“Gerry! Gerry!” Dawkin yelled.
“Where is he going?” Symon asked.
“Your hunch is as good as mine.”
“The noise!” Ely threw open his door and leaned out into the hallway. “What ruckus!”
“Throw some clothes on, you fool,” Symon insisted. “Our brother needs us.”
The three followed in the footsteps of Gerry, who barked and screamed at what seemed nothing. He hurried on through the Siren’s Cavern, bellowing at the top of his lungs, toward the underground bailey.
Upon arriving at the bailey, the brothers found Gerry drenched in sweat, battling one of the mannequin warriors with a javelin.
“I – will – show – them!” Each word came with a thrust of the weapon into the mailed chest of figure. None pierced the mail, enraging Gerry all the more.
“Damn it by Mar!” Gerry shouted following the tenth attempt. He threw his weapon aside. It clattered against the stone floor as he marched to the weapons rack.
“Gerry! Watch yourself!” Symon rushed to his brother’s side just as he wrapped his hands around a halberd.
“Away from me!” Gerry insisted. He shoved Symon, who did not budge. He reached for another weapon, a three-pronged spear, only to find Dawkin’s hand around his.
“Gerry! Stop this at once!” Dawkin insisted. “What has become of you? You are what, three days early?”
“Four,” Ely yawned, coming up behind them. “If you note that it is not yet the mid of night. What’s the matter, Geremias? Were the tales of Taresa far too outlandish? Would even a swineherd consider her?”
“You dare not sully her good name!” Gerry swung around and lunged at Ely. Ely dipped back, dodging Gerry’s reach. Dawkin and Symon managed to pull Gerry away from the rack and into the center of the bailey, where they released him.
“You take back your words!” Gerry demanded, pointing at Ely.
“Gerry! Control yourself!” Symon roared. His voice echoed through the vaulted room, so much so that all wondered if the castle above would hear. Symon cared not though as he turned to Ely. “Apologize to our brother! Do it!”
“Very well. Fine.” Ely shifted his attention to Gerry. “I am sorry for offending you, brother.”
“Good,” Symon declared. “Now that that matter is settled, Gerry, we demand an explanation. This is not like you. Tell us what happened above.”
“First, I must practice . . .”
“No. No more delays. No more excuses. Speak.”
Gerry surveyed his brothers, all of whom stared upon him, waiting.
“As you wish,” he relented. “To the Chamber.”
The three kept a short distance between themselves and Gerry as he journeyed back through Terran to the Fourpointe Chamber. They paused as Gerry poured himself a glass of wine and drank. Only when he had emptied the glass did he nod and motion to the couch. “I am at the ready,” he declared.
Dawkin withdrew to his room, where set a kettle over the brazier in the corner and went to work with mortar and pestle. He had the ingredients for truth serum already laid out, in anticipation of Gerry’s descent towards the end of the week. But he decided on a fresh batch, knowing his brother would need a deep sleep following his session.
With the whistling of the kettle, Dawkin finished preparing his tray. He returned to the Fourpointe Chamber to catch Ely shaking Gerry, who had reclined on the couch.
“You better hurry,” Ely urged. “This one is falling asleep.”
“I need another,” Gerry announced, holding up his wine glass.
“You will,” Symon assured, taking the glass from him. “But not of that.”
Dawkin traded with Symon, taking the wine glass in exchange for a cup of truth serum. Symon, lifting the cup to his nose before pulling it away, gave Dawkin a wry look. Only after Dawkin nodded did he extend the cup to Gerry.
“Can’t this wait?” Gerry pleaded.
“Not after your behavior. Now, drink.”
Gerry threw his head back as he downed the cup of serum in one swig. He plopped the cup back into Symon’s palm. “Satisfied?”
“Depends on what you have to say.”
“You won’t like it.”
Dawkin strolled up to Symon, a cup of memory tea in hand. “Yours.”
Symon gulped his portion as Dawkin repeated the steps with Ely and himself.
“You think Father got to him again?” Ely asked.“Perhaps,” Dawkin said as he watched Gerry close his eyes, his lips starting to twitch.