The Languages of Pao | Chapter 26 of 26 - Part: 1 of 2

Author: Jack Vance | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1206 Views | Add a Review

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Page 59

Chair and walk forth to your death.

From the Cogitants came an interruption. Finisterle spoke out angrily.

"One moment; you go too far and too fast."

Esteban Carbone swung about. "What is this you say?"

"Your thesis is correct: that he who wields power shall rule--but I challenge that you wield power on Pao."

Esteban Carbone laughed. "Is there anyone who can deter us in any course we care to pursue?"

"That is not altogether the point. No man can rule Pao without consent of the Paonese. You do not have that consent."

"No matter. We shall not interfere with the Paonese. They can govern themselves--so long as they supply us our needs. "

"And you believe that the Technicants will continue to supply you with tools and weapons?"

"Why should they not? They care little who buys their goods."

"And who shall make your needs known to them? Who will give orders to the Paonese?"

"We shall, naturally."

"But how will they understand you? You speak neither Technicant nor Paonese, they speak no Valiant. We Cogitants refuse to serve you."

Esteban Carbone laughed. "This is an interesting proposition. Are you suggesting that Cogitants, by reason of their linguistic knack, should therefore rule the Valiants?"

"No. I point out that you are unable to rule the planet Pao, that you cannot communicate with those you claim to be your subjects."

Esteban Carbone shrugged. "This is no great matter. We speak a few words of Pastiche, enough to make ourselves understood. Soon we will speak better, and so shall we train our children."

Beran spoke for the first time. "I offer a suggestion which perhaps will satisfy the ambitions of everyone. Let us agree that the Valiants are able to

Then all Pao must speak one language! cried Carbone. That is a simple enough remedy!

What is language but a set of words? This is my first command: every man, woman and child on the planet must learn

Pastiche."

"And in the meantime?" inquired Finisterle.

Esteban Carbone chewed his lip. "Things must proceed more or less as usual." He eyed Beran.

"Do you, then, acknowledge my power?"

Beran laughed. "Freely. In accordance with your wish, I hereby order that every child of Pao: Valiant, Technicant, Cogitant and Paonese, must learn Pastiche, even in precedence to the language of his father."

Esteban Carbone stared at him searchingly, and said at last, "You have come off better than you deserve, Beran. It is true that we Valiants do not care to trouble with the details of governing, and this is your one bargaining point, your single usefulness. So long as you are obedient and useful, so long may you sit in the Black Chair and call yourself Panarch." He bowed, turned on his heel, marched from the hall.

Beran sat slumped in the Black Chair. His face was white and haggard, but his expression was calm.

"I have compromised, I have been humiliated," he said to Finisterle, "but in one day I have achieved the totality of my ambitions. Palafox is dead, and we are embarked on the great task of my life--the unifying of

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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