It was Tizanna who turned up with the spare clothes from Hakapa for Buldaveho to borrow. “Hakapa’s wife looked these out for Buldaveho to borrow,” she said briskly with an underlying chuckle. “Hakapa hasn’t worn them in years, there’s not enough room in them to allow for his midsection spread, but we won’t tell him that – he still thinks he’s Buldaveho’s shape, dear man that he is.”
“It’s kind of him to lend them,” answered Baranyi. She hesitated a moment, then asked, “While you’re here, would you mind coming in and giving me a second opinion on something?”
“Of course.” Tizanna smiled and added as she came through the door, “Hakapa tells me you have Gulda’s granddaughters here tonight as well. How are Benna and Gulya?”
“Cleaner than they were,” answered Baranyi. “Determined not to be separated, and I think someone has been threatening to. Possibly to stop them telling someone something. They’ve been eating better than I would expect if they’d been living completely rough.”
Tizanna nodded, “So someone’s been feeding them. I hope. What I want to know is, why aren’t they living in their own house?”
“Is it their house?” Baranyi went on, “How do the Bitrani treat such things? Did their grandmother leave a will? If she did, does it count?”
Tizanna paused and her lips twitched in frustration. “It’s entirely possible,” she said clearly and carefully, “that for legal purposes, the girls may not count at all. Do you have times when you want to strangle your far distant ancestors?”
“Only every time some man brings up what might happen when the Emperor passes on,” returned Baranyi crisply.
“Oh? Aaah, that’s right,” Tizanna nodded understandingly. “I suppose we can only deal with what’s before us and the Emperor’s still well and it’s too late tonight to deal with the girls’ issues.” They’d wound up in the laundry, by passing the kitchen where the girls had been seated at the table with a piece of paper each and some drawing leads. “What did you want my opinion on?”
“This smell on Buldaveho’s own clothes,” Baranyi answered. “It seems to be the smoke from his house.”
Tizanna put the clean clothes she was carrying down on the ironing table and picked the freshly washed shirt up to sniff at it. “What is this? I’ve smelt burning houses before, but this is different.”
“To me it’s the smell you get when you burn the solvent they use for cleaning oil paint brushes,” replied Baranyi. “It might be quite a normal thing for a fisherman to have in his home, but I can’t, for the life of me, think why.”
“Neither can I,” answered Tizanna, taking another sniff, “and this stuff burns well?”
“It’s quite dangerous if you’re not careful,” said Baranyi. “My brothers used to make fireballs on purpose when they were disposing of the used stuff.”
“I think that in the morning, you should speak to Hakapa and Buldaveho about this,” said Tizanna. “They’ll know how to handle it.”</xml:namespace>
This is now followed by Legacy 12.