Galen woke slowly, to the sound of raised voices. He sat up and looked around, realizing two things very quickly. The first was that he now wore soft flannel pajamas instead of his uniform. The second was that he was not alone in the room.

“Father Carey said that we should give you every hospitality,” the woman said as their eyes met. “But if it’s all the same to you, perhaps it would be better if you left.”

Galen stood and made a small circuit of the room. “Where are my clothes?” he asked finally.

“Laundering,” the woman said shortly.

“If it’s all the same to you, then, I’ll wait until they’re clean. I can’t exactly leave in borrowed pajamas,” Galen said. “Is that Father Carey arguing with someone?”

“Father Carey don’t argue,” the woman corrected. “Them as are butting in where they ought not to be are the ones what are arguing. They’d best not make trouble with the good Father on your account.”

“I’ll endeavor not to be a bother,” Galen promised with a small bow. He settled back on the bed, feeling a little dizzy. “I really need to find a way back to my own realm,” he added as his head cleared.

“Why don’t you rest some more? Martha will get you some soup,” a new voice said. Galen looked up to find the priest who had brought him to the little house standing in the doorway. He smiled at the sour-faced woman and she left.

“I do not think she likes me,” Galen murmured as he settled back against the pillows. “I honestly mean no trouble for you.”

“You’re no trouble. As I said earlier, the mages won’t intrude on the sanctuary of the church. You can rest here as long as you need to.”

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