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."I despise you, Garion," she whispered at him with a terrible intensity, "and I don't ever want to lay eyes on you again."He blinked."I don't think you can even begin to imagine how much I loathe the very sight of you," she added.And with that she continued on into the Gorim's house, her back straight and her head unbowed.Once she was inside, she fled to her room, threw herself on the bed, and wept in broken-hearted anguish.She heard a light step near the doorway, and then the Lady Polgara was there."All right, Ce'Nedra," she said, "what's this all about?" She sat down on the edge of the bed and put one hand on the shoulder of the sobbing little princess."Oh, Lady Polgara," Ce'Nedra wailed, suddenly throwing herself into Polgara's arms."I - I've 1-lost him.He - he's in love with h-h-her.""Who's that, dear?" Polgara asked her calmly."Garion.He's in love with that Adara, and he doesn't even know I'm alive any m-m-more.""You silly little goose," Polgara chided her gently."He does love her, doesn't he?" Ce'Nedra demanded."Of course he does, dear.""I knew it," Ce'Nedra wailed, collapsing into a fresh storm of weeping."It's only natural for him to love her," Polgara continued."She's his cousin, after all.""His cousin?" Ce'Nedra's tear-streaked face came up suddenly."The daughter of his mother's sister," Polgara explained."You did know that Garion's mother was an Algar, didn't you?"Ce'Nedra shook her head mutely."Is that what all this is about?"Ce'Nedra nodded.Her weeping had suddenly stopped.Lady Polgara took a handkerchief from her sleeve and offered it to the tiny girl."Blow your nose, dear," she instructed."Don't sniff like that.It's very unbecoming."Ce'Nedra blew her nose."And so you've finally admitted it to yourself," Polgara observed."I was wondering how long it was going to take you.""Admitted what?"Polgara gave her a long, steady look, and Ce'Nedra flushed slowly, lowering her eyes."That's better," Polgara said."You mustn't try to hide things from me, Ce'Nedra.It doesn't do any good, you know, and it only makes things more difficult for you."Ce'Nedra's eyes had widened as the full impact of her tacit admission struck her."It's not possible," she gasped in absolute horror."It can't happen.""As my father's so fond of saying, just about anything is possible," Polgara told her."What am I going to do?""First you ought to go wash your face," Polgara told her."Some girls can cry without making themselves ugly, but you don't have the right coloring for it.You're an absolute fright.I'd advise you never to cry in public if you can help it.""That's not what I meant," Ce'Nedra said."What am I going to do about Garion?""I don't know that you really need to do anything, dear.Things will straighten themselves out eventually.""But I'm a princess, and he's - well, he's just Garion.This sort of thing isn't permitted.""Everything will probably turn out all right," Lady Polgara assured her."Trust me, Ce'Nedra.I've been handling matters like this for a very long time.Now go wash your face.""I made a terrible fool of myself out there, didn't I?" Ce'Nedra said."It's nothing that can't be fixed," Polgara said calmly."We can pass it off as something brought on by the excitement of seeing your friends again after so long.You are glad to see us, aren't you?""Oh, Lady Polgara," Ce'Nedra said, embracing her and laughing and crying at the same time.After the ravages of Ce'Nedra's crying fit had been repaired, they rejoined the others in the Gorim's familiar study."Are you recovered, my child?" the Gorim asked her gently, concern written all over his dear old face."Just a touch of nerves, Holy One," Lady Polgara reassured him."Our princess, as you've probably noticed, is somewhat high-strung.""I'm so sorry that I ran off like that," Ce'Nedra apologized to Adara."It was silly of me.""Your Highness could never be silly," Adara told her.Ce'Nedra lifted her chin."Oh yes I can," she declared."I've got as much right to make a fool of myself in public as anyone else."Adara laughed, and the entire incident was smoothed over.There was still, however, a problem.Ce'Nedra had, she realized, gone perhaps a bit too far in her impulsive declaration of undying hatred for Garion.His expression was confused, even a trifle hurt.Ce'Nedra decided somewhat loftily to ignore the injury she had inflicted upon him.She had suffered through that dreadful scene on the shore of the Gorim's island, and it seemed only fair that he should suffer a little as well - not too much, of course, but a little anyway.He did, after all, have it coming.She allowed him a suitable period of anguish - at least she hoped it was anguish - then spoke to him warmly, even fondly, as if those spiteful words had never passed her lips.His expression became even more baffled, and then she turned the full force of her most winsome smile on him, noting with great satisfaction its devastating effect.After that she ignored him.While Belgarath and Lady Polgara were recounting the events of their harrowing journey to Rak Cthol, the princess sat demurely beside Adara on a bench, half listening, but for the most part turning the amazing discovery of the past hour over and over in her mind.Suddenly, she felt eyes on her, and she looked up quickly.The little blond boy Lady Polgara called Errand was watching her, his small face very serious.There was something about his eyes.With a sudden and absolute certainty, she knew that the child was looking directly into her heart.He smiled at her then; without knowing why, she felt a sudden overwhelming surge of joy at his smile.He walked toward her, still smiling, and his little hand dipped into the pouch at his waist.He took out a round, gray stone and offered it to her."Errand?" he said.For an instant Ce'Nedra seemed to see a faint blue flicker deep within the stone."Don't touch it, Ce'Nedra," Lady Polgara told her in a tone that made Ce'Nedra's hand freeze in the very act of reaching for the stone."Durnik!" Lady Polgara said to the smith with an odd note of complaint in her voice."Mistress Pol," he said helplessly, "I don't know what else to do.No matter how I seal it up, he always manages to get it open.""Make him put it away," she told him with just a hint of exasperation.Durnik went to the little boy, knelt and took hold of the pouch [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]