Chapter no 13


“You’re the Baron’s own daughter,” he said, and watched the way she pressed her hands to her mouth. “The Baron sampled many pleasures in his youth, and once permitted himself to be seduced. But it was for the genetic purposes of the Bene Gesserit, by one of you .”

The way he said you struck her like a slap. But it set her mind to working and she could not deny his words. So many blank ends of meaning in her past reached out now and linked. The daughter the Bene Gesserit wanted – it wasn’t to end the old Atreides-Harkonnen feud, but to fix some genetic factor in their lines. What? She groped for an answer.

As though he saw inside her mind, Paul said: “They thought they were reaching for me. But I’m not what they expected, and I’ve arrived before my time. And they don’t know it.”

Jessica pressed her hands to her mouth.

Great Mother! He’s the Kwisatz Haderach!

She felt exposed and naked before him, realizing then that he saw her with eyes from which little could be hidden. And that , she knew, was the basis of her fear.

“You’re thinking I’m the Kwisatz Haderach,” he said. “Put that out of your mind. I’m something unexpected.”

I must get word out to one of the schools , she thought. The mating index may show what has happened .

“They won’t learn about me until it’s too late,” he said.

She sought to divert him, lowered her hands and said: “We’ll find a place among the Fremen?”

“The Fremen have a saying they credit to Shai-hulud, Old Father Eternity,” he said. “They say: ‘Be prepared to appreciate what you meet.’ ”

And he thought: Yes, mother mine – among the Fremen. You’ll acquire the blue eyes and a callus beside your lovely nose from the filter tube to your stillsuit . . . and you’ll bear my sister: St. Alia of the Knife .

“If you’re not the Kwisatz Haderach,” Jessica said, “what – ”

“You couldn’t possibly know,” he said. “You won’t believe it until you see it.”

And he thought: I’m a seed .

He suddenly saw how fertile was the ground into which he had fallen, and with this realization, the terrible purpose filled him, creeping through the empty place within, threatening to choke him with grief.

He had seen two main branchings along the way ahead – in one he confronted an evil old Baron and said: “Hello, Grandfather.” The thought of that path and what lay along it sickened him.




The other path held long patches of grey obscurity except for peaks of violence. He had seen a warrior religion there, a fire spreading across the universe with the Atreides green and black banner waving at the head of fanatic legions drunk on spice liquor. Gurney Halleck and a few others of his father’s men – a pitiful few – were among them, all marked by the hawk symbol from the shrine of his father’s skull.

“I can’t go that way,” he muttered. “That’s what the old witches of your schools really want.”

“I don’t understand you, Paul,” his mother said.

He remained silent, thinking like the seed he was, thinking with the race consciousness he had first experienced as terrible purpose. He found that he no longer could hate the Bene Gesserit or the Emperor or even the Harkonnens. They were all caught up in the need of their race to renew its scattered inheritance, to cross and mingle and infuse their bloodlines in a great new pooling of genes. And the race knew only one sure way for this – the ancient way, the tried and certain way that rolled over everything in its path: jihad.

Surely, I cannot choose that way , he thought.

But he saw again in his mind’s eye the shrine of his father’s skull and the violence with the green and black banner waving in its midst.

Jessica cleared her throat, worried by his silence. “Then . . . the Fremen will give us sanctuary?”

He looked up, staring across the green-lighted tent at the inbred, patrician lines of her face. “Yes,” he said. “That’s one of the ways.” He nodded. “Yes. They’ll call me . . . Muad’Dib, ‘The One Who Points the Way.’ Yes . . . that’s what they’ll call me.”

And he closed his eyes, thinking: Now, my father, I can mourn you . And he felt the tears coursing down his cheeks.

Book Two


When my father, the Padishah Emperor, heard of Duke Leto’s death and the manner of it, he went into such a rage as we had never before seen. He blamed my mother and the compact forced on him to place a Bene Gesserit on the throne. He blamed the Guild and the evil old Baron. He blamed everyone in sight, not excepting even me, for he said I was a witch like all the others. And when I sought to comfort him, saying it was done according to an older law of self-preservation to which even the most ancient rulers gave allegiance, he sneered at me and asked if I thought him a weakling. I saw then that he had been aroused to this passion not by concern over the dead Duke but by what that death implied for all royalty. As I look back on it, I think there may have been some prescience in my father, too, for it is certain that his line and Muad’Dib’s shared common ancestry.

– “In My Father’s House,” by the Princess Irulan

“Now Harkonnen shall kill Harkonnen,” Paul whispered.

He had awakened shortly before nightfall, sitting up in the sealed and darkened stilltent. As he spoke, he heard the vague stirrings of his mother where she slept against the tent’s opposite wall.

Paul glanced at the proximity detector on the floor, studying the dials illuminated in the blackness by phosphor tubes.

“It should be night soon,” his mother said. “Why don’t you lift the tent shades?”

Paul realized then that her breathing had been different for some time, that she had lain silent in the darkness until certain he was awake.

“Lifting the shades wouldn’t help,” he said. “There’s been a storm. The tent’s covered by sand. I’ll dig us out soon.”

“No sign of Duncan yet?”


Paul rubbed absently at the ducal signet on his thumb, and a sudden rage against the very substance of this planet which had helped kill his father set him trembling.

“I heard the storm begin,” Jessica said.

The undemanding emptiness of her words helped restore some of his calm. His mind focused on the storm as he had seen it begin through the transparent end of their stilltent – cold dribbles of sand crossing the basin, then runnels and tails furrowing the sky. He had looked up to a rock spire, seen it change shape under the blast, becoming a low, Cheddar-colored wedge. Sand funneled into their basin had shadowed the sky with dull curry, then blotted out all light as the tent was covered.

Tent bows had creaked once as they accepted the pressure, then – silence broken only by the dim bellows wheezing of their sand snorkel pumping air from the surface.

“Try the receiver again,” Jessica said.




“No use,” he said.

He found his stillsuit’s watertube in its clip at his neck, drew a warm swallow into his mouth, and he thought that here he truly began an Arrakeen existence – living on reclaimed moisture from his own breath and body. It was flat and tasteless water, but it soothed his throat.

Jessica heard Paul drinking, felt the slickness of her own stillsuit clinging to her body, but she refused to accept her thirst. To accept it would require awakening fully into the terrible necessities of Arrakis where they must guard even fractional traces of moisture, hoarding the few drops in the tent’s catchpockets, begrudging a breath wasted on the open air.

So much easier to drift back down into sleep.

But there had been a dream in this day’s sleep, and she shivered at memory of it. She had held dreaming hands beneath sandflow where a name had been written: Duke Leto Atreides . The name had blurred with the sand and she had moved to restore it, but the first letter filled before the last was begun.

The sand would not stop.

Her dream became wailing: louder and louder. That ridiculous wailing – part of her mind had realized the sound was her own voice as a tiny child, little more than a baby. A woman not quite visible to memory was going away.

My unknown mother , Jessica thought. The Bene Gesserit who bore me and gave me to the Sisters because that’s what she was commanded to do. Was she glad to rid herself of a Harkonnen child?

“The place to hit them is in the spice,” Paul said.

How can he think of attack at a time like this? she asked herself.

“An entire planet full of spice,” she said. “How can you hit them there?”

She heard him stirring, the sound of their pack being dragged across the tent floor.

“It was sea power and air power on Caladan,” he said. “Here, it’s desert power . The Fremen are the key.”

His voice came from the vicinity of the tent’s sphincter. Her Bene Gesserit training sensed in his tone an unresolved bitterness toward her.

All his life he has been trained to hate Harkonnens , she thought. Now, he finds he is Harkonnen . . . because of me. How little he knows me! I was my Duke’s only woman. I accepted his life and his values even to defying my Bene Gesserit orders .

The tent’s glowtab came alight under Paul’s hand, filled the domed area with green radiance. Paul crouched at the sphincter, his stillsuit hood adjusted for the open desert – forehead capped, mouth filter in place, nose plugs adjusted. Only his dark eyes were visible: a narrow band of face that turned once toward her and away.

“Secure yourself for the open,” he said, and his voice was blurred behind the filter.

Jessica pulled the filter across her mouth, began adjusting her hood as she watched Paul break the tent seal.

Sand rasped as he opened the sphincter and a burred fizzle of grains ran into the tent before he could immobilize it with a static compaction tool. A hole grew in the sandwall as the tool realigned the grains. He slipped out and her ears followed his progress to the surface.

What will we find out there? she wondered. Harkonnen troops and the Sardaukar, those are dangers we can expect. But what of the dangers we don’t know?

She thought of the compaction tool and the other strange instruments in the pack. Each of these tools suddenly stood in her mind as a sign of mysterious dangers.

She felt then a hot breeze from surface sand touch her cheeks where they were exposed above the filter.

“Pass up the pack.” It was Paul’s voice, low and guarded.

She moved to obey, heard the water literjons gurgle as she shoved the pack across the floor. She peered upward, saw Paul framed against stars.

“Here,” he said and reached down, pulled the pack to the surface.

Now she saw only the circle of stars. They were like the luminous tips of weapons aimed down at her. A shower of meteors crossed her patch of night. The meteors seemed to her like a warning, like tiger stripes, like luminous grave slats clabbering her blood. And she felt the chill of the price on their heads.

“Hurry up,” Paul said. “I want to collapse the tent.”

A shower of sand from the surface brushed her left hand. How much sand will the hand hold? She asked herself.

“Shall I help you?” Paul asked.





She swallowed in a dry throat, slipped into the hole, felt static-packed sand rasp under her hands. Paul reached down, took her arm. She stood beside him on a smooth patch of starlit desert, stared around. Sand almost brimmed their basin, leaving only a dim lip of surrounding rock. She probed the farther darkness with her trained senses.

Noise of small animals.


A fall of dislodged sand and faint creature sounds within it.

Paul collapsing their tent, recovering it up the hole.

Starlight displaced just enough of the night to charge each shadow with menace. She looked at patches of blackness.

Black is a blind remembering , she thought. You listen for pack sounds, for the cries of those who hunted your ancestors in a past so ancient only your most primitive cells remember. The ears see. The nostrils see .

Presently, Paul stood beside her, said: ” Duncan told me that if he was captured, he could hold out . . . this long. We must leave here now.” He shouldered the pack, crossed to the shallow lip of the basin, climbed to a ledge that looked down on open desert.

Jessica followed automatically, noting how she now lived in her son’s orbit.

For now is my grief heavier than the sands of the seas , she thought. This world has emptied me of all but the oldest purpose: tomorrow’s life. I live now for my young Duke and the daughter yet to be .

She felt the sand drag her feet as she climbed to Paul’s side.

He looked north across a line of rocks, studying a distant escarpment.

The faraway rock profile was like an ancient battleship of the seas outlined by stars. The long swish of it lifted on an invisible wave with syllables of boomerang antennae, funnels arcing back, a pi-shaped upthrusting at the stern.

An orange glare burst above the silhouette and a line of brilliant purple cut downward toward the glare.

Another line of purple!

And another upthrusting orange glare!

It was like an ancient naval battle, remembered shellfire, and the sight held them staring.

“Pillars of fire,” Paul whispered.

A ring of red eyes lifted over the distant rock. Lines of purple laced the sky.

“Jetflares and lasguns,” Jessica said.

The dust-reddened first moon of Arrakis lifted above the horizon to their left and they saw a storm trail there – a ribbon of movement over the desert.

“It must be Harkonnen ‘thopters hunting us,” Paul said. “The way they’re cutting up the desert . . . it’s as though they were making certain they stamped out whatever’s there . . . the way you’d stamp out a nest of insects.”

“Or a nest of Atreides,” Jessica said.

“We must seek cover,” Paul said. “We’ll head south and keep to the rocks. If they caught us in the open . . .” He turned, adjusting the pack to his shoulders. “They’re killing anything that moves.”

He took one step along the ledge and, in that instant, heard the low hiss of gliding aircraft, saw the dark shapes of ornithopters above them.

My father once told me that respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. “Something cannot emerge from nothing,” he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable “the truth” can be.

– from “Conversations with Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

“I’ve always prided myself on seeing things the way they truly are,” Thufir Hawat said. “That’s the curse of being a Mentat. You can’t stop analyzing your data.”

The leathered old face appeared composed in the predawn dimness as he spoke. His sapho-stained lips were drawn into a straight line with radial creases spreading upward.

A robed man squatted silently on sand across from Hawat, apparently unmoved by the words.

The two crouched beneath a rock overhang that looked down on a wide, shallow sink. Dawn was spreading over the shattered outline of cliffs across the basin, touching everything with pink. It was cold under the overhang, a dry and penetrating chill left over from the night. There had been a warm wind just before dawn, but now it was cold. Hawat could hear teeth chattering behind him among the few troopers remaining in his force.

The man squatting across from Hawat was a Fremen who had come across the sink in the first light of false dawn, skittering over the sand, blending into the dunes, his movements barely discernible.

The Fremen extended a finger to the sand between them, drew a figure there. It looked like a bowl with an arrow spilling out of it. “There are many Harkonnen patrols,” he said. He lifted his finger, pointed upward across the cliffs that Hawat and his men had descended.

Hawat nodded.

Many patrols. Yes .

But still he did not know what this Fremen wanted and this rankled. Mentat training was supposed to give a man the power to see motives.

This had been the worst night of Hawat’s life. He had been at Tsimpo, a garrison village, buffer outpost for the former capital city, Carthag, when the reports of attack began arriving. At first, he’d thought: It’s a raid. The Harkonnens are testing.

But report followed report – faster and faster.

Two legions landed at Carthag.

Five legions – fifty brigades! – attacking the Duke’s main base at Arrakeen.

A legion at Arsunt.

Two battle groups at Splintered Rock.

Then the reports became more detailed – there were Imperial Sardaukar among the attackers – possibly two legions of them. And it became clear that the invaders knew precisely which weight of arms to send where. Precisely! Superb Intelligence.

Hawat’s shocked fury had mounted until it threatened the smooth functioning of his Mentat capabilities. The size of the attack struck his mind like a physical blow.

Now, hiding beneath a bit of desert rock, he nodded to himself, pulled his torn and slashed tunic around him as though warding off the cold shadows.

The size of the attack .

He had always expected their enemy to hire an occasional lighter from the Guild for probing raids. That was an ordinary enough gambit in this kind of House-to-House warfare. Lighters landed and took off on Arrakis regularly to transport the spice for House Atreides. Hawat had taken precautions against random raids by false spice lighters. For a full attack they’d expected no more than ten brigades.

But there were more than two thousand ships down on Arrakis at the last count – not just lighters, but frigates, scouts, monitors, crushers, troop-carriers, dump-boxes . . .

More than a hundred brigades – ten legions!

The entire spice income of Arrakis for fifty years might just cover the cost of such a venture.

It might .

I underestimated what the Baron was willing to spend in attacking us , Hawat thought. I failed my Duke.

Then there was the matter of the traitor.

I will live long enough to see her strangled! he thought. I should’ve killed that Bene Gesserit witch when I had the chance . There was no doubt in his mind who had betrayed them – the Lady Jessica. She fitted all the facts available.

“Your man Gurney Halleck and part of his force are safe with our smuggler friends,” the Fremen said.


So Gurney will get off this hell planet. We ‘re not all gone .

Hawat glanced back at the huddle of his men. He had started the night just past with three hundred of his finest. Of those, an even twenty remained and half of them were wounded. Some of them slept now, standing up, leaning against the rock, sprawled on the sand beneath the rock. Their last ‘thopter, the one they’d been using as a ground-effect machine to carry their wounded, had given out just before dawn. They had cut it up with lasguns and hidden the pieces, then worked their way down into this hiding place at the edge of the basin.

Hawat had only a rough idea of their location – some two hundred kilometers southeast of Arrakeen. The main traveled ways between the Shield Wall sietch communities were somewhere south of them.

The Fremen across from Hawat threw back his hood and stillsuit cap to reveal sandy hair and beard. The hair was combed straight back from a high, thin forehead. He had the unreadable total blue eyes of the spice diet. Beard and mustache were stained at one side of the mouth, his hair matted there by pressure of the looping catchtube from his nose plugs.

The man removed his plugs, readjusted them. He rubbed at a scar beside his nose.

“If you cross the sink here this night,” the Fremen said, “you must not use shields. There is a break in the wall . . . ” He turned on his heels, pointed south. ” . . . there, and it is open sand down to the erg. Shields will attract a . . . ” He hesitated. “. . . worm. They don’t often come in here, but a shield will bring one every time.”

He said worm , Hawat thought. He was going to say something else. What? And what does he want of us?

Hawat sighed.

He could not recall ever before being this tired. It was a muscle weariness that energy pills were unable to ease.

Those damnable Sardaukar!

With a self-accusing bitterness, he faced the thought of the soldier-fanatics and the Imperial treachery they represented. His own Mentat assessment of the data told him how little chance he had ever to present evidence of this treachery before the High Council of the Landsraad where justice might be done.

“Do you wish to go to the smugglers?” the Fremen asked.

“Is it possible?”

“The way is long.”

“Fremen don’t like to say no ,” Idaho had told him once.

Hawat said: “You haven’t yet told me whether your people can help my wounded.”

“They are wounded.”

The same damned answer every time!

“We know they’re wounded!” Hawat snapped. “That’s not the – ”

“Peace, friend,” the Fremen cautioned. “What do your wounded say? Are there those among them who can see the water need of your tribe?”

“We haven’t talked about water,” Hawat said. “We – ”

“I can understand your reluctance,” the Fremen said. “They are your friends, your tribesmen. Do you have water?”

“Not enough.”

The Fremen gestured to Hawat’s tunic, the skin exposed beneath it. “You were caught in-sietch, without your suits. You must make a water decision, friend.”

“Can we hire your help?”

The Fremen shrugged. “You have no water.” He glanced at the group behind Hawat. “How many of your wounded would you spend?”

Hawat fell silent, staring at the man. He could see as a Mentat that their communication was out of phase. Word-sounds were not being linked up here in the normal manner.

“I am Thufir Hawat,” he said. “I can speak for my Duke. I will make promissory commitment now for your help. I wish a limited form of help, preserving my force long enough only to kill a traitor who thinks herself beyond vengeance.”

“You wish our siding in a vendetta?”

“The vendetta I’ll handle myself. I wish to be freed of responsibility for my wounded that I may get about it.”

The Fremen scowled. “How can you be responsible for your wounded? They are their own responsibility. The water’s at issue, Thufir Hawat. Would you have me take that decision away from you?”

The man put a hand to a weapon concealed beneath his robe.

Hawat tensed, wondering: Is there betrayal here?

“What do you fear?” the Fremen demanded.

These people and their disconcerting directness! Hawat spoke cautiously. “There’s a price on my head.”

“Ah-h-h-h.” The Fremen removed his hand from his weapon. “You think we have the Byzantine corruption. You don’t know us. The Harkonnens have not water enough to buy the smallest child among us.”

But they had the price of Guild passage for more than two thousand fighting ships , Hawat thought. And the size of that price still staggered him.

“We both fight Harkonnens,” Hawat said. “Should we not share the problems and ways of meeting the battle issue?”

“We are sharing,” the Fremen said. “I have seen you fight Harkonnens. You are good. There’ve been times I’d have appreciated your arm beside me.”

“Say where my arm may help you,” Hawat said.

“Who knows?” the Fremen asked. “There are Harkonnen forces everywhere. But you still have not made the water decision or put it to your wounded.”

I must be cautious , Hawat told himself. There’s a thing here that’s not understood .



said: “Will you show me your way, the Arrakeen way?”

“Stranger-thinking,” the Fremen said, and there was a sneer in his tone. He pointed to the northwest across the clifftop. “We watched you come across the sand last night.” He lowered his arm. “You keep your force on the slip-face of the dunes. Bad. You have no stillsuits, no water. You will not last long.”

“The ways of Arrakis don’t come easily,” Hawat said.

“Truth. But we’ve killed Harkonnens.”

“What do you do with your own wounded? “Hawat demanded.

“Does a man not know when he is worth saving?” the Fremen asked. “Your wounded know you have no water.” He tilted his head, looking sideways up at Hawat. “This is clearly a time for water decision. Both wounded and unwounded must look to the tribe’s future.”

The tribe’s future , Hawat thought. The tribe of Atreides. There’s sense in that . He forced himself to the question he had been avoiding.

“Have you word of my Duke or his son?”

Unreadable blue eyes stared upward into Hawat’s. “Word?”

“Their fate!” Hawat snapped.

“Fate is the same for everyone,” the Fremen said. “Your Duke, it is said, has met his fate. As to the Lisan al-Gaib, his son, that is in Liet’s hands. Liet has not said.”

I knew the answer without asking , Hawat thought.

He glanced back at his men. They were all awake now. They had heard. They were staring out across the sand, the realization in their expressions: there was no returning to Caladan for them, and now Arrakis was lost.




Hawat turned back to the Fremen. “Have you heard of Duncan Idaho?”

“He was in the great house when the shield went down,” the Fremen said. “This I’ve heard . . . no more.”

She dropped the shield and let in the Harkonnens , he thought. I was the one who sat with my back to a door. How could she do this when it meant turning also against her own son? But . . . who knows how a Bene Gesserit witch thinks . . . if you can call it thinking?

Hawat tried to swallow in a dry throat. “When will you hear about the boy?”

“We know little of what happens in Arrakeen,” the Fremen said. He shrugged. “Who knows?”

“You have ways of finding out?”

“Perhaps.” The Fremen rubbed at the scar beside his nose. “Tell me, Thufir Hawat, do you have knowledge of the big weapons the Harkonnens used?”

The artillery , Hawat thought bitterly. Who could have guessed they’d use artillery in this day of shields?

“You refer to the artillery they used to trap our people in the caves,” he said. “I’ve . . . theoretical knowledge of such explosive weapons.”

“Any man who retreats into a cave which has only one opening deserves to die,” the Fremen said.

“Why do you ask about these weapons?”

“Liet wishes it.”

Is that what he wants from us? Hawat wondered. He said: “Did you come here seeking information about the big guns?”

“Liet wished to see one of the weapons for himself.”

“Then you should just go take one,” Hawat sneered.

“Yes,” the Fremen said. “We took one. We have it hidden where Stilgar can study it for Liet and where Liet can see it for himself if he wishes. But I doubt he’ll want to: the weapon is not a very good one. Poor design for Arrakis.”

“You . . . took one?” Hawat asked.

“It was a good fight,” the Fremen said. “We lost only two men and spilled the water from more than a hundred of theirs.”

There were Sardaukar at every gun , Hawat thought. This desert madman speaks casually of losing only two men against Sardaukar!

“We would not have lost the two except for those others fighting beside the Harkonnens,” the Fremen said. “Some of those are good fighters.”




One of Hawat’s men limped forward, looked down at the squatting Fremen. “Are you talking about Sardaukar?”

“He’s talking about Sardaukar,” Hawat said.

“Sardaukar!” the Fremen said, and there appeared to be glee in his voice. “Ah-h-h, so that’s what they are! This was a good night indeed. Sardaukar. Which legion? Do you know?”

“We . . . don’t know,” Hawat said.

“Sardaukar,” the Fremen mused. “Yet they wear Harkonnen clothing. Is that not strange?”




“The Emperor does not wish it known he fights against a Great House,” Hawat said.

“But you know they are Sardaukar.”

“Who am I?” Hawat asked bitterly.

“You are Thufir Hawat,” the man said matter-of-factly. “Well, we would have learned it in time. We’ve sent three of them captive to be questioned by Liet’s men.”

Hawat’s aide spoke slowly, disbelief in every word: “You . . . captured Sardaukar?”

“Only three of them,” the Fremen said. “They fought well.”

If only we’d had the time to link up with these Fremen , Hawat thought. It was a sour lament in his mind. If only we could’ve trained them and armed them. Great Mother, what a fighting force we’d have had!

“Perhaps you delay because of worry over the Lisan al-Gaib,” the Fremen said. “If he is truly the Lisan al-Gaib, harm cannot touch him. Do not spend thoughts on a matter which has not been proved.”

“I serve the . . . Lisan al-Gaib,” Hawat said. “His welfare is my concern. I’ve pledged myself to this.”

“You are pledged to his water?”

Hawat glanced at his aide, who was still staring at the Fremen, returned his attention to the squatting figure. “To his water, yes.”

“You wish to return to Arrakeen, to the place of his water?”

“To . . . yes, to the place of his water.”

“Why did you not say at first it was a water matter?” The Fremen stood up, seated his nose plugs firmly.

Hawat motioned with his head for his aide to return to the others. With a tired shrug, the man obeyed. Hawat heard a low-voiced conversation arise among the men.

The Fremen said: “There is always a way to water.”

Behind Hawat, a man cursed. Hawat’s aide called: “Thufir! Arkie just died.”

The Fremen put a fist to his ear. “The bond of water! It’s a sign!” He stared at Hawat. “We have a place nearby for accepting the water. Shall I call my men?”




The aide returned to Hawat’s side, said: “Thufir, a couple of the men left wives in Arrakeen. They’re . . . well, you know how it is at a time like this.”

The Fremen still held his fist to his ear. “Is it the bond of water, Thufir Hawat?” he demanded.

Hawat’s mind was racing. He sensed now the direction of the Fremen’s words, but feared the reaction of the tired men under the rock overhang when they understood it.

“The bond of water,” Hawat said.

“Let our tribes be joined,” the Fremen said, and he lowered his fist.

As though that were the signal, four men slid and dropped down from the rocks above them. They darted back under the overhang, rolled the dead man in a loose robe, lifted him and began running with him along the cliff wall to the right. Spurts of dust lifted around their running feet.

It was over before Hawat’s tired men could gather their wits. The group with the body hanging like a sack in its enfolding robe was gone around a turn in the cliff.

One of Hawat’s men shouted: “Where they going with Arkie? He was – ”

“They’re taking him to . . . bury him,” Hawat said.

“Fremen don’t bury their dead!” the man barked. “Don’t you try any tricks on us, Thufir. We know what they do. Arkie was one of – ”

” Paradise were sure for a man who died in the service of Lisan al-Gaib,” the Fremen said. “If it is the Lisan al-Gaib you serve, as you have said it, why raise mourning cries? The memory of one who died in this fashion will live as long as the memory of man endures.”

But Hawat’s men advanced, angry looks on their faces. One had captured a lasgun. He started to draw it.

“Stop right where you are!” Hawat barked. He fought down the sick fatigue that gripped his muscles. “These people respect our dead. Customs differ, but the meaning’s the same.”

“They’re going to render Arkie down for his water,” the man with the lasgun snarled.

“Is it that your men wish to attend the ceremony?” the Fremen asked.




He doesn’t even see the problem , Hawat thought. The na��vet�� of the Fremen was frightening.

“They’re concerned for a respected comrade,” Hawat said.

“We will treat your comrade with the same reverence we treat our own,” the Fremen said. “This is the bond of water. We know the rites. A man’s flesh is his own; the water belongs to the tribe.”

Hawat spoke quickly as the man with the lasgun advanced another step. “Will you now help our wounded?”

“One does not question the bond,” the Fremen said. “We will do for you what a tribe does for its own. First, we must get all of you suited and see to the necessities.”

The man with the lasgun hesitated.

Hawat’s aide said: “Are we buying help with Arkie’s . . . water?”

“Not buying,” Hawat said. “We’ve joined these people.”

“Customs differ,” one of his men muttered.

Hawat began to relax.

“And they’ll help us get to Arrakeen?”

“We will kill Harkonnens,” the Fremen said. He grinned. “And Sardaukar.” He stepped backward, cupped his hands beside his ears and tipped his head back, listening. Presently, he lowered his hands, said: “An aircraft comes. Conceal yourselves beneath the rock and remain’ motionless.”

At a gesture from Hawat, his men obeyed.

The Fremen took Hawat’s arm, pressed him back with the others. “We will fight in the time of fighting,” the man said. He reached beneath his robes, brought out a small cage, lifted a creature from it.




Hawat recognized a tiny bat. The bat turned its head and Hawat saw its blue-within-blue eyes.

The Fremen stroked the bat, soothing it, crooning to it. He bent over the animal’s head, allowed a drop of saliva to fall from his tongue into the bat’s upturned mouth. The bat stretched its wings, but remained on the Fremen’s opened hand. The man took a tiny tube, held it beside the bat’s head and chattered into the tube; then, lifting the creature high, he threw it upward.

The bat swooped away beside the cliff and was lost to sight.

The Fremen folded the cage, thrust it beneath his robe. Again, he bent his head, listening. “They quarter the high country,” he said. “One wonders who they seek up there.”

“It’s known that we retreated in this direction,” Hawat said.

“One should never presume one is the sole object of a hunt,” the Fremen said. “Watch the other side of the basin. You will see a thing.”

Time passed.

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