"I knew the process for making four different aphrodisiacs, three concoctions for contraception, nine for impotence, and two philtres referred to simply as 'maiden’s helper'."


Kote is excited by Ben's knowledge and air of mystery. The day after Ben joins the troupe Kote begins making a habit of riding in Ben's wagon.

As they get to know each other, Kote asks what it is like being an arcanist. Ben soon realises Kote has a manner beyond his age. Mentioning 'sympathy' soon leads to the conversation turning to Arcanum University. Kote is bursting with questions: can they sow arms back on; did Taborlin the Great go there to learn the names of all things; are there a thousand books in the library?

Ben passes his Arcanum gilthe, a guilder, to Kote who finds his hand going numb holding it. Ben explains that it feels warm to the owner and that is the true test for an arcanist. Kote draws a similarity to Trip 'rolling sevens.'  Ben thinks this is a sleight of hand rather than a knack, going on to explain that a couple of hundred years earlier the Tehlins thought knacks were signs of demon, burning people with such knacks. Kote protests that Trip doesn't cheat. Ben reconsiders, saying it sounds like a knack.

After pausing to the sound of Teren and Shandi rehearsing The Swineherd and the Nightingale, Kote asks Ben to teach him things that are taught at the Arcanum.

Ben gives Kote an overview of the sciences, teaches him how to use the sextant, compass, slide-rule, the abacus. And how to do without them. In just a short time Kote can identify the chemicals in Ben's cart, distill liquor, attend to wounds and broken bones, diagnosis illnesses, make aphrodisiacs and contraceptives, treatment impotence, and produce philtres. Kote learns the formula for poisons and acids, herb lore too. Ben includes mental exercises, makeys Kote play Tirana without a board, stops in the middle of conversations making Kote repeat the last few minutes of their conversation word for word.

Kote's mind was being exercised. As it developed the progress gained momentum.



Kote is Riding in the Wagon with Ben.