Anu took the bowls, put them inside the tent, glanced at the sleeping Puli, and tied the tent flaps. She turned to join the swelling crowd when she heard a commanding voice behind, "Wait, woman!"
She stood transfixed. She had recognised it. Anger engulfed her like the fire of Kochi. In a lightning movement, her hand pulled out a bone pin from her hair as she spun around. She beheld the mysterious man. He did not sport a beard like the mendicant. Nor did he have a moustache like the old man of Kupgal. He carried himself straight and was in fact much younger than any of his earlier appearances. In the dim light, something reflected in his hand and she realized that he was armed. Exposing uneven teeth in what could be a grin, he spoke again, "Take it easy, Anlil."
A cold shiver passed through her spine. Only a few people in Meluhha knew her real name. The rascal Jittan of Chendur was one of them. "Who are you?" She found her voice. It was giving her away. "And why are you after us?"
"Never mind that, Anlil!" he switched to fluent Sumérian. "Ask 'What do you want?'"
She could not speak. It was alarming enough that someone addressed her by real name so long after she had dropped it. But it was extremely disturbing to hear that person speak her mother tongue. That bode ill omen for her safety.
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