The next chapter, “Connections,” opens with an extended complaint from one of Chade’s agents on Aslevjal before the narrative returns again to Fitz convalescing. The shape of Fitz’s days is glossed, as are events at large in Buckkeep’s court, including garbled reports from Bingtown and further south. Fitz also considers the feathers he found on the beach while fleeing with Dutiful and again contemplates placing them in the Fool’s Rooster Crown.
One night, as he convalesces, Fitz is visited in his dreams by Nettle. She weeps over the strain between Burrich and Swift, not knowing its cause, as neither of them will speak of it. Fitz offers little comfort, and he finds little as he contemplates what Burrich might do to avoid repeating his “mistakes” with Fitz with his own son. After he wakes, he returns to Lord Golden’s suite, where he finds Hap pleading for access. Golden gives it and departs, leaving Hap to fret over Tom Badgerlock and report his folly with Svanja. Tom again offers little comfort, and he and Hap part amicably.
With Hap returning to his apprenticeship, Tom discusses the feathers with Golden, meeting with little interest or engagement. Shaken by the realization of how badly he has harmed their relationship, Fitz withdraws to Chade’s chambers and falls into a sleep from which he is wakened roughly by Dutiful, who has been guided to Chade’s hidden room by Thick. They confer, and Dutiful sends Thick off to fetch more food. While Thick is about the errand, Dutiful confronts Fitz with knowledge of his true identity, relating how he came by the knowledge. Fitz warns Dutiful of the implications and ramifications of the knowledge, the two reaching an accord as Thick returns with a large pie the three gleefully devour.
In the present chapter, Fitz opines on secrets that become so not because they are deliberately hidden, but because they are the answers to questions never asked, the results of assumptions made and never examined. I find myself reading affectively once again, wondering what I do not know because it never occurred to me that I ought to ask, contemplating what I will not tell my daughter for the same reasons. Part of why I keep a journal is so that she will have at least some of the answers in time to come, although I am aware that no words can bring in the whole of a thing.
Still, what I can leave, I do. It will never be enough, but nothing will be. And it will be something, at least.