Losing Avery

In which Tyre and Haft discuss Lady Avery’s security arrangements

Guest Quarters in Cair Paravel

Tyre directs a servant where to unpack his belongings, which are perhaps surprisingly many for one being put up in a castle. He pushes up his glasses to survey the apartments.

Haft stands unobtrusively by the door, relaxed but alert.

Tyre looks wearied from the journey. His pink skin may be one source of this tiredness. After a moment of catching his bearings and making sure the servants unpack appropriately, he approaches the guard that has accompanied them from Anvard. “Ahh… Haft, I think.”

Haft straightens, then bows. “Yes my lord.”

Tyre considers the servants again, and then looks to the drawing room. “Please, ah, please join me.”

Haft steps away from the wall. “Of course, my lord.”

Tyre directs a servant out of the drawing room and waits for Haft to enter before shutting the door behind him.

Haft steps inside and stands before Tyre with his hand clasped at his back.

Tyre walks back and forth a few times, forefinger tapping against his thumb. “Ah.” He says. “Ah, I… would like to speak with you about your duties while you are here.”

Haft inclines his head. “Of course.”

Tyre says, “You–” he clears his throat, and goes to sit down, gesturing to a chair opposite him. “Please, sit.”

Haft takes the indicated chair.

Tyre says, “You, ah, recognize it is not, ah, not customary to bring a guard along on such a trip.”

Haft nods. “It’s not in the usual way, my lord, but I go where I am sent.”

Tyre says, “Lady Avery is– ah– Lady Avery has been–” He adjusts his glasses and starts again. “It is my understanding that there is… ah, something of a friendship, ahhhh, between you and Lady Avery.”

Haft’s brow furrows slightly as though he’s not sure how to take this. “We have spoken briefly on various occasions, and shared a joke over a painting,” he offers.

Tyre blinks at him a few times, muddy face seemingly incapable of very exaggerated expression, yet still conveying some surprise at the perceived denial of his observation. “Ah, well, ah, she seems fond of you, at least,” he corrects. He removes his glasses to clean them. “She has spent…” he clears his throat. “She has spent a great deal of time under, ah, mmm… under watch. More than–” another throat clearing, “–more than I think is perhaps, ah, to her benefit. Certainly… more than, ah, the… average lady, as… as your presence indicates.”

Haft’s brows raise very slightly.  “I see,” he replies mildly.

Tyre replaces his glasses and peers at the guard blinkingly. “Do you understand what I am saying?”

Haft considers for a moment, then responds. “I’m afraid I may need a little clarification, my lord, as I can think of three or four ways to interpret what you are saying, and I would rather not mistake.” He pauses briefly, then decides to plummet ahead. “Are you asking me to guard your sister, but give her free rein, to let her slip off but follow discreetly, or…” he smiles very faintly, daring a jest, “Would you like me to lose her altogether?”

Tyre looks grateful. “Ah… yes, exactly, the last one. Not, ah, not in a manner which will make her /feel/ lost, ahhhh, of course. But, ah, perhaps you may find duty calls you to… other venues.” He pauses. “This is, ah, to be kept out of your report to our mother, of course.”

Haft nods. “I can manage that.  I think there is no danger to Lady Avery inside Cair Paravel, nor yet in Sted Cair, though I will guide her if she wishes it. She seemed determined to see everything.” He hesitates. “I should make the recommendation that in the case of excursions at night, or beyond the town, an escort be present.  At least at a discreet distance.

Tyre pushes his glasses up his nose, shoulders dropping a little.  “Ah… yes. Yes. Of course. And if she desires greater companionship, then you certainly must provide it. I fear… ahhh, I fear her… her sight can sometimes be colored by the cloistered nature of her upbringing, and, ahh, and it will not all be undone simply by releasing her unhindered.”

Haft tilts his head a little. “The mother Birds here raise their young in warm, sheltered nests, then toss them out to teach them to fly.  It may be that releasing her will do more than you think.”

Tyre blinks at him several times. “You speak of yearlings learning a physical activity. My sister is 24, and we do not speak of her exercise routine.”

Haft shrugs uncomfortably. “It was the first thing to come to mind. I’m not much good at philosophy.”

Tyre adjusts his glasses. “Ah, another thing. She may, ah…” He glances at the window. “I understand you are acquaintances with Lord Peridan from your time here.”

You say, “Not from here, my lord.  But I do know him, a little.” He hesitates. “From Anvard, just after the battle.”

Tyre says, “Ah.”

Haft explains a little further. “He was my commanding officer until I rejoined the guard, as I had come with the Narnian volunteers.”

Tyre says, “I see. You are not close, then.”

You say, “No my lord. Though I deem him an excellent man.”

Tyre says, “You do.”

Haft answers steadily. “Yes.”

Tyre says, “Very well.”

You ask, “Why do you ask, my lord?”

Tyre says, “Ahh… my lady is particular friends with him, but I do not know him well.” He frowns a very little. “Ahh– I leave it to your discretion whether he may be a good escort to her in your place, should she wish to venture, ah, as, you say, into the town at night, or into the forest, with him.”

Haft sits back a little. “As I said, my lord, he is a good man.  And…” he pauses “I had opportunity to observe him with Lady Avery a few times in Anvard. I think he would make an admirable escort.”

Tyre blinks at him a few times again before replying, “Ah, I see. As I said, it is to your discretion. He need not be admirable, only capable.”

“He is,” Haft replies.

Tyre says, “Have you been escorted by him?”

Haft looks surprised. “No sir, but I hear he performed great deeds in the battle at Anvard, and have no doubt he can keep your sister safe.”

Tyre says, “They are not the same.” He releases a breath and rises. “But I’m sure he will be adequate. Thank you for, ahhh, for your discretion.”

Haft rises too, recognizing the dismissal. Even so, he adds, “If you could tell me what it is that concerns you, my lord, I could answer better. But I am confident that he will let no harm come to her.”

Tyre says, “I am not concerned.”

Haft nods. “Is there anything else, my lord?”

Tyre says, “That is all.”

Haft bows and turns toward the door.

Tyre calls, “Ah, one more thing?”

Haft turns back. “Yes?”

Tyre says, “There is a Tarkaan here… ahhh… Chlamash, I think. Of course I trust their majesties to have him under, ahhh, appropriate surveillence but… ah, but, you may find yourself… inclined to be especially alert… in his presence.”You feel hungry.

Haft frowns. “A Tarkaan? Part of an embassy?”

Tyre says, “Ahh… no. He is under King Edmund’s protection, as I understand it. He chose surrender there at, ah, at the end. As I say, King Edmund is, ah, King Edmund is quite capable– but even so.”

Haft’s face hardens slightly. “He is permitted freedom of the castle?”

Tyre says, “I am not fully aware of the details of his reprieve.”

Haft nods. “I will learn more and adjust your sister’s security appropriately.”

Tyre says, “Thank you.”

Haft bows and leaves the room.


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