into something more stable. Given the village is still standing I’d assume they just massacred the population rather than using a nuke there, and I guess salted the earth with something like uranium ore to stop it being re-occupied. In any case, looking for symptoms a few minutes after being exposed and concluding you’re fine is as stupid as checking for a bump a few minutes after sex and concluding you’re not pregnant. What they’d likely end up with is an elevated risk of developing certain types of cancer (particularly lung, since they don’t cover their mouths and talk the whole time), and only anything more if they got off their horses and started rolling around on the ground and snorting lines of dust.

  18. Nate Winchester on 19 June 2012, 12:50 said:

    only anything more if they got off their horses and started rolling around on the ground and snorting lines of dust.

    Would anyone be surprised if these people actually started doing that? lol

  19. Betty Cross on 19 June 2012, 13:46 said:

    Romilly felt the man’s eyes travel up and down across her, from the feather in her knitted cap to the boots on her trouser legs.

    What the hell were they doing there? o_O

    He’s obviously a boot fetishist.

  20. Tim on 19 June 2012, 17:26 said:

    Well yeah, but travelling eyes notwithstanding, you’re kinda doing it wrong if your boots are on your trouser legs rather than, say, your feet.