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The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters Volume I -- Celeste Temple - Part IV

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters Volume I -- Celeste Temple - Part IV



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Published by Bantam Dell
An excerpt from The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, Volume I by Gordon Dahlquist.
An excerpt from The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, Volume I by Gordon Dahlquist.

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Publish date: Dec 30, 2008
Added to Scribd: Mar 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Are you perfectly well, Doctor? I know you did not find but afew hours’ rest—”“Go on ahead,” he said, essaying a casual tone that did not per-suade. The second boot was on half- way. He stumbled, steppingupon it, the excess flopping around like an odd fish attached to thebase of his leg. “I shall follow—I assure you—”“Doctor!” hissed Chang. “It will be fine. The roof is wide, andthe climb will be nothing like the pipe!”“The pipe?” asked Miss Temple.“Ah—well—that—” said Doctor Svenson.“I thought you managed it splendidly.”From the passage Chang scoffed.“I have a difficulty with height. An excruciating difficulty—”“I have the same with root vegetables.” Miss Temple smiled.“We shall help one another—come!” She anxiously looked past hisshoulder down the hallway, relieved to see it still empty, and took his arm. He thrust his foot down into the boot—fully in but for alast uncooperative inch. They stepped through the door.“Pull it tight,” whispered Chang, who had continued on abovethem. “It is better they not notice we have forced the lock.”The sky above was grey and so low as to seem palpably near, thesun well behind a thick bank of winter cloud. The air was cool andmoist, and if there were only more wind Miss Temple might havetold herself she was on the sea. She inhaled with pleasure. Shelooked down to see with a certain small wonder that under her feet was a crusty layer of tarred paper and copper sheathing—so this was walking on a roof!Behind her Doctor Svenson had knelt, con-centrating closely on his left boot, eyes fixed to the ground. Changsecured the door with bits of broken wood, wedging them into theframe to prevent it from opening easily. He stepped away and wiped his hand on his coat. She saw that his other hand held hercarpet bag—she had completely forgotten it, and reached to take
itfrom him. He shook his head and nodded toward a nearby building.“I believe we can go this way—north,” he said.“If we must,” muttered Svenson. He stood, still keeping hiseyes low. Miss Temple saw it was time for her to act.“Excuse me,” she said, “but before we travel further together, Ibelieve—I am convinced—that we need to speak.”Chang frowned at her. “They may be coming—”“Yes, though I do not think they are. I think they are waitingfor us in the street, or waiting for Mr. Spanning to make sure theguests in the rooms near to mine will not be disturbed by any screams. I am confident we have at least some few minutes.”The two men looked at each other. She could sense the doubtin the glance that went between them. She pointedly cleared herthroat, bringing their eyes back to her.“To the great distress of my only available relative, I have beenthrust into the company of two men at the very border—if that—of respectability. This morning we were strangers. In this instant allthree of us are without sanctuary. What I want—in fact demand—is that we make quite clear what we each hope to achieve in thismatter, what masters we serve—in short, what is our
.”She waited for their reaction. The two men were silent.“I do not find the request excessive,” said Miss Temple.Svenson nodded at her, looked to Chang and muttered, grop-ing in his pocket. “Excuse me—a cigarette—it will distract fromthe altitude, this sea of vacant space—” He looked back at MissTemple. “You are correct. It is most sensible. We do not know eachother—chance has thrown us together.”“Can we not do this later?” asked Chang, his tone clinging tothe merest edge of civility.“When would that be?” answered Miss Temple. “Do we evenknow where we are going next? Have we decided how best to act? Who to pursue? Of course we havent, because we have each madeassumptions from our very different experiences.”
the glass books of the dream eaters
Chang exhaled, vexed. After a moment, he nodded sharply, asif to invite her to begin. Miss Temple did so.“I have been attacked and now uprooted. I have been misled,threatened, and lied to. I wish for justice...which means the
thor- ough 
settling of each person involved.” She took a breath.“Doctor?”Svenson took the moment to actually light his cigarette, returnthe case to his coat pocket, and exhale. He nodded to her.“I must recover my Prince—no matter this conspiracy, it re-mains my duty to
him. I have no doubt that this entailsa kind of war—but I have little choice. Cardinal?”Chang paused, as if he found this a pointless, formal exercise,but then spoke quietly and quickly. “If this business is not an-swered I have no work, no place to live, and no good reputation.For these all being set at hazard, I will have revenge—I must, as Isay, to preserve my name. Does that satisfy you?”“It does.”“These figures are intertwined, and deadly,” said Chang. “Are we to follow them all—to an end?”“I would insist upon it, actually,” said Miss Temple.Doctor Svenson spoke. “I too. No matter what happens with Karl-Horst, the work must be finished. This conspiracy—this cabal—I cannot say 
drives its members, but I know togetherthey are like rot around a wound, like a cancer. If not removed inits entirety, what remains will only grow back, more virulent andvicious than ever. Not one of us or any that we care for shall besafe.”“Then it’s agreed,” said Chang.He smiled wryly and put his hand out. Doctor Svenson stuck his cigarette into his mouth and, his hand free, took hold of Chang’s. Miss Temple placed her small hand over theirs. She hadno idea what this would portend—it was intrigue after all—but

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