Quote #4


by Tamora Pierce

She counted and gave back a copper. Her hand was shaking. “Don’t mind Yates,
he’s got a rough manner,” she whispered. “He don’t – ”

He knocked her sideways, sending her sprawling on the floor. Now I knew where
her bruises came from. “Shut yer gob,” he ordered her. He turned to me and raised
his hand.

I blocked his swing with my forearm, though it jarred my teeth. While he gaped, I
grabbed that wrist with my free left hand and yanked him toward me over the
counter, jamming my right hip into it to steady myself. When he grabbed at me with
his free hand, I seized it and twisted so he’d stop thrashing. Then I rested my weight
on my left hand, using it like a lever. The problem for him was, it was his elbow on
the edge of the counter at the end of my lever. If he moved, I could throw all of my
weight on his wrist and see what happened to that elbow, or keep turning his other
hand. If he behaved, all that he got was cramps in his wrists and his right elbow, and
some shame before those looking on. If he misbehaved, he would suffer the

Page 256

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