By Piers Anthony
Damage, himself, used to be half ogre. even if ogres have been thought of so silly they coud not often converse, and spent their time consuming younger women, seven varied women had all of sudden became to him for suggestions and saftety? In Xanth, one stopover at to the great Magician Humfrey labored wonders....
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She wasnot so naive as to be in doubt about the nature of histhought. A nymph would have been flattered—but Tandywas human. She sought no demon lover. Tandy got up and went to the mirror. She was nineteen years old, but she looked like a child inher nightie and lady-slippers, her brown tresses mussedfrom constant squirming, her blue eyes peering out wor-riedly. She wished she looked more like her mother—but ofcourse no human person could match the pretty faces andfantastic figures of nymphs. That was what nymphdomwas all about—to attract men like Crombie who judged thedistaff to be good for only one thing.
She had never even been to the surface ofXanth. She would be lost in an instant if she ever left thecaves. In fact, she was afraid to try. How could she travelall the way to her father's place of employment, alone? Shehad no good answer. The demon did not come the following night. The night-mares visited instead. She woke in justified terror, and they were gone—only toreturn as she slept again. That was the way of such beasts. Finally she became so desperate she threw a tantrum atone of them. The tantrum struck it on the flank.
Still, she was afairly nice person, considering that she was human. "Very well," Humfrey said in a not-very-well voice. " Smash wasn't sure, but did not know how to formulatethat uncertainty, either. So he just nodded afBrmatively,his shaggy face scaring a cuckoo bird that had been aboutto signal the hour. The bird signaled the hour with a terri-fied dropping instead of a song, and retreated into its cubby. "So be it," the Magician said, shrugging. " Then hegot up and marched to the door. " Numbly, Smash followed.