The Master Harper Of Pern | Chapter 21 of 28 - Part: 1 of 10

Author: Anne McCaffrey | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 23306 Views | Add a Review

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Smiling over that episode, he opened the glowbasket over the new worktop which he and Kasia had had such fun finding and setting up in their room.  He snagged the sonata from where his mother had left it on the music stand and, taking pen and a new square of hide, Kasia had said she  was going to make sure he always had good, fresh writing materials, he began to make a copy of the sonata for his mother to take back to the Harper Hall.  Maybe Petiron would even see it and find few faults, since it was written in a classic style.  He grinned ruefully even as his fingers flew across the sheet: Robinton could not really see his father approving of anything his son wrote.

He looked back over the score, to be sure he had annotated it properly, and mused over Kasia's possible reactions to it when she heard it the first time.  If she was even half as pleased as his mother...

He paced back and forth, paused to pour himself a glass of wine, and then went back to the table and proceeded to copy out his Kasia songs.  His mother would like them too.  She might even want to sing a few as encores to recitals.  He finished those, drinking as he worked, and rolled up the music with a neat ribbon tying the packet, ready to give to his mother.  He had a final glass of wine and then, realizing that dawn was not far away, took himself back to bed and willed himself to sleep.

Despite his late-night activities, Robinton was up at dawn: he'd forgotten to close the curtains over the small round windows, and the sun was shining in his eyes.  But he felt rested enough and sprang from his bed.  The day was so clear that he fancied he could see the High Reaches shore across the wide bay ...  which reminded him that he hadn't heard whether Lord Faroguy had accepted Lord Melongel's invitation to come to his espousal day.  Not that it was his alone, he corrected himself, for others would be taking vows at this Gather as well.  As he dressed, he groaned as he thought of having to waste this morning at the Gather Court, but at least it would keep him too occupied to worry about anything else.

He joined Clostan at the table for breakfast, and the healer inspected him critically in his new clothing.

"Yes, I did you a favour, old thing," Clostan said, sniffing a little as he turned back to his bread and cheese.

"You're looking splendid yourself," Robinton replied, now able to recognize good tailoring when he saw it.

Clostan glanced down at himself, as if he couldn't remember what he had put on that morning.  "Oh, well enough.  I may change for the dancing.  That is," he added, nudging Robinton in the ribs and rolling his eyes slyly, "if I'm allowed to dance with the fair spouse Kasia."

"Since it's you and I owe you a favour, I'll let you dance with Kasia when I have to play."

"What?" Clostan affected great horror and surprise.  "They make you do a set on your espousal day?"

Robinton hushed him.  "I'm a harper.  I take my turn.  You wouldn't turn away a sick person today, would you?"

"Well, I'd change my clothes first," Clostan replied, flicking an errant crumb off his sleeve.  "I'll hold you to that dance," he said, rising.  "I do have rounds to make now." And he was off.

Lord Melongel, looking austere in dark brown with just a piping of gold at the neck and sleeves, entered the dining hall.  An approving smile appeared on his face as he noted Robinton's new clothes.

"You are looking the part, that's certain," he said.  "Oh, a message was drummed in yesterday from High Reaches.  Lord Faroguy regrets."

"Well, I didn't think he'd be able.  Is he well?"

Melongel frowned slightly, rubbing at his chin.  "Now that's the oddity.  I've known Faroguy a long time.  Had many messages from him, and he always enquires after Juvana.  She spent a Turn with Lady Evelene, you know.  Odd that he didn't this time."

Robinton felt a surge of concern.  "If he is ill, could the message have come from someone else?"

"Farevene would have asked, too." Melongel frowned.  "Well, we've enough to do today without adding other problems.  I see you've finished your meal, so we'd best adjourn to the Court Hall.

We've a full morning."

Robinton rose, suppressing a sigh.  Unlike some of the larger Holds, Tillek used a stone building closer to the centre of the Holding for such proceedings, right in the middle of the Gather, which was already in full swing.  Both official CraftHall and independent booths were doing a good business.  The entire fishing fleet was moored in the harbour or alongside the wharves, and distant sails indicated that the home crowd would swell even more with the passengers coming in from up the coast.  Melongel and Robinton had to slow their steps to the crowd's pace, with people either smiling a greeting or nodding courteously as Lord Holder and harper passed.

Robinton felt a tug on his sleeve and was surprised to see Pessia at his side, and, beyond her, the gaggle of Sucho, Tortole, Valrol and Klada, who peered out from behind the protective bulk of her father until Robinton's eyes fell on her, and she ducked away.

"Good Gather day to you, Lord Melongel," Pessia said with a polite jerk of her head, and then she looked right back at Robinton, a proud if shy smile on her face.  "You did a great deal for us, and especially Saday.  This is for you and your spouse." She threw a cloth-wrapped parcel at him and, before he could prevent her, ran off, the others following like leaves blown from a tree in a high wind.

"Your wall folk?" Melongel asked.

"Yes." Robinton tried to see in which direction they had run, but there were too many people milling around and, despite his advantage of height, he couldn't find them.

At Melongel's gesture, he unwrapped the parcel as gatherers politely skirted the two stationary men.

The cloth was new, the smell of the dye acrid, and when he had removed it he gasped as he held up the wooden bowl.


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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