Passing the Buck

The Never Ending Quest - Episode 13710

"So what do we do now?" Duke Harold asked Oyael, his bafflement showing in his face. His question was more rhetorical than expecting an answer, but Oyael answered him anyway. "Well, we seem to have exhausted the possibilities both of cross- examination and of magic. We could always torture him. That would almost certainly get the truth out of him, even where magic has seemingly failed us."

Harold grimaced. "Sometimes I think that you are altogether too bloodthirsty, Oyael. Anyway, you know perfectly well that torture is out of the question. It would be fine if this Denom is not who he claims to be, but if by any chance he really is the son of the Duke of Suffex then by torturing him we would most likely have started a civil war. And we've put as much pressure on the Lady Rowena as we dared, and got nowhere with her either, though I would very much like to know what made her take the direction that she did in searching for her brother.

"I think that we are going to have to pass this problem on to Duke Dred. He is the person best qualified to determine whether the man is truly his son, after all. And Denom has claimed that he will explain everything to him. If he fails to do so, then Dred can draw his own conclusions. I will send him a report of our findings entrusted to Captain Locke. Locke is a good man who can be relied on."

"But didn't Locke tell you that he had no intention of letting Denom anywhere near the Duke until the matter of his identity had been proven one way or the other?" [13099] "He did. But since there seems no way that it can be proven, I think that he will have no alternative but to change his mind." "He must fear that this Denom may intend the Duke some harm." "I think that Dred is well capable of looking after himself. Especially if he has Locke and his guard ready at hand. But these loyal family retainers always tend to be over- protective."

"And if Locke should say that his loyalty is to Suffex rather than to Hindsight, and that he will not take Denom to his Duke in spite of your advice?" "So long as he takes the man out my duchy, I don't care what he does. But I can't really see any other course for him now than to take Denom to Suffex."

  1. Locke sees it that way too, albeit reluctantly.
  2. Locke doesn't see it that way.
  3. "Wait!" Oyael said. "I've had an idea."

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JH

10/29/2000 4:03:53 AM

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