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datatime: 2022-11-29 03:10:05 Author:yyRtWpZc

"Only a water-seller, my Lady. But you've no need to interest yourself in such as they. The cistern here holds fifty thousand liters and it's always kept full." She glanced down at her dress. "Why, you know, my Lady, I don't even have to wear my stillsuit here?" She cackled. "And me not even dead"

"I know many things." Jessica said. "I know that you have borne children, that you have lost loved ones, that you have hidden in fear and that you have done violence and will yet do more violence. I know many things."

"Tongues are the Bene Gesserit's first learning," Jessica said. "I know the Bhotani Jib and the Chakobsa, all the hunting languages."

"I know the Dark Things and the ways of the Great Mother," Jessica said. She read the more obvious signs in Mapes' actions and appearance, the petit betrayals. "Miseces prejia," she said in the Chakobsa tongue. "Andral t're pera Trada cik buscakri miseces perakri -"

"It's a crysknife," she said.

Jessica hesitated, wanting to question this Fremen woman, needing data to guide her. But bringing order of the confusion in the castle was more imperative. Still, she found the thought unsettling that water was a major mark of wealth here.

Mapes nodded. "Just as the legend says."

It could only be one thing, Jessica knew, the fabled crysknife of Arrakis, the blade that had never been taken off the planet, and was known only by rumor and wild gossip.

Mapes took a backward step, appeared poised to flee.

"What is that?" Jessica asked. "I heard it several times as we drove through the streets this morning."

"And as the means of my death should I prove otherwise," Jessica said. She waited in the seeming relaxation that made the Bene Gesserit-trained so terrifying in combat.

Jessica hesitated, wanting to question this Fremen woman, needing data to guide her. But bringing order of the confusion in the castle was more imperative. Still, she found the thought unsettling that water was a major mark of wealth here.

"Only a water-seller, my Lady. But you've no need to interest yourself in such as they. The cistern here holds fifty thousand liters and it's always kept full." She glanced down at her dress. "Why, you know, my Lady, I don't even have to wear my stillsuit here?" She cackled. "And me not even dead"

A weird cry sounded from the road outside the house. It was repeated: "Soo-soo-Sook" Then: "Ikhut-eigh" And again: "Soo-soo-Sook"

Now we see which way the decision tips, she thought.

Now we see which way the decision tips, she thought.

Now we see which way the decision tips, she thought.

"I know the Dark Things and the ways of the Great Mother," Jessica said. She read the more obvious signs in Mapes' actions and appearance, the petit betrayals. "Miseces prejia," she said in the Chakobsa tongue. "Andral t're pera Trada cik buscakri miseces perakri -"

And Jessica thought: There was an edge to that question. Here's the reason this Fremen has taken service with me, to ask that one question. My answer could precipitate violence orwhat? She seeks an answer from me: the meaning of a knife. She's called the Shadow in the Chakobsa tongue. Knife, that's "Death Maker" in Chakobsa. She's getting restive. I must answer now. Delay is as dangerous as the wrong answer.

"My husband told me of your title, Shadout," Jessica said. "I recognized the word. It's a very ancient word."

"You speak of the legend and seek answers," Jessica said. "Beware the answers you may find. I know you came prepared for violence with a weapon in your bodice."

And Jessica wondered: Why do I play out this sham? But the Bene Gesserit ways were devious and compelling.

Mapes took a backward step, appeared poised to flee.

It could only be one thing, Jessica knew, the fabled crysknife of Arrakis, the blade that had never been taken off the planet, and was known only by rumor and wild gossip.

"My husband told me of your title, Shadout," Jessica said. "I recognized the word. It's a very ancient word."

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