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The Fires of Heaven/Chapter 36

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"I always say, if you must mount the gallows, give a jest to the crowd, a coin to the hangman, and make the drop with a smile on your lips."
   — Birgitte to Elayne on her philosophy of life

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Setting: Amadicia near Samara

Point of view: Elayne Trakand

Elayne watches Birgitte sleeping, hoping she will survive. Nynaeve comes back from her walk, feet dirty and tear stains on her cheeks and tells Elayne to go to sleep. Instead Elayne decides to take a walk herself. Juilin found a silver arrow on the ground and Thom recognizes a woman with a braid from his stories. Elayne will not confirm Birgitte's identity to the men though. To help answer the men's questions she explains about how they can enter tel'aran'rhiod, that they have been hunting Moghedien and may be hunted in turn now.

Elayne returns to the wagon and works to get Nynaeve to finally go to sleep. Elayne drifts off to sleep herself, then is woken in the morning by Birgitte wondering where she is since it is not tel'aran'rhiod. Birgitte remembers all of her past lives, things she normally would be unaware of when she was in the real world. Elayne admits to her that she is not Aes Sedai. Birgitte agrees to keep her secrets but also promises to be a real Warder, to keep Elayne safe. Elayne begins changing a dress to fit Birgitte since they have no clothes in her size.

By the time they are dressed and go outside, the menagerie is preparing to leave camp, making its way to Samara. Luca comes by, trying to get everyone moving since he has competitors already performing in Samara. He asks Birgitte if she would paint her face and act the fool but she replies she is an archer. Birgitte bets Luca one hundred gold crowns to one she can beat him in an archery competition so Luca goes to get his bow. Thom and Juilin are using their inside knowledge to take bets favoring Birgitte in the coming competition. After Birgitte gives an amazing display of accuracy with bow and arrows, Luca decides to switch from Thom's knives to Birgitte's bow for the act using Nynaeve.

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