Selyn has been a liaison between Talon and the other
daughters of the forgotten ones, slaving in the mines under
the fists of the guards left to keep them prisoner. After
meeting the contact who may help lead her and her sisters to
freedom, she has been caught in the upper levels, far from
her allotted place by one of the worst of the guards. Beaten
and left for dead, she is found and brought to Earth and put
into the care of the man Dawson who looks at her with an
emotion she has never experienced. Her duty lies with
helping her sisters to become armed with crystal swords so
they can win their freedom and take their rightful places
defending Lemuria against the demon incursion.
Dawson Buck is more than happy to help his friends in any
way he can. He loves being part of the saving of legendary
Lemuria. It's as if he were living in one of his beloved
When he sees Selyn, sees what has been done to her, it
brings home again that these people are not only fighting
for their land against the demons like those he has
encountered, they are risking their lives and it is far from
fantasy. He knows Selyn has never known a kind touch from a
man, the only men she knows are the cruel guards, one of
whom did the damage he is doing his best to repair. He
fights to keep his feelings in check, knowing Selyn is worth
every bit of patience he can muster.
STARFIRE is book three of the Demonslayers series,
and I think the best of the three. Although I enjoyed the
main characters of the first two books, and was engrossed in
the storylines, this one surpasses them in complexity and
excitement. The two love interests could not be more
different, and the process of them coming together is a
The continuing story arc is brought to fever pitch as
solutions are found to problems posed in the first two
books. I have to say, Selyn is one of my all-time favorite
female characters, and I have felt affection for
veterinarian Dawson Buck since encountering him in Book 2
where he sucked up the demon mists and froze them into
little evil ice cubes. (I tell you Kate Douglas is a great
story teller). I was delighted to learn Dawson would have
his own love story, and the reality lived up to my hopes.
Conquered, the Demon king has been banished to Abyss - but
he is far from dead. A greater danger awaits Ginny Jones
and hte Demonslayers in this spellbinding, highly sensual
Stand By Me
The women of Lemuria are still in chains. The daughter of
an enslaved warrior, brutally attacked by a vicious guard,
Selyn has survived - barely. Beaten and terrified, she
must overcome her fear: Dawson Buck, one from Earth who
has crossed through the portal, a gifted healer. His
skills and knowledge renew her body and strengthen her
spirit - and awaken a compelling passion she has never
known. But she cannot yield...
Selyn seeks revenge for herself and her mother and all the
Forgotten Ones who toil in secret. If Dawson helps her,
his own life may be forfeit. And for Selyn, true love does
not ask such sacrifices...
StarFire Book 3 of The DemonSlayers
Thousands of years ago, following the disastrous
DemonWars, the continent of Lemuria disappeared beneath
the sea, much in the manner of the lost continent of
Atlantis. To save their civilization, Lemurians relocated
their entire society to a sanctuary deep within the
dormant volcano known as Mount Shasta in the rugged
mountains of northern California.
There, the immortal Lemurians have maintained a peaceful
and entirely non-violent civilization in a separate
dimension within the volcano for thousands of years.
Recently though, many among them have begun to recognize
the importance of keeping Earth's population safe in order
to protect their own society-a society that has kept dark
secrets even from its own.
Those secrets now threaten the very fabric of all worlds
as humans and Lemurians take up arms in the ages old
battle against the evil that is demonkind.
The crystal mines beneath Lemuria
Selyn pressed her back against the sharp stones lining the
cavern wall and attempted to become one with the shadows.
She listened intently as Roland's footsteps receded in the
distance and faded into silence.
Even when the only sound Selyn heard was the ragged
whisper of her own breathing, she waited.
If the amazing secrets Roland had shared with her were
true, they were too close to success to take any chances
now. Too close-finally-to tasting the freedom that had
forever eluded the forgotten daughters of the exiled women
warriors of Lemuria.
Anger welled up inside, a harsh and biting pain reminding
Selyn once more of her need for revenge, of her soul-
numbing hatred for the people who had condemned her
mother, her sisters-all of them-to lives of slavery.
Such was the reward mighty Lemuria gave its bravest
warriors. Slavery until death brought release from toiling
in the fetid mines far beneath the bright levels where the
free folk lived. Toiling where the air was thick with the
pollution of their labors, fouled by the seething anger
carried within the hearts and souls of the Forgotten Ones.
Selyn clenched her fists and closed her eyes against the
simmering pain of resentment. Not now. She could not allow
herself the luxury of anger. Roland had cautioned her, and
she would listen. He was a good man-the only good man
she'd ever known. A true son of Lemuria, not one of the
sadistic wardens who kept the women imprisoned in the
mines, and definitely not one of those damned aristocrats
who thought themselves above the common folk.
No, Roland understood honor and integrity. His loyalty was
to his world, not to the few who governed so unfairly.
He'd become a good friend over the past few days since
they'd met-a brave and true friend. Braver than most
because he had more to lose-a wife, a child, his position
as a respected sergeant of the Lemurian Guard.
Selyn risked nothing. She'd long ago accepted the fact
that, as a slave, her life had no value. As a free woman-
even if she were of the aristocracy-she would have no
voice. Gods willing, that was soon to change. She
remembered the stories her mother had told, and they gave
There'd been a time when women held positions of honor as
members of the Council of Nine, when mothers had fought
demons beside their men as respected equals, and gender
had neither defined nor limited status or personal
That time-that honor-would be theirs once again.
Finally, Selyn and the other Forgotten Ones sensed freedom.
Freedom and change, and a chance for revenge.
Roland of Kronus caught Alton's terse warning the moment
he reached the upper levels of Lemuria. Damned telepathy
was next to useless between levels and entirely worthless
between dimensions, but obviously it was working now.
This was a message he'd been dreading ever since the
invasion of demonkind into Earth's dimension had begun.
Alton's steady voice carried more assurance than Roland
felt, but Alton of Artigos had been raised to a life of
privilege, destined to one day rule their world. His
confidence was inborn, and it appeared he was finally
getting his chance. But nine hells, the risk to all of
them could not be denied.
We're moving against my father tonight, Alton said. Ginny
and I are hiding out in Taron's rooms until it's time to
act. Artigos must be removed from the Council of Nine as
soon as possible. There's no doubt he's possessed by
demonkind. It has to happen now-I need a firm grasp on the
council before Taron arms the Forgotten Ones.
Roland nodded as he answered, considering his next steps
even as he updated Alton on the latest contact with Selyn.
The Forgotten Ones had to be told of Alton's plans with
the council, which meant Roland needed to get back to
Selyn without alerting her guards. He should update Taron
as well-if he could find him. Roland had a general idea
where he'd gone, but it would mean traveling even deeper
into the bowels of Lemuria.
Taron had been far below and out of touch for days,
creating enough crystal swords to arm each of the
Forgotten Ones. He should have close to the full one
hundred blades by now, each one perfectly attuned to a
particular female slave.
One hundred crystal blades capable of sentience-alive with
the souls of ancient warriors and, so far, the only
effective weapon against the scourge of demonkind.
With the thought of those crystal blades in mind, Roland
replied to Alton. I'll return to the mines now. Selyn, the
Forgotten One I've been in contact with, needs to know of
our plans, the fact the timetable has been moved up, so
that she can keep the others informed. I'll try and
contact Taron as well. I promise to be back before you
move against Artigos.
Roland also sent a quick message to his beloved wife.
Chara was used to the long hours he kept, though she had
no idea the danger he faced. There was no point in
alarming her with the truth of his actions-that he was
involved in a desperate insurgency against Lemuria's
current leadership. No point at all. Sighing, Roland
turned back along the dark tunnel, quickly retracing his
steps, returning to the lower levels where the Forgotten
The steady drip, drip, drip and the soft hum of overtaxed
air purifiers were the only sounds Selyn heard as she
cautiously pushed herself away from the cavern wall and
moved silently through darkness to the sleeping quarters.
With any luck she might be able to catch a couple hours of
rest before her shift started, but she'd missed the
evening meal and it would be a long time until she had
another opportunity to break fast.
A hulking shadow suddenly filled the narrow passageway.
Light glinted off pale eyes set in a massive frame a full
foot and a half taller and three times wider than her own.
Nine hells. As usual, her luck sucked. Selyn straightened
to her full height, raised her chin and looked the guard
in the eye. That alone should be enough to piss him off.
If she could make him angry enough, he might even forget
to ask why she was wandering along a passage so far from
the slaves' quarters.
â€śAh, Birk. Fancy meeting you here.â€ť She folded her arms
across her chest and hoped he couldn't see how she
trembled. Showing fear was the same as giving up.
Selyn never showed fear. Never would she give up.
The huge guard didn't say a word. His fist came out of
nowhere. The crushing blow to her cheekbone left her lying
dazed and barely conscious on the ground.
He planted his hands on his hips and leaned over her. â€śSo,
bitch. You want to tell me what you're doing out here?â€ť
Blinking back the shooting lights blinding her vision,
Selyn slowly shook her head.
He grabbed her hair in a meaty fist and jerked her to her
â€śOuch! Nine hells!â€ť She twisted, but he grabbed her breast
through the thin cloth of her robe and squeezed, digging
his thick fingers into soft flesh.
â€śAh!â€ť Excruciating pain blinded her. Frantically, Selyn
bucked and writhed, but his fingers only tightened on her
breast and in her hair. She lashed out with her bare foot,
and connected just below his right knee.
Birk cursed. His leg buckled and he lost his grip on her
breast. Selyn jerked her head up as he fell and slammed
him under the chin, but her long hair was still tangled in
his fist and he pulled her down with him.
Scrambling beneath his massive weight she broke free,
kicked again and caught him soundly between the legs. Birk
roared in pain and clutched his balls, but her hair was
still trapped in his fist. He jerked her head sharply down
and caught her between his thighs.
Twisting, turning, Selyn struggled for freedom. Birk
flipped her beneath him, clamping down on her head and
shoulders with his powerful legs. Enraged, he tore his
hand free of her hair and punched her with both fists,
landing powerful blows across her chest and along her ribs.
She felt one rib crack, and then another. Gasping, unable
to move or catch her breath, her vision clouded. She
couldn't breathe, couldn't fight, could not give up. Not
this close. Not with freedom only days away.
Blow after blow slammed into her ribs. Frantically Selyn
sucked in a breath of life-giving air and tasted blood.
Darkness broken by fitful flashes of sparking lights
closed in on all sides as the terrible pounding continued.
Then, somehow, she floated free, apart from the hammering
fists, as if she hovered in a separate space, beyond pain,
Maybe freedom would finally come as her mother's had-in
death. Did it really matter anymore? Selyn no longer felt
the blows, even as Birk continued to pummel her
A beautiful, achingly familiar face swam hauntingly just
beyond her reach. With split and bleeding lips Selyn
whispered her mother's name.
There was no answer, no sign of recognition, but it was
okay. She knew her mother had found peace in death. She'd
come to Selyn in her dreams and told her daughter she'd
been reborn to fight again-reborn in a crystal sword
Was that to be Selyn's path out of this hellhole? Through
death? No matter. Not anymore. Giving in to the darkness,
Selyn gratefully embraced the only freedom she had ever
Freedom, and darkness, and death.
As soon as he reached Selyn's level in the caverns, Roland
cast out his thoughts. Though he'd only known her a few
days-since first venturing into the mines in search of
proof of the terrible rumors of slave-keeping-the young
woman always responded immediately, even if he awakened
her from sleep.
This time, he heard nothing. A great void where her active
mind should be. He glanced along the shadowed tunnel and
prayed to the gods he'd not be discovered. He had no
business at this level. None at all, but Selyn should have
answered by now.
He grasped his crystal sword and walked purposefully down
the dark passageway. Calling silently for Selyn, he
rounded a slight curve and stopped dead.
A body lay in the middle of the corridor. A woman's body.
From the long tangled mass of her coal black hair and the
coppery color of her skin, it could only be Selyn. Roland
glanced both ways, saw no one, and raced to her side.
Her eyes were closed, her face battered and swollen, her
slave's robe badly torn. Bloody saliva foaming at the
corner of her lips was the only sign the girl still lived.
Roland couldn't risk a call for help. The only ones strong
enough to have hurt Selyn this badly were the wardens who
guarded the Forgotten Ones. Selyn's latest trip to meet
him at the upper level must have been discovered, but how
could anyone have done such a horrible thing?
Gently, he pressed his fingertips to the big artery in her
throat and felt for her pulse. Erratic, unsteady, it
fluttered beneath his fingertips. He glanced about, saw
and heard nothing but his own harsh breathing, and
accepted his duty. He had to get her out of here, and hope
like the nine hells she lived long enough for him to find
Carefully, Roland slipped his hands beneath her slim body
and lifted her as gently as he could. He cradled the
broken young woman against his chest and carried her down
the dark tunnel, passing through portals and eventually
reaching the first set of steps without anyone spotting
him. Then he began the long climb to the surface. But
where could he take her? Not to anyone in Lemuria. Members
of the aristocracy claimed ignorance of slavery's
Roland hadn't wanted to believe Lemuria had slave labor,
but fear the rumors were true had driven his search. What
he'd found was worse than anything he could possibly have
No, he'd not find help for Selyn in Lemuria. It would have
to be someone in Earth's dimension.
She was still alive, but barely, when Roland finally
reached the upper levels and made contact with Alton. The
young aristocrat didn't hesitate. He set his earlier plans
for tonight's coup aside and told Roland where they could
Less than an hour later, Roland passed through the
Lemurian portal that led directly into the energy vortex
in Bell Rock, a large formation outside of Sedona,
Arizona. Alton waited in the dark chamber with his woman,
Ginny Jones, close beside him.
The Lemurian heir to the council took one look at the
battered woman in Roland's arms and cursed, shaking his
head in dismay. â€śAh, Roland, my friend. How could this be?â€ť
Roland was shocked to see Alton's eyes sparkling with
compassionate tears-tears that reaffirmed Roland's
decision to follow the young aristocrat no matter where he
might lead. This was not a man interested in power. No-
Alton's only goal was a strong and vital Lemuria, and
equality for all its citizens.
Ginny gasped and stepped close. â€śOh, my god.â€ť She lightly
touched the pulse point on Selyn's throat and looked up at
Roland. â€śShe's still alive, but her pulse is so weak. Who
did this to her?â€ť
Roland shook his head. Anger, frustration and his fear for
the girl's life had him blurting out, â€śOne of the gods-be-
damned guards, I imagine. I hear they treat the women most
cruelly, but I've never seen anyone so viciously beaten.â€ť
â€śWill she live?â€ť Alton's soft question calmed him.
He sighed. â€śI don't know. I'm sure she's got broken ribs,
internal injuries. She's a tough one, though. At least
she's still breathing.â€ť
Alton wrapped his arm protectively around Ginny. â€śI had no
idea when you contacted me that she was so badly injured.â€ť
He glanced at Ginny. â€śDo you think Dawson can help her?
He's a veterinarian, after all, not a doctor for humans.â€ť
Ginny stared at Selyn so intently, Roland felt as if she
were trying to force the injured woman to heal by the
strength of her will alone.
â€śHe's going to have to,â€ť she said. â€śAlton, we have to see
if Dax and Eddy can bring BumperWillow. Willow might be
able to help, but we need to hurry. Roland? Can you come
He'd not spent much time in Earth's dimension, and never
here in Sedona. It was forbidden, after all, but a young
woman's life was, literally, in his hands. â€śYes,â€ť he said,
gazing at the battered girl he held as gently as he
could. â€śI can.â€ť
Alton led the way through another, smaller portal. They
stepped out into a cavern almost identical to the
first. â€śWe just moved from one side of Sedona to the
other,â€ť he said. He pointed to a shimmering gateway on one
wall. â€śThat's a secret portal we've discovered that leads
directly to the chambers of the Council of Nine. I don't
have time to explain it now, but do not use it to return.
It's too dangerous. We'll go this way.â€ť He nodded toward
another glowing portal. â€śWe're meeting a friend of ours
here who should be able to help the girl.â€ť
Lightly he touched Roland's shoulder. â€śI can take her if
you're getting tired. He'll have his vehicle waiting
Roland nodded. â€śI'm okay. Let's hurry.â€ť Even though his
arms ached from carrying her, Roland didn't want to risk
further injury to Selyn by shifting her to Alton's grasp.
She hadn't stirred, but she drew soft, shallow breaths,
proof she still lived. Thank the gods she was unconscious
and, hopefully, unaware of her pain.
They stepped out into a star-filled night. Roland had seen
stars once before, when he'd fought demons a few days
earlier on the flanks of Mount Shasta, but he knew he'd
never get the chance to see them enough. Damn it all, but
his people had lost too much when their continent sank
beneath the sea.
They had survived these many millennia, but at what cost?
Life without stars, without the warmth of the sun. Anger
gave Roland strength for the short hike down the dark
path. He was still grumbling to himself when they rounded
a curve in the trail. Alton flashed his handheld light at
a large vehicle waiting in the shadows. A dark-haired man-
tall for a human-climbed out and quickly opened the back
door. Roland nodded without speaking and carefully slid
into the wide seat with Selyn still in his arms.
Ginny took the seat just ahead. Alton got in beside the
driver in the front. The two men conversed softly, but
Roland couldn't hear what they said. Ginny remained quiet,
though she'd turned and was watching Selyn.
After a short drive, they pulled into a well-lit yard with
a low, sprawling building that appeared to be made of
smooth stone. Holding Selyn as gently as possible, Roland
quietly followed the other three as they led him inside
the structure. They walked down a long hallway into a
brightly lit room behind a heavy set of double doors,
where he finally laid his bruised and bleeding burden down
on a narrow bed.
Finishing up after a long day at the clinic, Dawson Buck
had been prepared for another quiet night at home when his
cell phone rang. He'd certainly never expected to hear
Alton's voice. When he'd recently offered to help his new
friends in their battle against a demon invasion, Dawson
honestly hadn't thought anyone would actually call.
He was, after all, merely human. What good could a mortal
do among creatures who were not only immortal but capable
of things he'd only read of in his favorite science
But when Alton told him that one of their kind was badly
injured and needed medical attention, Dawson hadn't
hesitated. He'd quickly finished up the nightly feeding of
his canine and feline patients, locked the doors to his
clinic, and raced to the parking lot at Red Rock Crossing
near the energy vortex at Cathedral Rock.
And there he'd waited. He'd had plenty of time to think
about the changes in his life since that morning a little
over a week ago when he'd arrived a bit late at his
veterinary clinic and discovered the place was already
filled with dozens of animal patients-all exhibiting the
same unbelievable behavior.
He knew his staff thought he was slightly nuts when he'd
suggested the pets were all possessed by demons. Of
course, he was well aware that his capable young assistant
as well as the women who worked for him figured his off-
beat diagnosis was part of his charm.
They loved to tease him about his easy acceptance of the
mystical stories about the land around Sedona and the
energy vortexes that most folks thought of as nothing more
than fodder for the tourist trade.
His Aunt Fiona had been the only one who truly understood
him. When he was little and talked to his imaginary
friends, she'd called him fey. As he'd grown older and
lost himself in books with tales of the unusual and
unexplained, she'd merely nodded and said he was learning
to understand things that a lot of his real-life friends
would never be able to see.
The imaginary friends had eventually faded away, cast out
by a teen-aged boy's need to act like everyone else, but
Aunt Fiona had understood. She'd told him that when he was
ready, they'd come back.
Now, as he led this most amazing group of supposedly
mythical creatures into the small emergency clinic he kept
at his home, Dawson sent a silent thank you to his long
departed aunt. He could almost swear he heard her
chuckling laughter and the soft, Gaelic lilt to her voice
whispering, â€śI told you so, me boyo. I told you so.â€ť
Dawson glanced at his wristwatch. It was almost five A.M.-
the time when he normally crawled out of bed to start his
day-but he'd stayed with Selyn through the night. By now,
he figured Alton and Roland, the big Lemurian guard, were
probably sacked out on the couches in the main quarters of
He checked his patient's pulse. It was steady now, and she
was breathing easier. He'd worried about carrying her from
the clinic to the spare room, but he knew she'd be more
comfortable here in a regular bed, rather than on the hard
examining table where he'd worked on her bruised and
He hoped Ginny had gotten some sleep. She'd assisted him
for hours, playing the unaccustomed role of nurse. By the
time he'd finished all of his stitching and doctoring,
Ginny'd looked exhausted and a little bit numb from all
the blood. Daws had sent her off a couple of hours ago
while he finished cleaning up and bandaging the worst of
the young woman's injuries.
They'd been extensive and well beyond his training. He'd
suctioned blood out of chest cavities for dogs and cats
that'd been hit by cars, but he'd never done it for a
woman with a punctured lung-at least, not until last
Dawson gazed down at the young woman now resting as
comfortably as could be expected, and hoped he'd done the
right thing. He was a veterinarian, for crying out loud!
He dealt with dogs and cats, birds, rabbits and the
occasional hamster or guinea pig-not young, beautiful
women barely clinging to life.
What if he'd screwed up? What if she died?
What choice did he have?
None at all, according to Alton. They couldn't take Selyn
to a human doctor, and they couldn't take her to one of
their own healers. It had been Dawson Buck or no one. Her
lung had been the most serious injury, along with bruising
to her spleen and liver. Her cracked and broken ribs would
hurt like hell for awhile, but they'd heal. He'd stitched
a couple of spots on her side where heavy blows had
actually split her skin, but most of her injuries were
bloody scrapes, bruises, and contusions.
The darkly defined fingerprints on her right breast
sickened him. More than once during the long night he'd
thought of killing the one who had done this to her. That
was so unlike him. Dawson had never been the violent sort.
He abhorred conflict of any kind, which was why he'd
chosen animals as his patients. Dogs and cats were more
the what you see is what you get kinds of patients. They
rarely came with baggage, and they didn't hold grudges.
Even now, he wasn't sure what he'd expected when Alton had
called him, but it certainly hadn't been a beautiful young
woman who'd been beaten nearly to death.
He rested his fingers on her shoulder, one of the few
spots without the mottled black and blue and red from
bruises. Though he wasn't a religious man, his prayer was
Dear God. Let her live. Please, let her live.
Taking a deep breath, Dawson tried to ignore the rapid
pounding of his heart. For a brief moment, he thought of
all the laws he'd broken by treating a female victim of an
obvious assault. Any other medical doctor would have
followed the law and reported this to the police. Another
veterinarian would have made sure she was treated
properly, in a hospital for humans.
Then he bit back a nervous laugh. Who was he trying to
kid? She wasn't human. Maybe he hadn't broken any laws
after all, but after he'd looked at all her injuries and
realized how terribly she'd been hurt, Dawson had known
there was no question at all as to whether or not he'd do
whatever he could for her.
Now he could only hope his efforts had helped and not
harmed her. He gently touched a dark bruise on her cheek.
Thank goodness the facial bone was merely bruised, not
broken. Her bruises would fade, the ribs heal.
But what of her state of mind? A beating this horrific had
to leave more than bruises on the body. He'd learned that
these Lemurians healed much faster than humans. They were
obviously a lot tougher, too. Her injuries would have
killed a human woman.
But injuries such as these would definitely leave
emotional scars with a human. He had no idea how a
Lemurian might react to such terrible treatment.
Alton said she was a slave.
Then he'd really confused the issue when he told Dawson
that Lemurians were a free society, that they didn't
believe in slavery. He, Alton of Artigos, the son of
Lemuria's Chancellor, had not even known of the slaves'
Not until Roland, the sergeant of the Lemurian Guard had
taken it upon himself to follow up on rumors and search
for the women who called themselves the Forgotten Ones.
Roland had met Selyn and learned of their terrible
history. He'd offered Alton's promise to help the women,
and in turn, Selyn had agreed they would help Alton with
his plot to overthrow his father.
She'd been willing to risk everything for freedom.
Dawson sighed. He wished she were awake and could tell him
she would be okay, wished he knew for sure he'd done the
right thing by not taking her to a hospital. What a mess.
Obviously, there were things going on in Lemuria that were
every bit as convoluted as human politics.
And this young woman was unquestionably a hero.
A breathtakingly beautiful hero.
Dawson carefully pushed her tangled hair away from her
face and tucked the soft blanket around her badly beaten
body. He couldn't bear to look at her, to see such
perfection so terribly disfigured by someone's cruelty,
and it wasn't just the fact that her injuries made him so
No, it was even more unsettling. Her beauty and bravery
affected him on a most unexpected-and unprofessional-level.
He'd done all he could as a doctor with the detachment his
position required. Now that he'd finished, he realized he
saw her as any man would see a beautiful woman. Those dark
bruises and bloody contusions were a travesty, a horrible
insult to such perfection. He'd never seen anyone as
perfect as Selyn. Even battered and bruised, she was
Lovely and very brave-and right now, Dawson Buck was a
terribly conflicted doctor.
Never once in his life had he lusted after a patient.
Shaking his head with the convoluted stupidity of his
thoughts, Dawson quickly turned away from her bed. He left
the room, mumbling under his breath. â€śOf course you've
never lusted after a patient, you idiot. All the others
have four legs.â€ť