"That is the trick of it; their minds made up worse than I ever could. I have seen a tough man break when I sent for a basket of figs and some mice. You have to be careful, though. Some will confess anything, true or not, just to escape what they imagine. I do not think those two did, though."
   — Juilin to Elayne about using empty threats like salt and cooking oil when interrogating prisoners.

External summary

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Setting: Mardecin

Point of view: Elayne Trakand

After being drugged by forkroot tea, Elayne and Nynaeve are carried to an upstairs bedroom in Ronde Macura's house. Ronde leaves to make arrangements to transport the girls to the White Tower, leaving a fearful Luci to watch over them. Luci does not give them the follow-up dose on time and they are able to start moving their fingers and limbs. Luci bursts in though and gives them more forkroot before they are able to stop her. They wake up again and are starting to move a bit when Thom enters the room with Luci. Despite orders, Juilin followed them to town, then Thom came later when none of them returned.

Juilin arrives in the room with Ronde Macura and the men help the girls walk off the forkroot effects. When questioned, Ronde says she has orders from the Amyrlin to capture or delay a girl that looks just like Elayne. She was going to send them off with Therin Lugay who would be given enough forkroot to keep them drugged. Ronde sent a message to the White Tower that she had captured Elayne before returning to the house.

Nynaeve gives a rare apology to Thom and Juilin for underestimating their ability to help when channeling isn't sufficient. Nynaeve and Elayne decide to disguise themselves by changing their dresses and hair color. They use dresses from the seamstress shop and acquire a carriage so they can travel as two ladies with their servants.

Point of view: Omni

The residents of Mardecin are surprised to see that someone purchased the coach from Noy Torvald. Two ladies enter the coach at Ronde Macura's shop and the coach quickly leaves town.

Therin Lugay arrives to take Elayne and Nynaeve to Tar Valon but instead finds Ronde and Luci tied up and asleep upstairs. Pondering on his nagging wife and shrewish mother-in-law, he decides to use the money he was paid to see the world rather than returning home.

Ronde Macura wakes from the forkroot she was given and hurries to send another pigeon to Tar Valon saying she no longer has Elayne captive. She sends a similar note somewhere else to the west.[1] The cote keeper, Avi Shendar, sends a third copy of the message to somewhere else.

Unanswered Questions

  • To whom did Ronde send the second pigeon?
  • To whom did Avi send the third pigeon?






  1. Possibly Tanchico.