Categories > Books > Tamora Pierce > Far Too Curious

The Spark of Curiosity Ignites

by razz 2 reviews

Newly knighted, Gary and Raoul sit late one evening discussing mistresses and moustaches, their friend Squire Alan's uncanny lack of both, when a catastrophic realisation hits...

Category: Tamora Pierce - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor - Published: 2006-05-20 - Updated: 2006-05-21 - 1070 words

Part One

-The Spark of Curiosity Ignites-

... ... ... ... ...

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

-Ellen Parr

... ... ... ... ...

The night was cool, a wintry breeze passing over the darkened city streets. Most persons had long since retired to their warm beds, or alongside other such comforters.

But high up in the palace, between three and a half empty bottles of wine, two friends sat side by side with sinking eyelids, yet to be taken in to the realm of dreams. Newly knighted, Sirs Raoul of Goldenlake and Gareth the Younger of Naxen, were celebrating in the formers personal suite, making the most of their return from Persopolis.

Raoul yawned, prodding the dying flames in the fireplace with a rusted iron poker, in a vain attempt to keep the diminishing heat alight.

"Let it go," Gareth urged, waving a hand in dismissal. "I fear I may as well perish here tonight from frostbite, and forego all future heartache and miseries."

Raoul merely rolled his eyes, unconcerned with his friends melodramatics. Gareth had been moaning all night as it were, and did not seem likely to stop any time soon.

"Firstly," Gareth continued, "Jonathan takes my lady."

Raoul snorted, interrupting, "Now Gary, Delia was never yours to claim-"

"And then he takes my Squire."

"That was your fathers decision. And don't you think Jonathan needs the best-"

"He was my friend first! I sponsored Alan!"

Raoul just nodded, murmuring under his breath.

"And did you see him flirting with all the ladies last night? Did you see his dismal attempt at the manly growth of a moustache?"

Again, Raoul did not bother to rebuke, for their Prince had indeed been seen the night before bearing the ever so slight beginnings of a beard.

"A moustache!" Gary cried, flinging his goblet into the air, which subsequently spilt wine all over Raoul's furnishings. "And one not nearly as handsome nor eloquent as mine!"

Raoul nodded again, barely refraining himself from laughter. "But come now Gary," he reasoned, "surely it is Jonathan's right to grow a moustache if he so wishes."

"But who would not want a moustache, especially as I parade one so grand as my own!" Gary sighed, belated, forgetting entirely that the knight he sat next to bore no facial hair whatsoever - by choice.

"Alan would not want one," Raoul proclaimed, clasping at straws to draw the conversation away from the rather touchy topic of Jonathan.

"Alan!" Gary laughed, taking the bait. "Alan could not grow a hair if his life depended on it, nor for that matter could he even find it in himself to bed a woman! The boy is entirely too feminine, if I do say so myself."

"Oh Gary," Raoul groaned. His friend was an insufferable drunk. "Leave off Alan, please."

"Why, has the boy ever shown the slightest bit of interest in a woman?" Gareth stood then, his mind enlightened with this trail of thought. "No! Never! He does not even care to dance! Which, again if I do say so, is a great offence in itself."

"I do not like dancing either!" Raoul piped up in defence. "It is not that unusual, really."

"No, perhaps not," Gary continued slowly, "but what of his other oddities? The secrecy, the impending conservativeness! Never swimming, with no honest reason as to why, and never to remove but his shirt in public view!"

Raoul closed his eyes, leaning back on the sofa. Many a far greater -far more sober- minds had been over this subject repeatedly, and no revelations had ever come of it. Alan was... well... he was just Alan, nothing more. Quite intriguing, yes. But nothing completely bizarre.

Gary shuddered, coming to a holt in front of the dying flames, a hand stroking his moustache in thought. "Now," he said, even more slowly than before, "see here..."

"See what?" Raoul asked, his eyes again open.

"What if..." Gary frowned, uncertain. Dare he voice it? "What if our little friend is..."


Gary cursed, looking hard at Raoul, debating how to phrase his impediment. "Gay."

"Happy?" Raoul asked incredulously. "You mean to say he is /happy/?"

"No! No..." Gary rolled his eyes. "I mean he is homosexual! He is in love with another man!"

Raoul snorted. "Well, that is just ludicrous."

"Is it? Is it really?"

"Yes!" Raoul laughed, brandishing his arms in complaint. "That is as preposterous as saying..."

"Yes? As what?"

"As saying..." Raoul frowned, desperate to come up with something substantial.

"Hmmm...?" Gary grinned wickedly, thinking his argument won.

"That is as preposterous as saying Alan is indeed a female himself!" Raoul grinned back, triumphant. "That the reason Alan does not grow a moustache, does not bed even a mistress, does not care to dance or swim or take off his shirt, all amount to that Alan is not a man nor boy, but a female, deceiving us all!"

Gareth dropped to his knees, clasping his stomach as insane laughter fought to escape him. "A woman? A woman!" He discarded the loosing battle, and fell about the floor in a shrill fit of giggles.

"Yes, and why not?" Raoul placed his own goblet on the side table, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Was it not you whom said, just minutes ago, that our Alan is, I quote '...entirely too feminine...'! Give me one good reason as to why, beyond any doubt, Alan could not possibly be female."

"Because," Gary spluttered, propping himself up against the table. "He is male! He is a Squire! He has no breasts, and he is by far the worst liar I know!"

"Hmmm..." Raoul trailed away, considering these obstacles, the notion swelling in his brain.

And as the night drew on, as many more bottles of wine were consumed, Raoul could not shake the feeling that they had wondered on something big. Something partly truthful. Something that would indeed need further investigation.

And the morning came upon the city of Corus, bright and cheerful, and the occupants of the palace slowly awoke to begin another day, most unawares of the step closer they were to dissolving the mystery that surrounded one Squire Alan of Trebond.

But Raoul thought longer on the subject, pondering on it for days and days, until at last he had come up with a plan.

He would find out for sure, no matter to the consequences, the gender of their small red-haired friend.
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