— Valan Luca to Elayne and Nynaeve when they arrive at his menagerie without their fancy coach and dresses.
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|Setting: Sienda, Amadicia|
Point of view: Nynaeve al'Meara
Elayne pretends to be worn out from the heat when a maid brings Nynaeve a couple of bonnets. As soon as the maid leaves they dress in less fancy clothes, don the bonnets and gather up their belongings. They leave by the back stairs and the back gate and walk several miles before Thom and Juilin catch up with a wagon. They successfully avoid Galad and reach the menagerie around noon, where Valan Luca confronts them. He is still mad at Nynaeve for calling him a beggar and believes them to be thieves rather than a lady and her maid.
Elayne tells Luca that she is avoiding an arranged marriage and that her brother is looking for her. He insists though that they become performers, to blend in, to make it more difficult for someone to find them. Thom demonstrates his juggling and mentions other skills he can use to perform. Elayne notices a high rope, belonging to Sedrin (who died from a fall mere hours ago), and decides to become a high walker, along with Juilin. She demonstrates, but uses channeling to make her performance safe. Nynaeve doesn't get a role to play right away. The performers gather around and begin getting ready to depart, now that they will have funds.
Nynaeve takes an interest in Cerandin, the boar-horse trainer. She recognizes the animals from Falme, as something that the Seanchan use and Cerandin is clearly Seanchan. Elayne joins her and they probe to find out what her history is and make sure she is not a sul'dam. Cerandin decides that Elayne really is a high lady and prostrates herself as she would to one of the Seanchan Blood. Elayne tells her she does not need to act that way and they agree to exchange information on each other's lands.
- Valan Luca
- Mistress Jharen innkeeper
- Latelle not Latelle Luca at this point in story
- Taeric Chavana
- Barit Chavana
- Bari (entertainer)
- Kin (entertainer)