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Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Author:Deborah Harkness
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Romance, Fantasy, Vampires, Adult
ISBN: 9780755384730
Publisher: Viking Adult
Published: 2012-07-09T14:00:00+00:00


Chapter Twenty One

"Was I right to call you, Goody Alsop?” Susanna twisted her hands in her apron and looked at me anxiously. “I nearly sent her home,” she said weakly. “If I had . . .”

“But you didn’t, Susanna.” Goody Alsop was so old and thin that her skin clung to the bones of her hands and wrists. The witch’s voice was strangely hearty for someone so frail, however, and intelligence snapped in her eyes. The woman might be an octogenarian, but no one would dare call her infirm.

Now that Goody Alsop had arrived, the main room in the Norman apartments was full to bursting. With some reluctance Susanna allowed Matthew and Pierre to stand just inside the door, provided they didn’t touch anything. Jeffrey and John divided their attention between the vampires and the chick, now safely nestled inside John’s cap by the fire. Its feathers were beginning to fluff in the warm air, and it had, mercifully, stopped peeping. I sat on a stool by the fire next to Goody Alsop, who occupied the room’s only chair.

“Let me have a look at you, Diana.” When Goody Alsop reached her fingers toward my face, just as Widow Beaton and Champier had, I flinched. The witch stopped and frowned. “What is it, child?”

“A witch in France tried to read my skin. It felt like knives,” I explained in a whisper.

“It will not be entirely comfortable—what examination is?—but it should not hurt.” Her fingers explored my features. Her hands were cool and dry, the veins standing out against mottled skin and crawling over bent joints. I felt a slight digging sensation, but it was nothing like the pain I’d experienced at Champier’s hands.

“Ah,” she breathed when she reached the smooth skin of my forehead. My witch’s eye, which had lapsed into its typical frustrating inactivity the moment Susanna and Annie found me with the chick, opened fully. Goody Alsop was a witch worth knowing.

Looking into Goody Alsop’s third eye, I was plunged into a world of color. Try as I might, the brightly woven threads refused to resolve into something recognizable, though I felt once more the tantalizing prospect that they could be put to some use. Goody Alsop’s touch tingled as she probed my body and mind with her second sight, energy pulsing around her in a purple-tinged orange. In my limited experience, no one had ever manifested that particular combination of colors. She tutted here and there, made an approving sound or two.

“She’s a strange one, isn’t she?” Jeffrey whispered, peering over Goody Alsop’s shoulder.

“Jeffrey!” Susanna gasped, embarrassed at her son’s behavior. “Mistress Roydon, if you please.”

“Very well. Mistress Roydon’s a strange one,” said Jeffrey, unrepentant. He shifted his hands to his knees and bent closer.

“What do you see, young Jeffrey?” Goody Alsop asked.

“She—Mistress Roydon—is all the colors of a rainbow. Her witch’s eye is blue, even though the rest of her is green and silver, like the goddess. And why is there a rim of red and black there?” Jeffrey pointed to my forehead.



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