Well, I'm spending time in a fast-moving *plaid* shadow that 
sorta belongs to Ulysses, getting my breath back, so to speak, and 
waiting for Sandr to heal, so I've time to spare to update the old 
journal-- and as luck would have it, I just "happened" to find the right
paper in this house.
	I woke up in a better mood, with every intention of just letting 
the whole father thing slide away like water off a duck's back, for the 
time being, anyway...  I mean, if I can be patient enough to wait 
hundreds of years before I expect my fencing to become creditable for an 
Amberite, I can wait at least that long before I satisfy my curiosity and 
longing for a parent who is really my parent and might, just might, not 
be disappointed in me.  Between Fiona and Caitt, I've been a wretched 
daughter, really, I have.  Fiona gave birth to me, and it bothers her 
somewhat that I don't have much faith in her, I think...  And Caitt-- 
well, I'm all she has left.  Elizabeth died in childbirth with Beauty, 
and Rosemary and her babe were ritually executed by the na siogi, and then 
when Calamus turned traitor, there was no choice for me but to kill him.  
I never knew the father of my foster sibs, but that he was a very 
handsome and feeble-minded cretin that Julian just shoved up against the 
Foil walls and killed.  So that leaves my real father, since Julian has 
never ever taken an interest in me since I was a baby wrapped in a gold 
	Anyhow.  I was about to back off for a time.  I got up and began 
with my usual habits-- gardening, working in the still room.  It was kind 
of lonely, no Beauty to tug at my sleeve and ask for help in math...  I 
quit that eventually, in time to find out that Sandr had appeared 
suddenly in the main hall, sans much of his skin and wearing his blood 
most inappropriately on the outside of himself.  He had been taken to the 
infirmary and stitched up by Gerard.  I went up to see him, and listened 
to a lot of whining and complaining about pain and boredom, which led me 
to the conclusion that Sandr is something of a wimp.  I usually crack up 
laughing when I get wounded.  Though I've never been as badly wounded as 
Sandr.  Though if *I* had been attacked by a frog, I most certainly would 
have been amused by the idea.  
	Ulysses came in to see his cousin-- finally, some Amberites take 
a healthy interest in their relatives!-- and got chased out by Random, 
who made an entrance in the midst of my attempt to question Sandr.  
Random's gotten somewhat more stuffy in the years since he took a young 
girl from Shadow shopping in Rebma.  I asked to be allowed to investigate 
this frog story, and headed off through shadow.  Upon my arrival, I saw 
lots of boxes and purple blood, and clumpy melting stuff.  I took samples 
of blood and stuff, Trumped Ulysses and asked him to give me a hand with 
finishing up what Sandr had started (amphibious interruptus....), and 
went through back to Amber.  I worked for a few hours with my microscope 
and the samples, and gave up eventually, because nothing resolved itself, 
and I betted that nothing would even if I dragged it to Earth and put it 
under an electron microscope.
	I decided to take it to Mother.  She did some arcane things to 
the samples and pronounced them stuff of Chaos.  I asked how I might 
track the origin of the creature, at which point she said, quite 
snottily, that I had proved myself plenty resourceful in my attempt to 
find my father-- this made me very mad, because she did *not* in fact 
think me very resourceful, and neither did I since I had patently failed 
to find him.  We exchanged words.  I became a lot madder, and brought up 
that old doubt, the one where I can't believe that she really is my 
mother.  She insulted Foil and my family there, and if I thought for a 
second that I could take her with Sequence, my blade would have kissed 
her throat quite deeply, as a gesture to show her how much I had 
appreciated all the love and affection she had shown me over the years.  
Instead, I made a parting comment, and she left in the usual poof.
	I made my plans, and stormed down to the Pattern and used it to 
transport myself to Foil.  The second walking was markedly easier, though 
it fatigued me.  I made my farewells to my land, gave Beauty my trump of 
the City of Amber and reminded her how to use it-- this is the safeguard, 
should things fall apart in Foil, she could find refuge there; even if 
none of the Barrimans took her in, Tom or Bert's family would do it in 
memory of our drinking nights, I would hope-- and told Caitt to take 
care.  I slept and returned to Amber with the dawn.
	Sandr had agreed to help me the night before, though I did not 
brief him fully as to my plan.  I walked the Pattern again and told it to 
take me to my real biological mother.  I was transported to Fiona's room, 
where I was promptly knocked down.  I gasped "just checking-- now, Sandr!"
and Sandr trumped me out onto his poor wounded legs; he shoved me off, 
and I rolled around gasping.  Mother appeared, conjured a birth 
certificate out of nowhere, which stated my name and mother's name, but 
not my father's, and left.  How utterly snotty.
	She apparently trumped Sandr, who foolishly told her off;  she 
dropped a crowbar on him.  The scream brought many people, but when I saw 
Ulysses, I borrowed his Trump of the furthest, fastest place possible and 
made my escape to this plaid place, where I slept beneath a plaid sun on 
the variegated grass until I the headache went away and I could breathe 
again. I trumped Ulysses, vaguely remembering that he had awakened me to 
ask for the return of his trump so he could move Sandr here to heal.
	I told Sandr about Mother's findings about the creature that 
attacked him, and showed him my spell;  he showed me a paper with the 
warning "Have a care" on it, which I took with me to Mother when Sandr 
decided that he couldn't help me with the spell.  That's how I headed 
back to Amber to enlist her aid.  Once there, she took us off to Shadow 
and we cast two spells to track the origins of the frog creature.  
Trundling along in a Mercedes, Mother's hand on my shoulder to get my 
thoughts about what I was sensing from Sequence-- it was relatively 
companionable and non-stressful, insofar as neither of us had the free 
time to wonder much about the other.  We were foiled, however, because 
the path ended at a random point in shadow;  Sandr's enemy had been 
careful.  How could s/he know that someone as competent as Fiona would 
end up tracking the creature?  If they knew anything about the family 
dynamic at all, they wouldn't have lain any bets on any of us helping 
Brand's son.  Which boils down to the fact that we're dealing with a 
really careful sorcerer.
	We went back to the plaid place and Mother told Sandr our 
findings; then she left, and we spent a kind of lazy day together, the 
four of us-- Sandr, Ulysses, Kalyn and me.  Kalyn and I (with Sequence) 
fought to test endurance; we lasted five and a half hours.  We decide 
that we both needed the practice.  I messed around with my spells, showed 
a couple of my favorite combat spells to Sandr and refreshed my stock. 
And now I have time to write.  So I did.