[LMB] KC: Taming a Daughter

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 4 14:18:28 BST 2019

Lily looks a lot like Barr; she even has her long blonde hair pulled
back in a braid. (Does Bell see that likeness every day? Does it explain
some of her treatment of Lily?)

Barr has to start accepting some hard facts: the Lakewalker patroller
thought Lily was a Lakewalker. Her horse is beguiled beyond belief. Lily
has groundsense, and can 'see' what Barr does with his ground. She's
never going to be a farmer again.

Lily has less experience about Lakewalkers than even most farmers; Bell
won't have them mentioned in the house, or have anything to do with them.
All Lily knows is some of the more lurid whispers about chopping up
bodies to make knives out of bones. Sadly, this is also the true part, but
not in the way she says it.

Barr remembers that his own powers came in late, to the point that his
family were anxious that he didn't have any. He also things for a moment
about Remo, happily string-bound now: another thing Barr's family nag
him about.

Lily has a horrible relationship with her mother. But Barr's memories of his
family are mostly about all the criticisms they have, all the ways he fell
short of their expectations. He's never quite good enough. Maybe Barr and
Lily share more than he realises.

Or maybe Barr will get a better perspective when he sees the love they have
for him as well, compared to what Lily has missed.

Barr tells Lily that she has Lakewalker powers. He suggests an ancestor or
two up the family tree. Doesn't mention how CLOSE that ancestor is.

Barr does remember that his family had applauded and encouraged
every small sign of his powers growing, unlike poor Lily who's dealt
with this deluge with no idea what it meant.

Having someone understand, even just a little, almost breaks her. She's
been so alone for so long. And he says her experiences and feelings
are normal for a young Lakewalker. Lily is so relieved to hear 'normal'.

She reads Fid's letter, and burns it. I felt so sorry at that, the poor man
does obviously care about her. The big issue is the burning barn; and
Barr can tell straight away that she's not lying. Just by looking at her
ground. Sometimes it is easier for Lakewalkers. Barr does point out
that farmers can't do that (she doesn't mention that maybe people who
love and trust you shouldn't NEED to be able to read you to tell.)

One thing Barr is noticing already is that Lily doesn't always jump to
the question or comment you'd expect to come next. She keeps him
on his toes.

Barr's plan: Dag and Fawn. Which is a pretty good plan. Old Patroller
and farmer girl wisdom between them should be able to help Lily.
On the way he can fit in some Lakewalker 101 lessons: sharing knives,
farmer patrollers and the use of walnuts, malices, plunkin, knife fighting,
half-Lakewalkers, how you know if a half-Lakewalker has enough
groundsense to make it as a full Lakewalker.

And she'd make it as a full Lakewalker - she has the affinity to share. And
for the first time that thought chills Barr. He's doing Dad 101 at the
same time as Lily is learning Lakewalker. And it's scaring him silly half
the time. Barr is also getting a new view of his parents.

They also chat about malices, and mudmen, and killing. Sweet Barr
is actually a trained killer, but you tend to forget that. He started patrolling
at sixteen, he's been doing it for about seventeen years. More than a
hundred and fifty patrols, less than two hundred.

Maybe, looking back on it, his view of his childhood needs a little revising.

Lily doesn't chat back much. But she thought Barr was about 23, not 33.
And Barr doesn't get why that dismays her so much.

Barr notices that, beyond his father-worries, is an underlying reflex to
teach. Old Patroller teaching the young. Echoes of Dag again.

And then, just as they're relaxing and smiling to see baby bears, and
enjoying a nice ride.... malice blight.

Welcome to Lakewalker life, Lily.

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