How Rajhin Stole the Book that Knows

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It happened that Rajhin, the Cat Who Walks, became curious about the treasures hoarded by Hermorah in his library beneath the sea. For Rajhin, to become curious about something was to kindle a desire for it, and to kindle a desire for something was to take it for his own. So he went to the shore and took a fisherman's boat, sailing to the far southern seas until he reached a lonely pinnacle of stone. This was the topmost spire of Hermorah's abode, which in that one spot only stood above the waves.

Quiet as the night, Rajhin began to explore the Tide-King's halls. Many strange and interesting things he saw there, but none excited his curiosity. But at last he found a room containing a single book on a slimy podium. Wondering why this book was special among so many thousands of others in Hermorah's library, Rajhin became curious about it. Yet just when he stretched out his paw to take it, the eye of Hermorah discovered him.

"I see you, shadow," Hermorah said. "What are you?" For with the Ring of Khajiiti, Rajhin could not be seen. But the Watcher who sees everything knew that something was there.

"I am but a mote in your eye," Rahjin answered Hermorah. "Since nothing can escape your gaze, it is clear I cannot be aught else."

"This may be true, but never before have I spoken with a mote," said Hermorah.

"Then bring forth another eye, O Watcher. If I am no longer here, then you know I was but a mote after all," said Rahjin.

"So be it," Hermorah said. He brought forth a dozen eyes, all at once! And still he perceived the shadow where Rahjin stood. "As I thought. You are no mote in my eye, shadow. What are you?"

"Examine me with all your eyes, and perhaps you will see," Rahjin replied.

And so Hermorah exerted himself to bring all his eyes into the chamber to examine the shadow that spoke with him. This was a considerable effort even for the Tide-King, for he has countless eyes and it was not easily done to manifest them all. When at last Hermorah looked again, he found the chamber empty. No shadow remained to be revealed, and the book on its podium was gone. Rahjin had taken it and left while Hermorah was contorting himself to bring his eyes together.

Thus did Rajhin steal the Book that Knows from Hermorah's library beneath the sea.

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