The Waste Lands

Page 163


“YES,” Blaine said at last. “I AGREE, IF I SOLVE ALL THE RIDDLES YOU ASK ME, I WILL TAKE YOU WITH ME TO THE PLACE WHERE THE PATH ENDS IN THE CLEARING. IF ONE OF YOU TELLS A RIDDLE I CANNOT SOLVE, I WILL SPARE YOUR LIVES AND TAKE YOU TO TOPEKA, WHERE YOU WILL LEAVE THE MONO AND CONTINUE YOUR QUEST FOR THE DARK TOWER. HAVE I UNDERSTOOD THE TERMS AND LIM-ITS OF YOUR PROPOSAL CORRECTLY, ROLAND, SON OF STEVEN?”

“Yes.”

“VERY WELL, ROLAND OF GILEAD.

“VERY WELL, EDDIE OF NEW YORK.

“VERY WELL, SUSANNAH OF NEW YORK.

“VERY WELL, JAKE OF NEW YORK.

“VERY WELL, OY OF MID-WORLD.”

Oy looked up briefly at the sound of his name. “YOU ARE KA-TET; ONE MADE FROM MANY. SO AM I. WHOSE KA-TET IS THE STRONGER IS SOMETHING WE MUST NOW PROVE.”

There was a moment of silence, broken only by the steady hard throb of the slo-trans turbines, bearing them on across the waste lands, bearing them on toward Topeka, the place where Mid-World ended and End-World began. “SO,” cried the voice of Blaine. “CAST YOUR NETS, WANDER-ERS! TRY ME WITH YOUR QUESTIONS, AND LET THE CON-TEST BEGIN.”


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