TEotW: Chapter 33
The Dark Waits
Rand POV - Rand and Mat are getting a ride from a farmer named Hyam Kinch. Mat's eyes are getting better and Rand seems to be feeling better, although it has not been mentioned yet when he was sick. A group of the Queen's Guard pass by going the other way. Hyam Kinch tells them the Queen's Guard rarely goes further than Breen's Spring. He is surprised that neither Rand nor Mat recognizes them. The farmer finally stops and lets the boys off when he reaches his road home telling them they are two days from Caemlyn. The next village is Carysford. Mat acts suspicious of the farmer as he drops them off.
The time shifts back to the night at The Dancing Cartman. They stagger away from the inn and find some bushes to hide in. They both fall asleep soon. Rand starts dreaming:
He is back at Four Kings. He goes inside The Dancing Cartman. Howal Gode is there, only recognizable from his clothes. His face is charred. Rand realizes Gode is dead. Then Ba'alzamon appears and the two start talking. Ba'alzamon sends Gode away to his fate. His final words to Rand are "You are mine, youngling, alive or dead. The Eye of the World will never serve you. I mark you as mine." A ball of flame explodes in Rand's face.
Rand wakes up and notices Mat is having a nightmare. Rand wakes Mat up. They do not sleep the rest of the night. They start walking at daybreak. They pass through a village and then past that, Alpert Mull gives them a ride in his wagon. Times are so hard he must buy hay from Old Bain. He lets them get off just as he heads off the main road, and gives each of the boys a woolen scarf. At dusk, the boys arrive at Market Sheran. There is only one inn. They go in and are greeted by the innkeeper, Rulan Allwine. Rand and Mat are shocked at the price he is charging. The next day they have breakfast in the common room when a boy comes in and sits at their table. His name is Paitr. Mat figures out that he is a Darkfriend. Paitr tries to get them to wait, but Rand and Mat get up to leave. Paitr then yells out "You won't get away. No matter how strong you are, the Great Lord of the Dark is stronger. The Shadow will swallow you!" An old man inside the inn hears Paitr and Paitr flees. Rand and Mat also leave quickly. They get six rides during that day and they hear rumors about what happened in Market Sheran. One farmer tells them it is the best story he heard since Ackley Farren got drunk. They enter another village (Andor Village 1) and enter The Queen's Man inn. The innkeeper, Master Inlow, at first thinks that they are on their way to Caemlyn to see Logain. Rand and Mat give their spiel to the innkeeper about performing. He gets ready to clear a room for them when Rand gets very ill.1 The innkeeper lets them go into the stable. Mat goes to find someone to help, but the local midwife, Mother Brune, is out. Rand sleeps fitfully and has nightmares:
Rand wakes the next day when he hears the door open. There is a woman entering the stable.2 Rand wakes Mat up. She comes over and asks if Rand is all right. She bends over as if to help Rand and then she lunges toward Mat. She has tried to stab Mat and now her dagger is stuck in a post and Mat now has the ruby dagger up against her throat. Her dagger is blackening the wood around it. Mat prepares to kill her, but Rand convinces him not to. Instead, they lock her up in the tack room. They then leave town. About a mile out of town, Hyam Kinch gives them a ride.
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