Meggie looked up at the dense thicket of branches. She had never set eyes on a tree like it before. The bark was reddish brown, but as rough as the bark of an oak, and the trunk did not branch until high up in the tree, although it had so many bulges that you could find footholds and handholds everywhere. In some places huge tree fungi formed platforms. Hollows gaped in the towering trunk, and crevices full of feathers showed that human beings were not the only creatures to have nested in this tree.

The rain pummeled the old Dragon bones as though to provide the rhythm to the song of their mortality, but death was not what they had on their minds-or wasn’t love sometimes called the small death?

Worte taugen nichts. Ja, manchmal klangen sie wunderbar, aber sie liessen einen im Stich, sobald man sie wirklich brauchte. Nie fand man die richtigen, niemals, aber wo sollte man auch nach ihnen suchen? Das Herz ist stumm wie ein Fish, auch wenn die Zunge sich noch so viel Muehe gibt, ihm eine Stimme zu geben.

Mortimer!” Orpheus produced a derisive smile, although with some difficulty. “Is your head buried so deep in your wine jug that you don’t know what’s going on in this world of yours? He’s not doing any reading now. The bookbinder prefers to play the outlaw these days – the role you created especially for him.

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