The Last Dark: The climax of the entire Thomas Covenant Chronicles (Last Chronicles of Thomas Cove)

The Last Dark: The climax of the entire Thomas Covenant Chronicles (Last Chronicles of Thomas Cove) by Stephen R. Donaldson Read Free Book Online

Book: The Last Dark: The climax of the entire Thomas Covenant Chronicles (Last Chronicles of Thomas Cove) by Stephen R. Donaldson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen R. Donaldson
make much sense.”
    Linden, too, did not understand. But she did not care about the
Elohim
. At the moment, she cared only about the ineffable fact that Jeremiah was speaking to her; that her son had found his voice when he had recovered his mind. And he had recovered his will as well: oh, yes, his will beyond question. His years of self-protective absence had taught him unexpected resources of determination.
    They encouraged her to keep him talking.
    She avoided the most crucial issue because he avoided it. Instead she inquired further about his encounters with Covenant’s spirit.
    “I probably shouldn’t admit this,” she offered tentatively, “but I almost panicked when I saw Revelstone and Mount Thunder in the living room. I came close to taking you and running.” She still believed that she should have done so. “Then neither of us would have been shot.”
    “And we wouldn’t be here to fight for the Land,” Jeremiah put in at once.
    She conceded his point. She did not want to discuss the cost of trying to carry burdens which were too heavy for human arms to lift. “Of course,” she continued, “I didn’t know then that your mind was coming here at night, when I thought that you were asleep. But what I’m trying to ask is, what inspired you to build those models?” And to build them on the same day that Roger Covenant came to demand custody of his mother? “Was that Covenant’s idea? Did he tell you to do it?”
    Jeremiah thought for a moment. “Not exactly. He never
told
me to do anything. But he made sure I knew Revelstone and Mount Thunder were important. He said things could happen there that might frustrate Lord Foul.” Suddenly vehement, he snapped, “I
hate
that bastard.” Then, hunching his shoulders and knotting his fists, he calmed himself. “So I wanted to warn you. Legos were the only language I had.”
    The only language—Such things threatened Linden’s composure. But Jeremiah had touched on his unspoken wounds, albeit obliquely. That demanded her full attention. Her own reactions could wait.
    In the dirt ahead of her, she saw the marks of three Ranyhyn galloping toward Muirwin Delenoth: longer strides, deeper hoof-cuts in the ground, but the same track. Clearly Hyn, Hynyn, and Khelen were retracing their path away from the Swordmainnir and Manethrall Mahrtiir. They aimed to rejoin Linden’s companions instead of pursuing some other purpose.
    Instead of taking her to Covenant.
    She told herself that she was glad. She wanted to be reunited with her friends. Wanted them, in effect, to meet Jeremiah for the first time. In addition, she needed their support, their comfort, their ready courage. And she felt that she could not afford to be distracted from her son: certainly not by her yearning for the only man whom she had ever truly loved.
    As though he had caught the scent of her thoughts, Jeremiah asked abruptly, “Do you think he’s dead? Covenant, I mean. When he left, he looked like he was going to die. Like he planned on dying.”
    Startled, Linden countered, “Why do you think that? What made you think he was going to die?”
    The boy studied her. “Isn’t that what
you
think? I must have picked up the idea from you.”
    Linden winced. She could easily believe that her reaction to Covenant’s departure had conveyed the impression that she was bracing herself for his death.
    While her son faced her with concern darkening in his eyes, she sighed, “No, Jeremiah. I don’t think Covenant is dead. And I don’t think he was planning to die. You’ve met him, but you haven’t seen him in action. Practically everything he does is almost inconceivable, but he does it anyway. That’s why the Land needs him. Why we need him.” Her own needs were more complex. “Maybe he really does have an inherent relationship with wild magic. Or maybe he’s just
more
than anyone else I’ve ever met. Either way, I don’t believe that Joan can kill him. There isn’t enough of her left, and

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