Uncle Hamish always said that the happiest man is the one who
never gets what he wants.  I think now I can finally appreciate the bit
o' wisdom.

	As it stands now, Feldane has become the least of my worries.
While I was hoping to reach the nobles, my private war with the status quo
has struck a chord with Amber's common folk:  the silent majority.  For
better or ill, one wee, outspoken lass is sounding the call for Amber's
common folk to rise up and change what they do not like.

	As a soldier, I have watched a great many "noble" men leave their
courage in a well-protected castle while they sent legions of "common
chattel" to fight in their place.  Yet where would these kings and princes
rule if it were not for the simple, honest men on whose backs the empire
was built?  I truly wonder how long I can abide revolutionaries and still
protect the King.  Where do I side?  With my duty or with my conscience?
That's a foolish question, really.  Without his word, even the most
faithful man is nothing, and I have given my word to defend the King's
life with my last breath.  Whatever the future may bring.  A future for
which my father may have other plans.

	I have no doubt now that I have not felt repercussions of my
outspoken views because of Eric's intervention, but I will not marry for
money, power, position, or even my own salvation.  I'm a soldier!  Not
some damned wee lass to be married off so her father can line his pockets! 
For this reason, I think now is the time to leave Amber and take the guard
as well as my "Dirty Dozen" to Arrakis.  Then, when we return, by the will
of the Celestial, Nicholas can use my sword to take his throne.  Leaving
my father whatever he can find to occupy his time.  Speaking of which...

	My dearest cousin, the Lady Vixen, continues to surprise me.  She
came to me during the night of the Grand Premier and wondered if I might
act the part of a father's dutiful son.  How can such a viper want a
family?  Especially for a man such as Eric?  I shudder to think what sort
of man I might have become had I grown up at his side.  Vixen is either in
love or insane, and she's too clever to be mad.

	I'd best go collect Jamie and the rest of the guard.  We've got a
long, hot road ahead of us.


Au Pax, Au Bellam
Para Regium

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