After he leaves the Little Tower, Mat finds Thom and gives him the letter. Mat does not know whom it is from. Trying to dissuade Mat from meddling, Thom tells him the story of Laritha. When he was young, good-looking and rich, Thom knew Laritha. Her husband beat her, but when Thom tried to "rescue" her they both turned on him and he barely escaped with his life. He tells Mat that he, Juilin, Nynaeve and Elayne are going to Ebou Dar. Nalesean told Mat that Ebou Dar is a rough place. Thom thinks Egwene will make a good Amyrlin. He suggests that Mat come with them to Ebou Dar to help him keep the girls safe. Mat recalls that Basel Gill told him something about Thom. Mat asks who sent him the letter, but Thom does not say. He walks away. Mat gets up and sees Nynaeve, but she runs from him. Mat rejoins his men at the stable and checks on Pips. Mar and Ladwin are chagrined at having been caught so easily by the Warder. One of Mat's bannermen, Verdin, is nervous, but Mat tells him everything is going according to plan. Mat sends Vanin back to tell Talmanes to wait.
More Mat POV
After meeting with Mat, Elayne goes to find Aviendha. Akarrin tells her that Aviendha will be in novice white by nightfall. She goes out to the street and Birgitte and Areina run up. Elayne thinks Areina is an impossible wretch. Birgitte tells her that Vandene and Adeleas are going with them. Elayne wonders if they have their own mission. Elayne figures that the Sitters think that she and Nynaeve need chaperones. Elayne asks again for permission to tell Egwene about Birgitte. She again refuses, explaining that if people know she is a hero they will expect too much of her. When she was Maerion and Joana she was just a normal person. She already feels like a feather-dancer in a Tovan conclave.
Areina walks up and begins hassling Birgitte about archery lessons. They leave and Elayne goes to see Aviendha. Five Aes Sedai including Shana are talking to her. Elayne takes Aviendha away with her. The Aes Sedai acquiesce because of her strength. She is glad that Myrelle was not among the group. Myrelle is head of the Green Ajah in Salidar despite being Aes Sedai less than fifteen years and Ajah head would have taken precedence over strength.
In Elayne's room, Aviendha tells Elayne that Egwene asked her to look after Rand. She slept with Rand and so now has great toh toward Elayne. She gives Elayne a knife and a stick and asks her to use either. Elayne realizes that Aviendha is Min's third woman. Elayne refuses to hit her even though she is furious. From Min's viewing the three of them will share him. Aviendha says they will have to become first-sisters if they are to be sister-wives. At first, Aviendha wants to go after Min, but Elayne convinces her that the three of them will have to share him. Min should be arriving in Caemlyn about now. Elayne is relieved that the third is not Berelain. After talking some more they wind up laughing together.
More Elayne POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] The description of the letter is being corrected to match that in TFoH,Ch52, the impression of her great serpent ring in blue sealing wax. We do not learn the content of the letter until KoD,Ch10.
[#2] That Thom was Court Bard in Caemlyn and a dangerous person. (TEotW,Ch35) This was the time period where Mat lost much of his memory.
[#3] Moiraine, of course.
[#4] To check for White Tower runaways with the Kin. (ACoS,Ch30)
[#5] The Tovans were extremely conservative.
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