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By Gary Jennings

A picaresque novel in regards to the adventures of a 19th-century circus, from the embittered post-Civil conflict South to the glittering and decadent capitals and courts of Europe. From the bestselling writer of Aztec and The Journeyer.

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He chewed as completely as though it have been a whole ham, swallowed and spoke back. "If your identify is Sarah, ma'am, I reckon your little woman isn't Mam'selle Whatever-it-was. " "No, she's Edith Coverley, yet her level identify got here kind of clearly. See, while she was once just a teensy squirt, first studying to speak, she could not pronounce that identify Coverley. most sensible she might do was once Clover Lee. So she simply stored it as she grew up. " "It is a pleasant name," acknowledged Yount. "And Mr. Coverley, what is he referred to as? " " 'The late,' i'm hoping, if he is in hell the place he belongs. i have never laid eyes at the son of a whinge on account that I notified him that Clover Lee used to be at the method. " Yount's eyebrows did a few extra twitching, yet facet hastened to assert, "From your identify, I take it you are not a foreigner. " "To you I most likely am, Reb," she acknowledged mischievously. "I'm from New Jersey. Now close up and devour. i will be again for the dishes if you find yourself performed. Florian, pour them a few extra of your snake piss, to chop the flavor of that red meat. " She went out, and Florian did as he used to be bidden. part drank from his freshened cup and acknowledged: "I was once simply attempting to tackle the menagerie of nationalities you pointed out. it kind of feels to me that almost all are americans. That girl and her daughter, the Louisiana gentleman, the Tarheel fool. I reckon you may stretch some degree and phone the elephant darky an African. You stated you are an Alsatian, and the lion tamer is Cape Dutch. however the midget—from his lovely disposition and his cultured speech, i would bet Deep South poor-white trash. " "Yes, Tim's only a Mississippi mudcat. yet such a lot circus humans speak rough—you heard Madame Solitaire. If Tim talks filthier and louder, this is because he thinks he is conversing taller. in fact, that is approximately as hopeless as a cross-eyed guy attempting to glance dignified. " "The previous dowager woman ain't American, Zack," Yount mentioned. He acknowledged to Florian with a few delight, "We picked up a great deal of Spanish down in Mexico. " "But the outdated girl isn't any Mexican," acknowledged area. "She speaks her 'c' with a lisp. that is eu Spanish. " "Right," stated Florian. "Maggie's a Spanish-born gypsy. " He checked out facet lengthy and punctiliously. "So you recognize Spanish good adequate to identify the true Castilian. And down there on the creek you spoke to me in French. " side acknowledged deprecatingly, "A textbook proverb. My French has long past rusty, i am afraid. i attempted to maintain it up—spoke it occasionally with basic Beauregard. he is from an outdated New Orleans Creole family members, like your Rouleau gentleman. " "And you? " "I'm now not. now not a gentleman, nothing. No previous relations, no unique birthplace. by no means been overseas, with the exception of Mexico and the Territories. i am only a Virginia hillbilly. " "I intended the place did you research French? " "At the 'I'—when i used to be a rat. " Florian blinked. "I beg your pardon? " "Well, you have been flinging circus slang at us all night. i assumed i might retaliate. " He smiled, and Florian blinked back, on the switch it made in Edge's face. "A rat is what a brand new cadet used to be referred to as on the Virginia army Institute—the 'I.

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