The Quest for Saint Camber

Read The Quest for Saint Camber for Free Online

Book: Read The Quest for Saint Camber for Free Online
Authors: Katherine Kurtz
    â€œMy prince?” Morgan murmured.
    â€œTell him,” Kelson said.
    â€œWe Deryni call it Mind-Seeing,” Morgan said. “Do the Haldanes have another name for it, Sire?”
    Inclining his head, Morgan continued. “We distinguish two levels of Mind-Seeing, depending upon whether the subject is cooperative or not. A consciously cooperating subject can recall events in great detail. And of course, there’s no possibility of lying. An uncooperative subject may be able to block the efficiency of the process to the extent that he will not volunteer information. But his answers to specific questions will be truthful. Resistance produces varying degrees of discomfort for the subject, depending upon the level of resistance and the amount of energy being put into the demands for information. This holds true for Deryni as well as humans, though Deryni obviously will have the potential for greater resistance.”
    â€œI see,” Wolfram said thoughtfully. “Then, if Bishop McLain were Deryni—”
    â€œEven if he were ,” Kelson said pointedly, “—which I will not ask him, Bishop—any resistance to my questions regarding his marriage would be immediately evident, for I would put the full force of my power behind my questioning. I will do that, if you wish—assuming, of course, that the findings thus obtained may be acceptable to this court.”
    The measure Kelson proposed was a uniquely Haldane solution to a situation they had all feared would have none, and the king had little concern that Wolfram would continue to object for long. Nor did he. When the peppery old bishop had conferred again with Cardiel and Arilan, finally giving reluctant assent by his expression, Kelson bade Morgan set two backless stools before the tribunal’s table.
    A glance in Duncan’s direction brought him forward—an unassuming, black-clad supplicant today rather than duke and earl and warrior-bishop, blue eyes guileless and unflinching, cleanshaven oval face framed by close-cropped brown hair, tonsured only in token, wearing no sign of his episcopal rank save the amethyst on his right hand. This he removed and laid on the table before Cardiel for safekeeping as he took a seat at Kelson’s behest, scooting the stool closer to the table and laying his forearms on the table, palms upward, as Kelson directed.
    â€œThis questioning has nothing to do with my office as bishop,” he explained to Wolfram, as the latter glanced in question at the ring. “I am here as a father who wishes to acknowledge his son.”
    â€œA Deryni father, acknowledging a Deryni son?”
    Duncan managed a fleeting but stiff smile.
    â€œI believe His Majesty said I was not to be asked that question.”
    â€œMy Majesty did, indeed,” Kelson said, setting a hand on Duncan’s left shoulder. “Shame on you, Wolfram.”
    Wolfram shrugged. “I only ask what others are asking, Sire. I think he probably is—and I begin to wonder whether there is, indeed, harm in that, apart from the law—but, no matter, for now. I am not devil’s advocate for that question, thank God.” He glanced at the others, at the clark, who had looked up furtively at this last exchange, and motioned the young man to continue taking his notes. “Shall we proceed?”
    â€œWith the understanding that I will ask the questions, yes,” Kelson replied. He settled gracefully on the stool at Duncan’s left, his hand sliding down Duncan’s arm to grasp the wrist inside the loose-fitting black sleeve. In his peripheral vision, he could see Morgan sitting beside a stiff and anxious Dhugal, with Nigel leaning forward a little, the better to observe what was about to happen.
    â€œFor the benefit of Bishop Wolfram, who’s never seen this done before, I’ll explain what I’m doing,” Kelson said, addressing the three bishops.

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