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as I'm able."

"In two days we leave again." She stood. "If you don't find me, I'll find you."

"I'll count on that," he said.

G'Leel returned to her crewmates, each shoulder moving forward in turn with her stride. She gave a short nod as she passed Blaylock's table.

Galen took a moment to slow his breathing, to compose himself, then joined Blaylock. He broke off the exercise, knowing Blaylock would demand his full attention. "I'm sorry I left the hotel."

"You indulge your emotions. They rule you." Blaylock pushed the platter of food to him and switched to the language of the Soom. "Here. Eat. We'll discuss your disobedience later. At length."

Galen spoke in the language of his home as well. "Where is yours?"

"I break my fast only once a day. Tell me why you trust this Narn."

"Do you want to know what she told me?"

"I heard all. I arrived shortly after you. I'm not asking whether I should trust her. I have already made that determination. I want to know why you trust her."

"She provided useful information before."

"Why did you trust her before?"

"We observed her."


Galen shook his head. "I had no idea whether she could be trusted. But... Isabelle knew. Somehow she knew that G'Leel would help us."

"Wise is the mage who trusts in those who know better than him." Blaylock's gaze remained on Galen, making sure his point was taken.

Galen got the message. He was to obey. But as seemed common with Blaylock, this conversation was about more than one subject. "You've questioned my judgment of people since we began this trip. I admit it is a weakness of mine. But how did you know?"

"Elizar. It was obvious that you trusted and admired him."

"You didn't trust him?"

"Elizar seemed to me to prefer the image of doing good over
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