August 24, 2008

Let the Word Take Me p.24

there might be a single place where both adults and juveniles could talk normally. I bet every community has something like it, though the Mouth itself is probably unique."

"What," Officer Monroe whispered. "You mean they can only speak in here? Why?"

Father hesitated. "Well –"

"Because the language is sacred," said David, swept up as the pattern came clear. "Not just some words; all of them. That's why the adults limit themselves to the canonical images outside the House. And the children – well, they would have to learn it in here, wouldn't they. There's no way to learn it solely from context." Then he saw Officer Monroe's face pale, and realized what he'd just said.

"You never learned it." Her voice was indignant. "That's what you're telling me, isn't it."

"No, no, we have," said Father, but too late.

"You haven't! " said Monroe. "If you've never been here before, then you can't have heard these stories before, and that means you haven't learned the language at all. You're nowhere near opening relations!"

"That's not true," Father retorted. "You don't have to hear the stories to speak the language – David speaks well enough to please any of these people!"

"You're lying!"

Heads were turning toward them, double-lidded eyes

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