Meet the Characters of "The Wolf's Name": Kai
Hey readers! We're moving right along with our introductions. Today Olive tells us about a family friend who was there for some of their toughest trials. What better friend could you ask for?
May 29th, 1890
I have always been nervous of welcoming new faces into my life, and Kāi was equally reluctant to open the door of his life to us. Perhaps with reasons better than my own. I now realize his careful deliberation was a form of respect. Where others judge on a whim or rumour, Kāi studied us before deciding friend from foe. He tested our merit.
And I conducted trials of my own.
The most intricate of them involved Elliot’s help and a handful of plump red berries, but it ended in tears and with me in need of a new apron, no more certain of Kāi than I was before.
Lucky proved to be my best test. I paid attention to every change in him—how long it took for him to stop grumbling at Kāi, whether he looked excited or annoyed when he heard Kāi’s boots approach the house, or whether he’d turn his back to Kāi when Lucky made his way around the room. I trusted Lucky’s intuition more than my own.
Apparently, so did Kāi.
Men who gamble use card games to test the character of others, I hear. I never invented my game of “Wizards and Goblins” for gambling, but I’d thought it would still prove useful in determining Kāi’s nature. I convinced him to play it with me, Lucky, and Elliot the afternoon after that horrible storm, but I should have predicted I’d be too distracted with teaching Lucky how to play. I sat at his side and gently reminded him of the rules until he’d learned them well enough to know when to play his crystal ball card without being told. When I cheered at Lucky’s success, I looked up to find that, while I’d forgotten entirely to study Kāi, Kāi hadn’t forgotten to study me.
He gave me a knowing look that said he’d read me like the crystal ball on Lucky’s card, but to this day I’m still not certain if I passed his test or what he’d scried during the game.
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