I've come to the conclusion that the ultimate enemy of drama is

	This whole thing with Vetch is the perfect example.  I scheme, I
connive, I brainstorm, I warn Ariana that things might get ucky, and he
takes the hook right off the bat.  No action at all.  I didn't even get to
warn him to take me seriously.  In fact, I'm worried that he thinks I'm a
sucker.  More fool he then, though.  I don't have any more time than
necessary to dicker over my son's life, and not many prices are too high. 
So I made my offer at the outset, and it was only going to get uglier if
he didn't buy.  Hopefully he sensed that.

	Bleys has put my fears to rest regarding vacationing in Shadow.  I
intend to make my way there as soon as possible.  I may even look into
manipulating the time scheme to speed it up further.  It's a nasty and
dangerous place, but the risks are known and we can deal with them.  My
read is that our side is going to win anyway; a Prince of Amber isn't
going to make the odds any worse, even if I'm just a fighter pilot.

	I only hope Oberon lives long enough for me to pull this off. 
Increased security precautions were not in evidence.  I've been putting
together mental notes on how to proceed, in case the worst occurs.  After
20-30 years away, I'll need some good thoughts to lean on until I get the
hang of Amber again.

	I'm going to lean heavily on four people: Benedict, Eric, Caine,
and Bleys.  Shame that all my aunts have left; I know them better than the
uncles.  But I can make do.

	Benedict will be needed to stave off any military maneuver that
Chaos might attempt.  He's also quick.  He'll see the traps people set for
me sooner than I will.  Finally, leaving him out would slight him, and I
wish not to die by his hand.

	Eric is the most Kingly of my relatives.  All-around capable, in
whatever sort of thing might come up.  We've always gotten on all right,
in the absence of Corwin.  Eric will be my troubleshooter, my roaming
instrument of authority.  I expect him to do admirable work, and the role
gives him enough authority and responsibility that he should be happy.

	I don't know what Caine can do for me, but I recognize that there
is something.  That being the case, I need him all the more for my
ignorance.  We'll have a long talk, him and I, and at the end he'll follow
me, or he'll be killed.

	And Bleys... there is only one Fiona, and she isn't here.  Thus
Bleys.  He may grow to fit the responsibility, or he may prove
incompetent.  In the latter case, I will either have to persuade Count
Suhuy that his interests lie with me, or find out what Brand wants and
give it to him.  Bleys, my friend, do NOT fail me now.

	I can do this.  It won't start out pretty, but I can do it, and
furthermore, I can do it better than anyone else I can think of.  I have a
feeling this will not prove easy for me.  I don't really know what might
happen.  But should Oberon die, I will be ready, and Amber shall not be

	Meanwhile, Foster is married now.  I think I made him appreciate it.

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