Quoth the beastly bird: “Aye, what do you bring me Charon? Is’t a morsel, snack, or feast? Shall I at long last have meat? You pass me by too quickly each time and I have not touched your cargo for these thousand years. I have only bones to gnaw on.”

“Nay, foul carrion,” said Farin, in Charon’s stead. “Your master’s hand has no food, for I am still living.”

And the bird did wail and lament: “Oh, Charon, hand him over.”

Charon said, “He is not mine, else I would give him,” and rowed forth, the long sinews of his arms tugging at the oars.

But Underworld’s great bird was not to be dissuaded. It haunched high up on its iron legs. Its wings spread wide, and Farin saw that they were naked and ugly.

“Come not between the Carrion and her prey!”

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