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GonzoTheGreat
05-14-2010, 05:08 AM
A suggestion for the "little undiscussed thing":

He stiffened. Of all the Maidens who treated him as a long-lost son of ten, she had chosen the three worst. Lamelle even brought him soup – the woman could not cook a lick, but she insisted on making him soup! "You bring whoever you wish," he told her in a tight, flat voice, "but I am the Car'a'carn, and I amgoing into the city." With luck, he could find his clothes before she returned. Somara was nearly as tall as he, and, at the moment, probably stronger. The One Power certainly would do him no good; he could not have embraced saidinif Sammael appeared in front of him, much less held onto it.Is the soup another weapon?

He took in the plaza again, and his joy faded. Nothing could extinguish it, but the bodies lying in heaps where the Aiel had made their stand lessened it. Too many of them were not big enough to be men. There was Lamelle, veil gone and half her throat as well; she would never make him soup again. Pevin, both hands clutching the wrist-thick shaft of the Trolloc spear through his chest and the first expression on his face Rand had ever seen. Surprise. Balefire had cheated death for his friends, but not for others. Too many. Too many Maidens.No more soup, it would seem.

"We brought you some soup," Somara said, nodding her flaxen head toward a silver tray covered with a striped cloth, sitting on the dais that held the Lion Throne. Carved and gilded, with huge lion's paws at the ends of its legs, the throne was a massive chair at the top of four white marble stairs, with a strip of red carpet leading up to it. The Lion of Andor, picked out in moonstones on a field of rubies, would have stood above Morgase's head whenever she occupied that seat. "Aviendha says you have not eaten yet today. It is the soup Lamelle used to make for you."
"I suppose none of the servants have come back," Rand sighed. "One of the cooks, maybe? A helper?" Enaila shook her head scornfully. She would serve her time as gai'shainwith a good grace, if it ever came to that, but the idea of anyone spending their entire life serving someone else disgusted her.
Climbing the stairs, he squatted to twitch the cloth aside. His nose twitched, too. By the smell, whichever of them had made it was no better a cook than Lamelle had been. The sound of a man's boots coming up the hail gave him an excuse to turn his back on the tray. With any luck, he would not have to eat it.The Soup Reborn!

"I am fine." Rand pulled his hands down; there was never any pain in this, only the shock of having another man’s thoughts in his head. Bashere was not the only one watching. Most of the Maidens were eyeing him as closely as they did the courtyard, especially Enaila and yellow-haired Somara, the tallest of them. Those two would probably bring him some sort of herb tea as soon as their duties were done, and stand over him till he drank it. Elenia and Naean and the rest of the Andorans were breathing hard, clutching at coats and skirts, studying Rand with the wide-eyed fear of people afraid they might be seeing the first signs of madness. "I am fine," he told the courtyard. Only the Maidens relaxed, and Enaila and Somara not very far.Not soup, this time, but herb tea.

When they left, Rand stood squinting at the sun, halfway down toward the horizon. Han was repeating the story about the stabbing, and the departing chiefs chuckled over it again. Tapping his pipe out on the heel of his palm, Rand ground the dottle underfoot in the dust. There was still time to return to Caemlyn and meet Bashere, but he went back inside the tent and sat watching the sun sink. As it touched the horizon, turning red as blood, Enaila and Somara brought him a plate of mutton stew heaped high enough for two men, a round loaf of bread and a pitcher of mint tea that had been set in a bucket of water to cool.Still tea instead of soup.

My suggestion is that these "beverages in which to hide suspicious herbs" are not as innocent as Rand thinks they are.

WinespringBrother
05-14-2010, 06:12 AM
Tea soup does sound suspicious. I guess it is the Aiel's way of conserving water.