One obsessed with being scrupulous and untainted
		 	can be shamed.  --Sun-tzu
     The trump opens for me and I step through.  The red rage is upon me,
the stage right before reaching berserker.  I don't know what other
warriors call it, but red rage suffices.  But it's fading. I notice that I
have trumped to the street right outside the Theatre.  It is nightfall. 
It is autumn.  So it is cold, and I guess that's why I begin to shiver.
	 The urchins are shouting competitive prices for oranges and for
holding noblemen's horses.  Did I ever have a horse of my own?  Yes. 
Elphin, I remember, one of the Arabians Calamus brought from Spain when he
made our swords.  I got Elphin and Sequence on the same day.  Sequence has
lasted the longer, of course.  I decide that if I continue to walk
forward, past the Theatre, I'll end up by the docks and the bridges and
the river.  No, no, I won't go that way, I don't want to go to the heart
of London.  Too many people.  And people don't like it when bloodstained
folk wander around town as though nothing has happened. Especially when
said folk have swords drawn.

	I look down at my bright blue tunic.  Once-bright, anyways.  There
is blood all over it.  I begin to brush at it, but it won't come off. 
It's my blood, isn't it.  Oh, god.  I run to the side of the street, lean
over, sword across my knees, head down, looking at the filth in the
gutters and prepare to vomit.  But I don't, because I realize that there
is too much vitality in my limbs for any of them to be injured, and that
Sequence is red with blood as well.  I swallow my gorge and stand up.
	I begin to walk very fast.  The Theatre is at the edge of the
city, and if I walk the other way, I'll be out of it in no time.  So I
walk past the Theatre.  And it rushes in around me, the old nightmare. 
Except that the Globe is where the Cathedral ought to be, and my shadow is
not split into three parts.  There are mounted men attacking, and at their
head is Calamus.  I'm screaming a cry that I know only from ancient
battles played out through the talking bones.  Only the dream doesn't take
forever; Calamus approaches swiftly and I behead him, one simple stroke,
screaming "Traitor!"  The dream fades as quickly as it came in.  I find
that I have unsheathed Sequence and am crouching as though attacked on all
sides, and that the crowd waiting for the evening performance has backed
off quite a bit.  I do not bother putting Sequence away again, but run
full tilt for the grove of trees that is not far off.  Once there, I kneel
and begin to pray. 
	I have an odd sort of religion, half Catholicism that's really 
Anglicanism, half Druidic tree-worshiping.  I usually keep the two 
separate, but I'm muttering mea culpas in the Grove now.  I look at the 
blood on Sequence  and pull up a handfull of grass and begin to wipe 
it down.  I know where the blood is from now.  I know it belongs to 
Ulysses, and with this blood, I have alienated my daughter who is only 
fourteen years old and I am coming to *wish* the curse of a hundred years 
sleep would come, because then I wouldn't have to worry about her for a 
while.  I don't care who he thought he was protecting, or for what 
reason.  It is not bravery to face down a bare sword and think that you 
are going to win, it is stupidity.  And I don't care what Sandr's side of 
it is, he was going to betray us, and while I can respect a certain 
amount of back-stabbing, since we are Amberites, I will not house a 
traitor.  It is written, here in fact.  On one of the trees.  This is the 
closest Grove to the Theatre, I have prayed here often for victory in 
battle, and three times I set myself on the path to vengeance here.  And 
when I finished, I came back, and carved it into a tree and stained it 
with their blood.  The fourth tree on the Eastern side, in fact.
	"Traitors three.  I killed them all."  I know that's the first
line, and I'm looking carefully for a ten-year-old mark, carved out with
Sequence.  I shredded my gauntlets and my hands that day, and then I left
Foil for five years, just took Beauty and never came back, until my
internal wounds had healed.  Three traitors.  Yes, there were three.  The
traitors were Earl Dismail, Calamus, and Robert Farkensworth. And there 
is the tree.  I kneel before it.
	Earl Dismail.  The Dexterian Earl who had commissioned a 
performance from Elizabeth's troupe and probably poisoned her to make her 
go into labor a month early, who didn't call in a human physician or 
midwife for her, who had every intention of killing her child but for 
the brave actors who took her quickly into the Midland, who cursed that 
child with death at age 16-- that child, Beauty.  When I heard of this, 
I flew into a rage, and since the walls of the shadow were then intact, 
I merely slammed him against them and killed him, as Julian had done 
years before to another na siogai who had threatened children.  I 
suppose the Earl was not a traitor per se; he was all along loyal to the 
na siogai, and never pretended otherwise, but he took a human trust and 
warped it to cause death and sew mayhem.  
  	 Calamus next.  My foster-brother.  Raised with me.  He was jealous of
my skill with the sword, but when I finally understood that he was not my
brother, and submitted myself to him most humbly, he gifted me with a
sword beyond compare.  And then?  I thought that we shared a bond.  I
thought I loved him, but I think that after all I only loved the sword,
not its creator.  I thought he loved me, but I do not know what he loved. 
Power, most likely.  I think that is all that men love, and most women,
too.  Why else would we all be caught up in this bid for the throne of
Amber?  When the war came, Calamus chose to betray the people who had
given him a culture and a home, for the na siogai, and when he came to
tempt me to join him, I killed him.  Very simple story, is it not?  I'm
very pointedly not remembering going berserk afterwards and killing as
well his entire company of men.  
	Robert Farkensworth.  He was an agent of the na siogai as 
well.  Less obvious than Calamus, but spies/assassins are like that.  He 
was a trusted Captain in my army, and when I found out that the entire 
city of Paris had been destroyed because of him, and all the human 
inhabitants killed, I hunted him with his own dogs and brought him to the 
Tower of London, and had him tried.  I executed him myself, for the 
discovery of the betrayal came fast on the heels of the discovery of 
Calamus; a day had passed, in fact, and I was driven by my own demons to 
stamp out conspiracy and treachery in the ranks.  And now it turns out 
that he was a shadow of Cameron.  
	And now there are more traitors, and I'm wondering if I have a
right to put them on this tree, or even the right to think of putting them
on it.  Finndo took the throne of Amber from the unicorn-designated King. 
He upset the balance, and gladly would I do him harm.  And Sandr.  Perhaps
I trusted Sandr too much in the beginning.  He looked just like a young
Senlin though, and he seemed so harmless, a bumbling puppy who was more
than willing to help me.  But too much has happened in a few short days
for me to be willing to forgive easily.  Between the day that I pursued
Ulysses to Dworkin's lab and lost Sequence and today, too many things have
happened, and not enough sleep.  I lost my sword, briefly, but for a time
I thought I had lost the only thing in this universe that I am sure of.  I
was knocked unconscious, and then made to follow Archimedes on a hellride
the next day on a mission the details of which only Archimedes were privy
to.  A small pitched battle in Avalon.  Finding our horses' throats cut,
and still no explanation.  The reforging of Sequence.  A daylong battle, a
nightlong attempt to raise the puca army, and a daylong slaughter
immediately following, then about three hours of sleep.  Then a Pattern
walk, and instead of finding my father, I found Chaos, and a sophisticated
Chaosite who looks down her nose at me but takes turns with my daughter
sleeping with Ulysses.  Choosing a side and finding that I am the only
hope that Random even has at the moment.  Raising an army all day on
another three hours sleep, and getting trumped at the end by the cousin
that fled my shadow after he flooded the basement and is running his own
devious campaign for the throne of Amber, and expects me to still trust
him enough to give him sanctuary, no questions asked?  And then to find
out that he was in Rebma to dig up dirt on Archimedes and Random?  I was
perhaps not in the best state to deal with him.  It seemed like the
longest few minutes of my life.  All I remember is the high pitched
sobbing.  Calling for his father.  Why is it that everyone in the universe
knows their father except me?  And then Ulysses was there with silent
intensity, trying to face down my sword with no weapons.  Shall I peg him
as traitor as well?  Because loyal to Sandr certainly does not mean loyal
to Amber.  Sandr doesn't care about Amber at all.  He's another slave to
	I sit back on my heels and stare at what I have written.  
"Traitors three, I killed them all/ Earl Dismail, Calamus, Robert 
Farkensworth."  And in a heart so dedicated to rooting out treachery, 
what lies there?  If I look within, what kind of monster will I find?  I 
let Sandr go too many times.   Benedict told me to watch him or kill 
him.  I watched him until he escaped, and when I went after him, what did 
I do?  I showed mercy, and trusted him.  Why?  WHY?  Did I think perhaps 
that Sandr knew what he was doing?  Did I think that he had a plan, not 
only a plan, but a good one, one that didn't involve using us?  Because 
that's what he's going to do to Ulysses, if he gets his way.  Sandr is  
going to use him.  And Ulysses, poor good hearted bastard, is going to 
let himself be used.   He's not stupid, but how can he be so blind?  How 
can he let the vision of the poor battered puppy cloud the true sight of 
the warped thing that Brand has raised?  Because, no matter how 
terrorized he was in his childhood, it is evident that he is not going to 
go to any great lengths to take a different path than Brand's.
	So. Do I carve it?  "Traitors I have yet to kill/ Sandr,
Finndo..."  No.  I don't carve it.  It's too much.  It is too prideful. 
It assumes too much.  And my dedication is no longer my own.  I owe Random
400,000 more men.  When I have raised that army, I will leave it to
Archimedes to command, and then I will go away, and atone for my guilt.  
Because I have been too harsh in this lifetime.  I have been too 
singleminded in my quest, that I have not noticed how destructive it is 
to act as I do.  In my pursuit to do what is right, I have followed many 
wrong paths.  A few centuries of solitude in an oak should do just fine 
to straighten out my thinking.  God, nyads and the Unicorn forgive me for 
not seeing it sooner.