Day 392, continued
I gazed at him with a feeling of compassion such as I have never felt for anyone. It seemed to me that he had grossly understated his case. He was not merely unutterably old and weary—he was fading away before my very eyes. He was, in fact, the closest thing to a ghost I had ever seen: thin as water, attenuated as air, frail as an ancient parchment.
The look of him reminded me of my dear wife in the days of her lingering illness. That illness came and went with her as the ebbing tide: always returning, never far distant. I wondered how it was with her now. I wondered how she was faring with our infant son. “He will be more than a year old by now,” I thought. I reached out and touched Dee’s arm.
“You did well to cast the sword away,” I said. “I cannot but think that it will go well with you in the end because of the choice you made.”
He turned to me with a look of gratitude in his eyes.
Then I said, “You told me that you made inscriptions on the sword before you let it go.”
“Yea,” he answered. “Upon the quillion. In the Enochian tongue.”
“What did they say?”
He compressed his lips said nothing. But in a while I heard him mutter, “Mine were not the only markings. There were others on the blade.”
“Yes,” I said. “In ancient Ogham. ‘To Divide and Bind.’ That much I know. Can you tell me what it means?”
“Nay,” he said, shaking his head sadly. “I know naught of Ogham, nor of the history of the sword before my time. I know only what Paracelsus told me: that it was brought to Montsalvat by the knight Galahad when he came questing after the Gral.”
“The Gral,” I said smiling. “And what do you know about that?”
“Little enough,” said he.
* * * * *