And this is the last old story.
awrence paced angrily up and down the room. He glanced frequently over at Lorin, who sat back in a deep furry chair. He was talking above normal speech, found himself receiving looks of warming from his chief minister.
"Lawrence," Lorin was cautioning. "If you are heard we are sure to be denied support. Certainly, you are impatient…"
"My God, Lorin!" Lawrence shouted. "We've been here a month! Do you see any indication that our matter has even been considered? This isn't France! This silly diplomatic game playing should be confined to the chessboard! What would I do in the same situation!"
Lorin indulgently waived his hand. "My lord, you would immediately consider the worthiness of the cause, confer with your counselors as to our resources, and decide. But Christenlande is not set up like this godforsaken country. It's bigger here and more threatened. They have to keep their petitioners waiting. It tests them."
"Well, I have no patience with politicians." Lawrence threw up his hands in despair. "I want to get some answers and go. I don't know how much longer I'll wait."
Lorin continued, "In any case, my lord, I warn you to remember that soldiers like you and politicians like Ardwy have one practice in common: spies. We are in a weak position as it is, with out aggravating it.
There was a slight knock on the door. Rory came in without waiting to be invited. He looked at the men as if for news. Lawrence motioned him into a chair while he himself perched on a stool.
"I went in again this afternoon to speak with Lord Ardwy but I received the same treatment: friendly, courteous, and non-committal.
Lorin jokingly mocked the king "All these politicians!"
Rory smiled and shook his head. "I can see you're quite sick of these quarters," he joked. "And probably your roommate too. I can't say I care for this wind hell, but Samir has seemed to brightened up. He even seems to like it"
Samir came down from his horse with a great laugh. He led it over to a stable boy and ran over to where Roddy was just riding in. He stretched an arm up to Scot and pulled him off his horse. After they had given this one over to the boy, MacDhui leaned over and whispered in Samir's ear, "Why, I wager this one would soon be tempted to cut our throats if we keep up these midwinter rides!" Samir gave the buy a mock-frightened look an d then laughed delightedly. The two knights threw one arm about the other and began to run back to the manor house singing and jumping.
Once in Roddy's room, they settled down in tow deep chairs to laugh and eat various kinds of dried meat. Roddy shivered and joked, "Why did you ever leave Persia, you fool?"
"You know very well why, you twit!" Samir could hardly speak without laughing. "I left it with Michael, what more reason is necessary? But don't get me reminiscing . You know I will be hell to live with if you do!"
Roddy became more serious. "I almost hesitate to say it, but I have grown quite fond of you, Samir. You are young and so easy hearted. I wish I could always hear that dammed incessant laughter!"
Samir smiled and looked pensive. He straightened up in his chair and leaned toward his companion. "Oh Roddy. I know it is you who have made me forget my grief. If not for you I could no doubt spend my life thinking of naught but my loneliness for Michael. Thanks to you I know that I am not dishonoring Michael's memory by being happy. We have only been lovers for a week, but I now feel very close to you."
Roddy looked quietly at Samir for a moment. The he laughed and shook his head. "Ach now, man; what will I say to my lord if I come to dinner all teary-eyed!"
Next: A Tbble of Contents for the Old Letters and Stories
Before there was the novel, there were the stories...
Friday, July 24, 2009
Old Stories: Roddy and Samir, Alternate Ending
And this is the last old story.