Mat rides Pips into Hinderstap, a little smaller than Baerlon, accompanied by Joline, Edesina, Teslyn, Blaeric, Fen, Talmanes, Thom, Harnan, Delarn and three other soldiers. Aludra, Egeanin, Amathera, Noal and Olver stayed behind. He refuses to think about Tuon. Thom is reading his letter from Moiraine again. Bayle Domon will lead them to the Tower of Ghenjei in a few weeks. He wonders if they will run into Lanfear. They are heading to Caemlyn, but may stop at Four Kings on the way. Mat thinks of Rand and sees an image of him slumped in a chair missing a hand. Thom quotes a poem on the Wheel of Time written by Doreille Torghin, a queen of Aridhol (City). She visited this area called the Splintered Hills near the Eagle's Reaches in Coremanda.
They round a bend and find the town just as Vanin said. Master Roidelle said the road will lead them into Andor. In town, Barlden, the mayor, welcomes them, but tells them they must leave before nightfall. The Aes Sedai and three Redarms enter the finest inn in town. The dice start rattling in Mat's head. Mat sees a man showing a piece of paper to Barlden, but Barlden just shakes his head. Mat and Talmanes go into an average inn, The Tipsy Gelding. Mat begins systematically losing his money. After losing his pocket money, Harnan and Delarn bring in a chest of gold and Mat bets it against a wagon of provisions. Barlden says it is too late, but Mardry says he has a wagon and team. It is getting dark, but Mat makes a decision to stay and the dice in his head stop. When the wagon is loaded with supplies, the mayor makes the toss but Mat still wins. The mayor yells at them to leave and never return. As they go out to the wagon there is no one on the street. Then they hear screaming.
More Mat POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] The three Redarms were omitted from TGS,Ch28 in the original printing but this was corrected in later printings.
[#2] The man is Ledron. We find out what is on the paper in TGS,Ch28.
[#3] Mat is beginning to have some control over his luck, winning or losing as necessary. See KoD,Ch11.
[#4] Indicating that it was a momentous choice.
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