» » » » Andre Norton - Web of the Witch World

Andre Norton - Web of the Witch World

Здесь можно скачать бесплатно "Andre Norton - Web of the Witch World" в формате fb2, epub, txt, doc, pdf. Жанр: Фэнтези. Так же Вы можете читать книгу онлайн без регистрации и SMS на сайте LibFox.Ru (ЛибФокс) или прочесть описание и ознакомиться с отзывами.

Web of the Witch World
нет данных

99Пожалуйста дождитесь своей очереди, идёт подготовка вашей ссылки для скачивания...

Скачивание начинается... Если скачивание не началось автоматически, пожалуйста нажмите на эту ссылку.

Вы автор?
Все книги на сайте размещаются его пользователями. Приносим свои глубочайшие извинения, если Ваша книга была опубликована без Вашего на то согласия.
Напишите нам, и мы в срочном порядке примем меры.

Как получить книгу?
Оплатили, но не знаете что делать дальше? Инструкция.

Описание книги "Web of the Witch World"

Описание и краткое содержание "Web of the Witch World" читать бесплатно онлайн.

Patiently the girl fought down both hot anger and the tinge of fear which followed the facing of that fact. Ostensibly she had been brought out of Estcarp because she was Yvian’s wife by ax marriage. What did Yvian gain by her coming? First, what he had wanted from the beginning—Verlaine with its sea-brought treasure, its fortress, its lower harbor which, with the reef knowledge of its men, would give him a fine raiding port from which to prey on Estcarp.

Second, she was of the old nobility, and perhaps that fact might reconcile the aloof houses to Yvian. The tales out of Kars were that he desired to cut old ties with the mercenaries, establish his ducal throne more firmly by uniting with the rulers of the past.

Third—Loyse hugged her knees more tightly—third, her flight from Verlaine, her joining with his enemies in Estcarp, must have been a goad to personal anger and a wound to his self-esteem. And—those few hints from Aldis—perhaps he chewed now upon the fact that she had sworn betrothal with Koris, that she preferred the outcast of Gorm to the Duke of Karsten. Her lips curled; as if there could be any question between them! Koris was . . . Koris! All she had ever wanted or could want in her life!

Three reasons to bring her here, yet behind them she sensed a shadowy fourth. And, sitting there in the gray of dawn, Loyse tried to summon it into the open. Not Yvian’s reason, but Aldis’? And why she was sure of that she could not have told either, but that it was true she had no doubt at all.

What could be Aldis’ reason? To bring her here, frighten her with those threats of what Yvian had in mind for her—and then deliver into her hand a weapon. So that she might turn that against herself, thus disposing for all time of a rival? A surface reason that, but one which did not quite fit. So that Loyse might turn this length of fine polished metal against the duke when he would have his will of her? But Yvian was Aldis’ hold on what she wanted—personal power within the duchy! At any rate Aldis’ gift must be considered carefully.

Loyse slid from the bed and went to throw open the window shutters, allowing the wind to sweep across her face, freshen her dully aching head. She thought that it might be mountain wind, though it must have crossed long leagues to be from there. There was a harsh strength to it which she needed to beat against her now.

Somewhere they must be on the move—Koris, Simon, Jaelithe. Loyse did not doubt in the least that they were seeking her. But that they could reach into Kars she did not think possible. No—once more her future depended upon her own resources and wits. She went back to the bed and took up the dagger. Aldis’ gift might be in some way a trap, but Loyse knew relief as her fingers closed about the weapon’s chill hilt.

Her eyelids were heavy, she dropped back against the bed. Sleep . . . she must have sleep. The table across the door once more? But she could not summon the energy to pull away from the bed and place it so. With the mountain air freshening the room she slept.

Perhaps it was those months she had spent campaigning in the border mountains, the need to be alert even in sleep, which had given her that guardian sense. Somewhere in the depths of exhaustion a warning sounded, so that Loyse was out of slumber and awake, though she lay for a long moment with closed eyes—listening, striving with every part of her to learn what chanced.

The faint protest of a hinge—the door! Loyse jerked upright amidst the tumbled covers of the bed. There was morning sun from the window she had left open. The rest of the room was dusky with shadows to which her eyes were more accustomed than were those of the man who entered.

Loyse scrambled to the side of the bed, plunged down, ignoring the dais steps, and put the wide expanse of that massive piece of furniture between her and the invader who had turned his back almost contemptuously as he put the key to lock, this time on the inner side of the door.

He was big—as tall as Simon—and his width of shoulder was not lessened by the folds of his loose bedgown. Big and probably as strong as Koris into the bargain. As he turned to face her with that assured leisureliness, she saw he was smiling a little. And to her mind it was a very cruel and evil smile.

In a way he was like Fulk, but with her father’s vivid red-gold coloring blurred into drabber sandiness, the clean cut features coarsened, a scar seam along his jaw line adding an ugly touch. Yvian the mercenary, Yvian the undefeated.

Loyse, her back now against the stone wall, thought that Duke Yvian no longer believed that defeat could ever touch him. And that complete self-confidence was in itself a daunting thing to face.

He crossed, with no hurry, to the end of the bed and stood watching her, his smile growing broader. Then he bowed with a mockery bolder than that Aldis had used.

“We meet at last, my lady. A meeting too long delayed—at least I have found it so.”

He surveyed her with some of the same contempt Fulk had used to batter her in the past. “A whey-faced stick indeed.” Yvian nodded as if confirming a report. “You have naught to pride yourself upon, my lady.”

To answer—would that provoke him into action? Or could silence be a small defense? Loyse wavered between two courses. The longer he talked, the more of a breathing space she had.

“Yes, no man would choose you for your face, Loyse of Verlaine.”

Was he trying to goad her into some protest or reply? Loyse watched him narrowly.

“Statecraft,” Yvian laughed, “statecraft can drive a man to many things which would otherwise knot his stomach in disgust. So I wed you and now I bed you, lady of Verlaine—”

He did not lunge for her as she feared he might, but advanced deliberately. And Loyse, edging away from him along the wall, read his reason in his eyes. The chase and the capture—that inevitable capture—would provide him with amusement. And, she thought, he would prolong his pursuit of her, savoring her fear, faint hopes born from continued evasion, as long as he wished. Then when he tired, the end would come—at his time and on his terms!

So much would she humor him. With the agility she had learned among the Borderers Loyse leaped, not for the locked door as Yvian might have anticipated, but for the surface of the bed. He had not expected that and his clutch at her fell far short. She sprang again, aided in part by the elasticity of the hide lashings which supported the mattress. Her hands caught the cross ties meant to hold the canopy of state and hangings. Somehow she pulled herself up, perched there, drawing sobbing breaths from the effort which left her momentarily weak, but well above Yvian’s reach.

He stared at her. No laughter, no smile now. His eyes narrowed as they must through the visor of his war helm as he looked out upon a battle.

No more talking, he was all purpose. But Loyse doubted if he could climb to rake her down. His weight must be almost double hers and the dusty strips on which she crouched were already creaking when she shifted position. After a long moment Yvian must have agreed on that. His fists closed about a heavy poster of the bed and he began to exert strength against that. Wood creaked, dust sifted into the air. The breath came out of Yvian’s chest in heavy grunts. He had been softened by good living, but he still had the frame of a man who had killed more than one in camp wrestling.

The post was yielding and now he pulled at it with short jerks, right and left, loosening it in the bed frame while Loyse’s frail perch shook back and forth under her, and only the finger-whitening grip she kept on the timbers held her safe. Then, with a splintering crack, the post broke forward and Yvian stumbled back. Loyse was thrown toward the floor. And the man who had regained his balance with a swordsman’s quick double step was waiting for her, the grin back on his sweating face.

She threw herself sidewise as she came and this time she had Aldis’ gift ready. Her shoulder met the standing post of the bed painfully, but, even as she cried out, Loyse slashed with the dagger at the hands reaching to crush her. Yvian snarled and dodged that stab. His robe caught in the splintered end of a broken cross piece which sagged across the bed and for a vital second he was a prisoner. He kicked at the girl viciously, but Loyse scrambled to put the bed again between them.

Yvian jerked his arm free. There was a moist white fleck at the corner of his now pinched lips and his eyes . . . Loyse held the dagger breast high and point out, her left arm still numb from the blow against the post. If she had been hampered by skirts she could never have kept out of his hands, but in riding clothes she was limb free and as agile as any boy. Sword play she knew in part, but knife fighting was an unlearned art. And she was facing a man not only proven in battle, but lessoned in every kind of rough-and-tumble known to blank shields.

He snatched up a draggled sheet from the bed and snapped it at her viciously as a drover would snap a whip. The edge cut her cheek, brought a second cry of pain out of her. But though she gave ground, she did not drop her weapon. Again Yvian lashed at her, and followed that by a lunge, his arms out and ready to engulf her wholly.

It was the table which saved her then. She half fell, half slipped about its end, while Yvian came up against it, taking the full force of that bruising meeting on his thigh, the jar of it slowing him. He found the loose robe hampering and suddenly stopped, fumbling with its belt, striving to throw it off.

His eyes widened, set in a stare aimed across Loyse’s hunched shoulder. That device was so old—Loyse’s mouth twisted wryly—did he think to catch her in so simple a net? So thinking she was unprepared for the fierce grip which caught her upper arm, pulling her back. There was a strong musky scent, a softness of silken robe against her wrist. Then a white hand slipped down her arm, twisted the knife from Loyse’s hand as if she had no strength at all.

“So you had not the nerve to kill.” Aldis’ voice. “Well, let one who has use this!”

Yvian’s amazement was now a black scowl. He stood away from the table to take a quick stride forward. Then he stumbled, gathered balance and came on, in spite of the steel in his middle, the stain growing on his robe. His hands clutched for Loyse. She summoned up the last of her strength to thrust him away. Surprisingly that shove from her made him stagger back and fall against the bed, where he lay tearing at the covers.

“Why—?” Loyse looked at Aldis where she now stood bending over Yvian, watching him with a compelling intentness as if willing him to show any remaining signs of opposition. “Why—?” Loyse could get out no more than that one word.

Aldis straightened, went to the half-open door. She paid no attention to Loyse, her attitude was one of listening. Now the girl could hear it, too—a pounding somewhere below, muffled shouts. Aldis retreated with swift running steps and her hand was again about Loyse’s wrist, but this time not to disarm but to pull the girl with her.


Loyse tried to free herself. “Why?”

“Fool!” Aldis’ face was thrust close to hers. “Those are Yvian’s bodyguards breaking in below. Do you want them to find you here—with him?”

Loyse was dazed. Aldis had thrown the knife which had wounded the duke, and his bodyguard were striving to force their way into his chambers. Why and why and why? Because she could read no meaning into any of this, she did not resist again as Aldis dragged her to the door. The Karstenian’s whole body expressed the need for haste, the unease. And to know that Aldis shared fear made it worse for Loyse. To know the enemy was one thing, to be totally caught up in chaos was infinitely worse.

They were in a small hall and the shouting below was louder. Aldis pulled her on into the facing chamber. Long windows opened upon a balcony and Loyse caught glimpses of luxurious furnishings. This must be Aldis’ own room. But the other did not pause. Onto the balcony they went and there faced a plank set across to a neighboring balcony on the opposite wall. Aldis pushed Loyse against the railing.

“Up!” she ordered tersely, “and walk!”

“I cannot!” The plank hung over nothingness. Loyse dared not look down, but she sensed a long drop.

Aldis regarded her for a long moment and then brought her hand up to her breast. She gripped a brooch there as if gaining by that touch additional strength to rule Loyse by her will.

“Walk!” she snapped again.

And Loyse discovered that it was as it had been with Berthora, she was not in command of her body any more. Instead, that which was she appeared to withdraw into some far place from which that identity watched herself climb to the plank and walk across the drop to the other balcony. And there she remained, still in that spell, while Aldis followed. The Karstenian pushed aside their frail bridge so that it fell out and down, closing the passage behind them.

She, did not touch Loyse again, there was no need to. For the girl could not throw off the bonds that held her to Aldis’ desire. They went together through another room and then into a wider chamber. A wounded man crawled there on his hands and knees. But, his head hanging, he did not see them as Aldis swept her captive on, both of them running now.

Loyse saw other wounded and dead, even the swirl of small fighting groups, but none took any notice of the two women. What had happened? Estcarp? Koris, Simon—had they come for her? But all those they saw locked in combat were Karsten badges, as if the forces of the duke had split in civil war.

They reached the vast kitchens, to find those deserted, though meat crackled on the spits, pots boiled and pans held contents which were burning. And from there they came through a small courtyard into a garden of sorts with straight rows of vegetables and some trees already heavy with fruit.

Aldis pulled the long skirt of her outer robe up over her forearm as she ran. Once she stopped when a tree branch caught in her jeweled hair net, to break it, but a portion of the twig still stuck out of the net. That she had a definite goal in mind Loyse was sure, but what it might be she did not know until they were splashing among reeds at the borders of a stream. There was a skiff there and Aldis motioned to it.

“Get in, lie down!”

Loyse could only obey, the wash of water wetting through her breeches, over the tops of her boots. Aldis scrambled in and the skiff rocked with her movements as she huddled beside Loyse, pulling over the both of them a musty smelling strip of woven rushes. Moments later Loyse felt the boat move ahead, they were being pulled along by the current, probably toward the river dividing Kars.

The smell of the matting was faintly sickening, and the water washing in the bottom of the boat had a swamp stench to it. Loyse longed to lift her head and breathe clean air again. But there was no disobeying Aldis’ orders. Her mind might rage, but her body obeyed.

As the skiff bobbed on Loyse heard sounds which meant they had reached the river. Now where was Aldis going? When she had ridden with Berthora she had accepted all their actions as right and normal, had been so ensorcelled that she had not feared or understood what she was doing. But this time she knew that she was under a spell which would make her do just as Aldis wished. But why—why for everything which had happened to her?

На Facebook В Твиттере В Instagram В Одноклассниках Мы Вконтакте
Подписывайтесь на наши страницы в социальных сетях.
Будьте в курсе последних книжных новинок, комментируйте, обсуждайте. Мы ждём Вас!

Похожие книги на "Web of the Witch World"

Книги похожие на "Web of the Witch World" читать онлайн или скачать бесплатно полные версии.

Понравилась книга? Оставьте Ваш комментарий, поделитесь впечатлениями или расскажите друзьям

Все книги автора Andre Norton

Andre Norton - все книги автора в одном месте на сайте онлайн библиотеки LibFox.

Уважаемый посетитель, Вы зашли на сайт как незарегистрированный пользователь.
Мы рекомендуем Вам зарегистрироваться либо войти на сайт под своим именем.

Отзывы о "Andre Norton - Web of the Witch World"

Отзывы читателей о книге "Web of the Witch World", комментарии и мнения людей о произведении.

А что Вы думаете о книге? Оставьте Ваш отзыв.