novel (BARTIMAEUS16)

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Mar 31, 2012 15:45
While this fascinating conversation was going on, the sounds of a sustained series of Detonations came from the other side of the door. My Seal held firm, though. I smiled as urbanely as I could. "Jabor seems as excitable as ever." "Yes, he's just the same. Only I think perhaps slightly more hungry, Bartimaeus. That's the only change I've noticed in him. He never seems satisfied, even when he's been fed. And that happens all too rarely these day's as you can imagine." "'Treat'em mean, keep 'em Keen,'that's your master's watchword, is it? Still, he must be fairly potent to be able to have you and Jabor as his slaves."
The cook gave a thin smile and with a flick of the knife sent a nail paring spinning to the
ceiling. It pierced the plaster and lodged there.
"Now, now Bartimaeus, We don't use the s-word in civilized company, do we?
Jabor and I are playing the long game" "Of course you are." "Speaking of disparities in power, I notice that you choose to avoid addressing me on the seventh plane. This seems a little impolite. Can it be that you are uneasy with my true form?"
"Queasy,Faquarl, not uneasy." "Well, this is all very pleasant. I admire your choice of form, by the way, Bartimaeus. Very comely.
But I see that you are somewhat weighted down by a certain amulet. Perhaps you could be so good as to take it off and put it on the table. Then if you care to tell me which magician you are working for, I might consider ways of ending this meeting in a nonfatal manner."
"That's kind of you, but you know I can't do that."
The cook prodded the edge of table with the tip of his clever.
"Let me be frank. You can and will. It is nothing personal,of course; one day we may work together again. But for now I am bound just as you are. And I too have my charge to fulfill. So it comes, as it always does, to a question of power. Correct me if I am wrong, but I note that you do not have too much confidence in yourself today---otherwise you would have left by the front door, quelling the trios as you round the house to me." "I was merely flowing a whim." "Mmm, Perhaps you would stop edging toward the window Bartimaes.

この実にうるわしい会話の間も、ドアの向こうの爆発音は続いている。しかし、私のかけた「封印の魔法」は、びくりともしない。私は、できるだけスマートに微笑んだ。「ジャーボウは、相変わらず血の気が多いな。」「ああ、あいつは変わらない。前よりずっと腹をすかしているようだから。バーティミアス。わかる変化は、それくらいだ。あいつは決して満腹しないらしい,たとえ餌が足りていてもだ。だが、餌にありつく機会もこのところさっぱりだ、お察しのとおり。」「手下の扱いは冷たく、おさえはしっかりってのがおまえたちの主人のモットーだろう。? だが相当力があるに違いない、おまえとジャーボウを奴隷にできるぐらいだ。」コックは薄ら微笑を浮かべると、包丁で爪を弾き飛ばした。爪は回転して天井の漆喰に突き刺さった。「さてと、バルテミアス、私たちは礼儀をわきまえた者同士だ。奴隷なんて無礼な呼び方はしない。」「そうだな。」「ジャーボウと私はルールどおりやっているだけだ。」「おっしゃるとおり。」「力といえば、おまえ、第七の目で私をみようとしないな。それはちょっと失礼じゃないか。私の本当の姿をみると居心地が悪くなるってことか。」、「気持ちが悪くなるのだ、フェイキアール、居心地でなくて。」「なら結構、それはそうと。おまえのその少年の姿は中々見上げたものだな、
コックは、テーブルの端に肉きり包丁を突き立てた。「なあ、正直に言おう、おまえはどうせそういうことになるのだ。わたしはなにもおまえが憎くて言っているんではない。いつか、また一緒に仕事をするかもしれないな。だが今はわたしもお前同様、主人に仕える身だ。命令には従わなきゃならない。つまり、いつものようにあとは力の問題だ。間違っていたら教えて欲しいのだが、みたところ今日のおまえは余り自身がないらしい。 --- そうでなければ、正面のドアから堂々と出ていくはずだ。

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