A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Poul Anderson. Chapter 9, 10, 11, 12

on: “Kossara, you’re a beautiful woman, and not just because you’re the

only woman for quite a few light-years around. Never fear, I can mind my

manners. But I hope it won’t bother you overmuch if I keep looking your


She stood quiet awhile, except for the rise and fall of her breasts. Her

skin gleamed. A lock of hair clung bronzy to her right cheekbone. The

beryl eyes gazed beyond him. Suddenly they returned, focused, met his as

sabers meet in a fencing match between near friends. Her husky voice

grew hoarse and, without her noticing, stammered Serbic: “Do you

mean–Dominic, do you mean you never learned, while I was under … I

love you?”

Meteorstruck, he heard himself croak, “No. I did try to avoid–as far as

possible, I let Chives question you, in my absence–”

“I resisted,” she said in wonder, “because I knew you would be kind but

dared not imagine you might be for always.”

“I’d lost hope of getting anybody who’d make me want to be.”

She came to him.

Presently: “Dominic, darling, please, no. Not yet.”

“–Do you want a marriage ceremony first?”

“Yes. If you don’t mind too much. I know you don’t care, but, well, did

you know I still say my prayers every night? Does that make you laugh?”

“Never. All right, we’ll be married, and in style!”

“Could we really be? In St. Clement’s Cathedral, by Father Smed who

christened and confirmed me–?”

“If he’s game, I am. It won’t be easy, waiting, but how can I refuse a

wish of yours? Forgive these hands. They’re not used to holding

something sacred.”

“Dominic, you star-fool, stop babbling! Do you think it will be easy for


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Categories: Anderson, Poul