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The rain still beat on the house, the only sound. My father’s silent tears held us all captive, wondering.
The harper spoke first, in the gentlest voice, “Is there a story you have to tell us, man?”
My father ran his hand over his face. “I know that harp. I was there when it was made. I was the maker’s apprentice.”
“Ye’re a long way from home, then,” the harper said.
“I am, I am,” my father said. “He died, and the shop went to his brother. The brother let me keep one set of tools, and a harp I was working on, but I didn’t have the heart to finish it. I went to the wars, then came home and married, took up farming. That’s all there is.”
“Nay,” the harper said. “How did your master die?”
“Worked himself to death. I let him do it, too. I should have stopped him. The king ordered a harp made in three days. It was the last one my master ever built.”
“Tell me the story,” the harper said. “Everything you can remember.”
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