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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 24: Kondor 180
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Brown 202
The next day Kondor sought a brief audience with the Amir.
“Your excellency,” he began, remembering the protocol.
“Thrice honored Doctor Kondor,” the Amir replied. “What do you wish?”
“Yesterday I was approached by a young man named Mohammed.”
“Would that be Amir Mohammed, of the Southwest Amirate?”
Kondor reflected on that. Yes, it made sense. After all, the man had said his father died leaving him in charge, and he was seeking a husband for his sister, who was one of the Amiras in the Calipha’s entourage, so he must now be Amir of some territory.
“I believe that is probably correct. Anyway, he was brother of the Amira Leah, friend of your daughter and of the Calipha.”
“Indeed. What did he wish?”
This made Kondor a bit uncomfortable. He hadn’t really thought of how he was going to approach this. However, he saw no particular reason not to tell the truth here.
“He wants me to marry his sister Leah.”
The Amir raised an eyebrow. “Should we begin planning a wedding?”
“Oh, certainly not yet. I have not made a decision concerning whether to marry her, but have agreed to meet with her, in the company of her brother and my companion the Honored Ezekiel Smith. I should like, whenever they arrive, to be able to arrange a private room and food for a dinner during which we can discuss the matter privately. I don’t mind having it in my chambers, but I don’t know whether that would be appropriate, and anyway I don’t have a suitable table there.”
“There is wisdom in that. Of course, you have met her, I believe.”
“Technically yes, but at the time I was trying to solve the kidnapping of the Calipha, and she was briefly a suspect in that. She knows very little about me, and I less about her.”
The Amir laughed. “Well, Honored Doctor, I believe that is the way it is for all who come to be so joined. You are expected to learn about each other, and it will take years to do so.”
It was difficult to argue with that, because it was obviously true. “But,” he said, “I think we should know more about each other before we commit to be together for the rest of our lives. My life has already lasted longer than you might believe, and I expect that were she to marry me she would also live a very, very long time. She should know what it is she is agreeing to, and I would like to know a bit more about her before I agree.”
“Well, I suppose foreign customs will differ from our own. If her brother tells her to marry you, she will, and she could do far worse. But none of this matters to your request. We will certainly arrange a private dinner for you when they arrive.”
“Thank you, Excellency.”
“You may depart.”
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #437: Characters Relate. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: