Arin’s fourth report to the queen
They seem to have done their work– now for Geref Yaktub.
Valdis, between the festival of Timoine and Midsummer
Today was the day the quack Faran was caught! And we have learned a lot more as well, but I was forced to admit to Selle, Maile and Jerna, and also Captain Jerna the reason we were so interested in quacks. I hope the Queen doesn’t mind, Jerna (not the Captain) said she had heard the Queen wasn’t very nice or kind, but I cannot believe that, the King would never have married her in that case, because everyone agrees King Athal is a very kind and good King.
We had been dancing yesterday night with Maile, Selle and Jerna, and when we went home through one of the main streets, we saw a lantern lighter stick up bills announcing that wonder-doctor Faran would be in the New Vegetable Market! Of all the brazen things!
So this morning we went to the New Vegetable Market where we found everything in place: Faran, his open cart with his name on the side, and a deserted old inn. We used semsin to look into that inn and found that there were a number of people inside. I went to the boarded-up windows of the inn and hung around there. Jeran stood in the middle of the crowd and the Order and the Guards were also around.
Faran begin his act, and we later learned he was really an actor who had decided to betray Timoine in return for money. Now this is very strange: Faran was given money to sell Yaktub’s medicine, and he was allowed to keep all the proceeds of the sales. So Captain Jerna thinks he was put up by Yaktub to draw our attention from something that was supposed to go on elsewhere, but we haven’t found out what. In any case, Faran was actually very impressive and almost sounded believable, there was a woman who bought some sticky stuff for her painful back.
At last until Merain came out of the inn, and when he had reached the cart, he started dragging his leg as if he were lame, and at that point Jerna decided to nab Faran. But he managed to disappear! I mean that literally, he used semsin to disappear, even though he wasn’t in the Guild, but he told us later, after we had caught him, that Yaktub’s witches had taught him some things.
So he disappeared, but I was prepared for some tricks, and I looked for him with semsin and managed to find him in the crowd — someone had made a diversion near the East Gate Street, but he wasn’t there and I spotted him and threw a small, very hard apple at him, and he yelled, and lost his concentration. So Jerna and the Guards could see him as well, and there was a bit of a scuffle, but it was me who managed to grab him and I didn’t let go!
The other people who were waiting in the house to be “healed” were arrested as well, and everyone was put on Faran’s cart and brought to the Guard House at the big market. It was a sorry lot! A wilted old whore, a boy two years older than Merain and gone bad completely, and so on. That boy also told us about Mother Serla’s doings — I think Jerna will go and see what she can do before the neighbourhood catches up and does something to her. Or the Temple of Mizran! Because she was given money to apprentice her boys but kept most of the money herself, claiming the boys had run away or things like that!
Well, we couldn’t do much anymore, so we went to the Iss-Peranian quarter, to see if we could find Selle who was working on Yaktub’s roof. We also went to take a look at the butcher shop what Master Hinla wants us to take over — and it is very filthy. Well, Selle came off the roof for us (stupid Jeran! He’s already looking for another girl!) and she told us she’d had seen a group of people that sounded exactly like Faran and his sick come out of Yaktub’s house early in the morning.
That clinched it, you see, we now know for sure about the connection between Faran and Yaktub, so we asked Selle to come with us to the guard house. That also meant we had to explain what we are doing for the Queen — both to Selle and to Captain Jerna (who gave us another reward for catching Faran!).
And then Selle told me Maile had told her she (that’s Maile) thought that I had another girl, because she had seen me writing all these letters to the Queen! I hope the Queen won’t be very angry with me, because I decided to tell Maile everything as soon as she was done at work — I went to the West Gate and waited for her, and told her that I didn’t have anyone else and didn’t want anyone else but her, and also why I had been writing these letters and given them to Master Ervan for the Queen to read. She looked much happier after that!
Tomorrow we will visit Master Hinla again because we need to agree on the price for the butcher’s shop and also because Master Hinla wants us to work in her shop for a while until she manages to send the dirty old man (he had been leering at Selle!) packing, and then we will go and be present when Faran is being questioned. But I think we won’t be able to discover much more, so if the Queen can give Master Ervan instructions about what we should do now, that would be very nice.