Download The Lives of Christopher Chant (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 2) PDF

TitleThe Lives of Christopher Chant (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.3 MB
Total Pages384
Document Text Contents
Page 2

There are thousands of worlds, all different
from ours. Chrestomanci’s world is the one next
door to us, and the difference here is that magic is
as common as music is with us. It is full of people
working magic—warlocks, witches, thaumaturges,
sorcerers, fakirs, conjurors, hexers, magicians,
mages, shamans, diviners and many more—from
the lowest Certified witch right up to the most
powerful of enchanters. Enchanters are strange as
well as powerful. Their magic is different and
stronger and many of them have more than one life.

Now, if someone did not control all these busy
magic-users, ordinary people would have a horrible
time and probably end up as slaves. So the govern-
ment appoints the very strongest enchanter there is
to make sure no one misuses magic. This enchanter
has nine lives and is known as “the Chrestomanci.”
You pronounce it KREST-OH-MAN-SEE. He has
to have a strong personality as well as strong magic.

Diana Wynne Jones

Page 192

“I’m still paying for Throgmorten,” Christopher
said.

“Was he that valuable?” the Goddess said list-
lessly. In a slow, lackluster way she began stripping
the spell off the books. Christopher was interested
to see that she had no more trouble tearing it than
he had. Being the Living Asheth obviously meant
you were given strong magic. “These look like
good books,” the Goddess said politely. “I’ll read
them—when I can concentrate.”

“You’re ill, aren’t you?” said Christopher.
“What have you got?”

“Not germs,” the Goddess said weakly. “It’s the
Festival. It was three days ago. You know it’s
the one day in the year when I go out, don’t you?
After months and months all quiet and dark here
in the Temple, there I am suddenly out in the sun,
riding in a cart, dressed in huge heavy clothes and
hung with jewels, with my face covered with paint.
Everyone shouts. And they all jump up on the cart
and try to touch me—for luck, you know, and not
as if I was a person.” Tears began slowly rolling
down her face. “I don’t think they notice I’m alive.
And it goes on all day, the shouting and the sun and
hands banging at me until I’m bruised all over.”
The tears rolled faster. “It used to be exciting when
I was small,” she said. “But now it’s too much.”

The Goddess’s white cat came galloping into
the room and jumped possessively onto her lap.
The Goddess stroked it weakly. Like Throgmorten
sitting on my bed, Christopher thought. Temple

179

Page 193

cats know when their people are upset. He thought
he could understand a little, after his own feelings
in the city just now, the way the Festival had felt to
the Goddess.

“I think it’s being inside all year and then sud-
denly going out,” the Goddess explained as she
stroked Bethi.

Christopher had meant to ask if it was the curse
of Asheth that kept killing him all the time, but he
could see this was not the moment. The Goddess
needed her mind taken off Asheth. He sat down on
the tiles beside her cushions. “It was clever of you to
see that silver stopped me doing magic,” he said. “I
didn’t know myself—not until Papa took me to Dr.
Pawson.” Then he told her about the levitation
spell.

The Goddess smiled. When he told her about
old Mrs. Pawson and the chamber pot, she turned
her face to him and almost laughed. It was obvi-
ously doing her so much good that he went on and
told her about the Castle and Gabriel de Witt, and
even managed to make that funny too. When he
told her about the way he kept seeing a lion’s paw,
he had her in fits of laughter.

“But that’s stupid of you!” she chuckled.
“When there are things I can’t do for Mother
Proudfoot, I just pretend I can. Just say you can see
his hand. He’ll believe you.”

“I never thought of that,” Christopher confessed.
“No, you’re too honest,” she said, and looked at

him closely. “Silver forces you to tell the truth,” she

180

Page 383

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Page 384

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and
incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination
or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events,
locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely
coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or
the publisher.

THE LIVES OF CHRISTOPHER CHANT. Copyright © 1988 by
Diana Wynne Jones. All rights reserved under International
and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of
the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive,
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electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invent-
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PerfectBound ™ and the PerfectBound™ logo are trade-
marks of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Adobe Acrobat E-Book Reader edition v 1. February 2002

First Harper Trophy edition, 2001

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN 0-06-051158-3

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