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Vous ne savez donc pas, n’avez-vous pas entendu ? Ce qui est déjà mort ne peut mourir.

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“The cloth overlay of Billy’s cart clucks, and a brown chicken pokes her head out from under the covering, stepping out of the basket she was riding in.

“There is a chicken in your cart.”

“I know,” Billy snaps, and slaps his napkin across his lap.

“Why is there a chicken in your cart?”

“Because this was supposed to be chicken stew,” he says. “I’ve been hand-feeding this bird for days to be sure it was not poisoned before the fact. And now . . .” He pours Mirabella some water and drinks from her cup. The hen clucks, and Billy tosses down a chunk of bread.

“Now her name is Harriet,” he says quietly.

Mirabella laughs.”

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“Outside in the yard, Arsinoe follows Jules past the chicken coops as she and Camden stretch their sore limbs in the sun. Then she darts off into the woodpile.

“What are you digging for?” Jules asks.

“Nothing.” But Arsinoe returns with a book, brushing bits of bark off the soft green cover. She holds it up and Jules frowns. It is a book of poison plants, lifted discreetly from one of the shelves in Luke’s bookshop.

“You shouldn’t be messing about with that,” Jules says. “And what if someone sees you with it?”

“Then they’ll think I’m trying to get revenge, for what was done to you.”

“That won’t work. Reading a book to out-poison the poisoners? You can’t even poison a poisoner, can you?”

“Say ‘poison’ one more time, Jules.”

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“But everyone knows that the Breccia Domain is more than an empty hole in the earth. Who knows what happened to the queens who were thrown down into the dark? Into the heart of the island, where the Goddess’s eye is always open. Who knows how she kept those queens or what she turned them into”

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“No matter how far I go, I'm still your person. We stand together now.”

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