yes and then the wall fell down The afternoon was chilly and still, pie-less. Will I have to start eating yaks, like the dragons? I wondered. At least the yaks didn't talk. As far as I knew. Tell me about the Dragonmother, I asked. The Dragonmother before me. 'Spiky, stay close to me, please.' The girl was crawling on her knees across the red, scaly shoulders of the dragon. If she fell... 'She was born to be Dragonmother,' Jaccairn answered. 'Not like you. Her mother and grandmother were Dragonmothers. But she found nobody to love her. But she was a mother to us. And she kept the tribute. She watched over the island.' I'm sure the dragons could sense my ignorance, and my horror at the thought of babysitting a lot of large lizards for the rest of my life. I asked questions all at once-- Was there a Dragonfather then? When will I feel like I know what I'm doing? Do you really never die? More than one dragon answered me. 'We really never die,' they said. 'We don't remember the fathers. They don't stick around.' And, 'We've broken the lock of this large chest we found. Socks.' 'Oh,' I sighed. 'They found the socks.' 'I have a sock,' Spiky grinned. 'I have to talk to Brad. And Buzzfloyd. And...' I wished Ba would say something. I wished I knew what was happening to the island. A few clouds wrapped themselves around the sunlight. People had spread themselves across the hillside, pointing at things, talking about things, tossing pebbles around. Jaccairn let us down slightly above the crowds and I led Spiky down, wondering what the point of bringing her had been. She was too young to convince anyone of anything. Jordan spotted us first and approached with his hat in his hands. Buzzfloyd wasn't far behind him.