When someone puts an end to something, it doesn't mean that he gave up, it means that thing is not taking him anywhere.
Will raised both eyebrows. 'Well, you learn a new thing everyday,' he said reflectively.'In your case, that's no exaggeration,' Halt said, completely straight-faced.
Two-thirds of all preachers, doctors and lawyers are hanging on to the coat tails of progress, shouting, whoa! while a good many of the rest are busy strewing banana peels along the line of march.
There are always risks in battle. It's a dangerous business. The trick is to take the right ones.' [said Halt].'How do you know which are the right ones?' Shigeru asked.Halt glanced at his two younger companions. They grinned and answered in chorus, 'You wait and see if you win.
Now for God's sake, will you two start behaving like a princess and a Courier? Halt told them. If you don't, I'll have to think about sending Will home.''Me?' Will said, his voice breaking into a high-pitched squeak of indignation. 'What's it got to do with me?''It's all your fault!' Halt shouted irrationally.
What the devil is Chocho?' Will whispered.Horace's grin broadened. 'You are. It's what the men call you,' he said. Then he added, 'It's a term of great respect.'Behind them, Halt nodded confirmation. 'Great respect,' he agreed.
How do we get there? How did you get here, by the way?' [Will asked].He heard Halt's deep sigh and knew he'd done it again.'Do you ever,' the older Ranger said with great deliberation, 'manage to ask just one question at a time? Or does it always have to be multiple choice with you?'Will looked at him in surprise. 'Do I do that?' he asked. 'Are you sure?'Halt said nothing. He raised his hands in a 'See what I mean?' gesture...'Halt,' [Selethen said], 'I could be wrong, but I think you were just guilty of the same fault. I'm sure I heard you ask two questions just then.''Thank you for pointing that out, Lord Selethen,' Halt said with icy formality.
Halt looked up at the trees above him.Why does this boy ask so many questions? he asked the trees.Naturally, they didn't answer.
[Will]'d barely been asleep a few minutes when Halt's voice woke him.'Will? Are you asleep?'...'I was,' he said, a little indignantly. 'I'm not now.''Good,' Halt replied, a trifle smugly. 'Serves you right.
Without thinking, [Will] spoke.'Halt? Are you awake?''No.' The ill humor in the one-word reply was unmistakable.'Oh. Sorry.''Shut up.'He pondered whether to apologize again and decided this would go against the instruction to shut up, so remained silent.
Gundar, seeing Halt upright for the first time in two days, stumped up the deck to join them.'Back on your feet then?' he boomed cheerfully, with typical Skandian tact. 'By Gorlag's toenails, with all the heaving abd puking you've been doing, I thought you'd turn yourself inside out and puke yourself over the rail!'...'You do paint a pretty picture, Gundar,' Will said...'Thank you for your concern,' Halt said icily...'So, did you find Albert?' Gundar went on, unabashed. Even Halt was puzzled by this sudden apparent change of subject.'Albert?' he asked. Too late, he saw Gundar's grin widening and knew he'd stepped into a trap.'You seemed to be looking for him. You'd lean over the rail and call, 'Al-b-e-e-e-e-e-r-t!' I thought he might be some Araluen sea god.''No, I didn't find him. Maybe I could look for him in your helmet.'He reached out a hand. But Gundar had heard what happened when Skandians lent their helmets to the grim-faced Ranger while onboard ship...'No, I'm pretty sure he's not there,' he said hurriedly.
Will saw the first Senshi officer release and instantly knew where the arrow was aimed. 'They've spotted Shigeru!' He was about to turn and shove Shigeru to the ground, but as he did so, his eye caught a flicker of movement and he spun back.When asked later about what he did next, he could never explain how he managed it. Nor could he ever repeat the feat. He acted totally from instinct, an unbelievable piece of coordination between hand and eye.The Senshi arrow flashed downward, heading directly for Shigeru. Will flicked his bow at it, caught it and deflected it from its course. The arrowhead screeched on the hard, rocky ground and the arrow skittered away. Even Halt took a second to be impressed.'My god!' he said. 'How did you do that?
Halt eyed them balefully. They were all being so obvious about not mentioning his sudden reappearance that it was even worse than if they had commented on it...'Oh, go on!' he said. 'Somebody say something! I know what you're thinking!''It's good to see you up and about, Halt,' Selethen said gravely...Halt glared at the others and they quickly chorused their pleasure at seeing him back to his normal self. But he could see the grins they didn't quite manage to hide. He fixed a glare on Alyss.'I'm surprised at you Alyss,' he said. 'I expected no better of Will and Evanlyn, of course. Heartless beasts, the pair of them. But you! I thought you had been better trained!'...'Halt, I'm sorry! It's not funny, you're right... Shut up, Will.' This last was directed at Will as he tried, unsuccessfully, to smother a snigger.
Fighting positions, please, ladies...''That's debatable,' Halt said in an undertone to Will as they stood watching...'The 'fighting' part or the 'ladies' part?' Will replied with a grin.Halt looked at him and shook his head. 'Definitely the 'ladies,'' he said. 'There's no debate about the 'fighting.''Will shrugged. He knew there was an edginess to the girls' relationship and that it had something to do with him. Why that should be so was beyond him.
The two girls disappeared into the stern cabin once more. Will watched them go, then asked Halt, 'Anything you'd like me to do? Grow a beard? Learn to walk like a rooster?''If you could stop asking facetious questions, that'd be a start,' Halt told him. 'But it's probably a little late in life for you to do that.
You're right, Halt,' she said, and he nodded acklowledgement of her backing down.'Nice to hear someone else saying that for a change,' Will said cheerfully. 'Seems like I've said those words an awful lot in my time.'Halt turned a bleak gaze on him. 'And you've always been right.
Shokaku is a crane of some kind.''For lifting things?' Will asked.'For flying. A crane is a large bird,' she corrected him...'Seems like a logical thing for a crane to do,' Halt mused. 'I suppose you wouldn't expect it to mean 'a hiking crane' or 'a waddling crane.
What about you three, where are you going?Even before Halt answered, Will knew what he was going to say. But that didn't make it any less terrifying or blood-chilling when the words were said.We're going after the Kalkara.
But...' Horace looked from one familiar face to another. 'How did you come to..?'Before he could finish the question, Will interupted, thinking to clarify matters but only making them more puzzling...'We were all in Toscana for the treaty signing,' he began, then corrected himself. 'Well, Evanlyn wasn't. She came later. But, when she did, she told us you were missing, so we all boarded Gundar's ship-you should see it. It's a new design that can sail into the wind. But anyway, that's not important. And just before we left, Selethen decided to join us-what with you being an old comrade in arms and all-and...'He got no further. Halt, seeing the confusion growing on Horace's face, held up a hand to stop his babbling former apprentice...Will stopped, a little embarrassed as he realized that he had been running off at the mouth.