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.With a couple of cautious prods and jerks he caughtthe lip of the bowl with the hook and drew it into his circle.Then he pickedup the Amu-let's chain, wrinkling his nose as he did so."Euch, this is disgusting!""Nothing to do with me.Blame Rotherhithe Sewage Works.No, on second thought,blame yourself.I've spent the whole night trying to evade capture on youraccount.You're lucky I didn't immerse myself completely.""You were pursued?" He sounded almost eager.Wrong emotion, kid try fear."By half the demonic hordes of London." I rolled my stony eyes and clashed myhorny beak."Make no mistake about it, boy, they are coming here, yellow-eyedand ravening, ready to seize you.You will be helpless, defenseless againstPage 38 ABC Amber Palm Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abcpalm.htmltheir power.You have one chance only; release me from this circle and I will help youevade their clutches."[3][3] Yep, by destroying him myself before they got there."Do you take me for a fool?""The amulet in your hands answers that.Well, no matter.I have carried out mycharge, my task is done.For the remainder of your short life, farewell!" Myform shimmered, began to fade.A rippling pillar of steam issued up from thefloor as if to swallow me and spirit me away.It was wishfulthinking Adelbrand's Pentacle would see to that."You cannot depart! I have other work for thee." More than the renewed cap-tivity, it was these occasional archaisms that annoyed me so much.Thee, recreant demon I ask you! No one used language like that anymore, and hadn't for two hundredyears.Anyone would think he had learned his trade entirely out of some oldbook.But extraneous thees or not, he was quite right.Most ordinary pentacles bindyou to one service only.Carry it out, and you are free to go.If the magicianrequires you again, he must repeat the whole draining rigmarole of summoningfrom the be-ginning.But Adelbrand's Pentacle countermanded this: its extra lines andincanta-tions double locked the door and forced you to remain for further orders.Itwas a51complex magical formula that required adult stamina and concentration, andthis gave me ammunition for my next attack.I allowed the steam to ebb away."So where is he, then?"The boy was busy turning the Amulet over and over in his pale hands.He lookedup absently."Where is who?""The boss, your master, theminence grise, the power behind the throne.The man who has put you up tothis little theft, who's told you what to say and what to draw.The man who'llstill be standing unharmed in the shadows when Lovelace's djinn are tossingyour ragged corpse around the London rooftops.He's playing some game that youknow nothing of, appealing to your ignorance and youthful vanity."That stung him.His lips curled back a little."What did he say to you, I wonder?" I adopted a patronizing singsong voice: "'Well done, young fellow, you're the best little magician I've seen in a longwhile.Tell me, would you like to raise a powerful djinni? You would? Well, why don'twe do just that! We can play a prank on someone too steal an amulet ' "The boy laughed.Unexpected that.I was anticipating a furious outburst orsome anxiety.But no, he laughed.He turned the Amulet over a final time, then bent and replaced it in the pot.Also unexpected.Using the stick with the hook, he pushed the pot back throughthe circle to its original position on the floor."What are you doing?""Giving it back.""I don't want it.""Pick it up."I wasn't about to get into a prissy exchange of insults with a twelve-yearold, particularly one who could impose his will on me, so I reached outthrough my cir-cle and hefted the Amulet."Now, what? When Simon Lovelace comes I won't be hanging on to this, you know.Page 39 ABC Amber Palm Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abcpalm.htmlI'll be giving it right back to him with a smile and a wave.And pointing outwhich curtain you're shivering behind.""Wait."The kid produced something shiny from one of the inner pockets of his volu-minous coat.Did I mention that this coat was about three sizes too big forhim? It had evidently once belonged to a very careless magician, since,although heavily patched, it still displayed the unmistakable ravagesof fire, blood, and talon.Iwished the boy similar fortune.Now he was holding in his left hand a burnished disc a scrying glass of highlypolished bronze.He passed his right hand over it a few times and began togaze into the reflective metal with passive concentration.Whatever captiveimp dwelled52within, the disc soon responded.A murky picture formed; the boy observed itclosely.I was too far off to see the image, but while he was distracted I dida bit of looking of my own.His room.I wanted a clue to his identity.Some letter addressed to him,per-haps, or a name tag in his coat.Both of those had worked before.I wasn'tafter his birth name, of course that would be too much to hope for but hisofficial name would do for a start.But I was out of luck.The most private,intimate, telltale[4]place in the room his desk had been carefully covered with a thick blackcloth.A wardrobe in the corner was shut; ditto a chest of drawers.There was acracked glass vase with fresh flowers among the mess of candles an odd touch,this.He hadn't put it there himself, I reckoned; so somebody liked him.[4] All magicians have two names, their official name and their birth name.Their birth name is that given to them by their parents, and because it isintimately bound up with their true nature and being, it is a source of greatstrength and weakness.They seek to keep it secret from everyone, for if anenemy learns it, he or she can use it to gain power over them, rather in thesame way that a magician can only summon a djinni if he knows their true name.Magicians thus conceal their birth names with great care, replacing them withofficial names at the time of their coming of age.It is always useful to knowa magician's official name but far, far better to learn his secret one.The kid waved his hand over the scrying glass and the surface went dull [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]