He is riding! the other women answered. "Rakh! Rakh! Rakh haj!" they proclaimed. A boy, a boy, a strong boy.
Bells rang, a sudden clangor of bronze birds. A deep-throated warhorn sounded its long low note. The old womenbegan to chant. Underneath their painted leather vests, their withered dugs swayed back and forth, shiny with oil and sweat. The eunuchs who served them threw bundles of dried grasses into a great bronze brazier, and clouds of fragrant smoke rose up toward the moon and the stars. The Dothraki believed the stars were horses made of fire, a great herd that galloped across the sky by night.
As the smoke ascended, the chanting died away and the ancient crone closed her single eye, the better to peer into the future. The silence that fell was complete. Dany could hear the distant call of night birds, the hissand crackle of the torches, the gentle lapping of water from the lake. The Dothraki stared at her with eyes ofnight, waiting.
Khal Drogo laid his hand on Dany's arm. She could feel the tension in his fingers. Even a khal as mighty as Drogo could know fear when the dosh khaleen peered into smoke of the future. At her back, her handmaids fluttered anxiously.