Zedd tries to persuade Kahlan to give up the secret of how she gets her hair so shiny but she's reluctant to tell him a Confessor "Trade Secret"

"Kahlan," Zedd said.

Kahlan stood. She'd been filling their waterskins at the river while Richard and Cara were readying the horses.

"What is it?"

The wizard approached her, looking deadly serious. He put one hand on her shoulder. "Kahlan, I just…"

"What is it?" she asked earnestly. "You can tell me anything."

He frowned. "I rather need you to tell me something."

"What, Zedd?"

His fingers moved to touch a strand of her sleek black hair.

"How do you get your hair to look so good?"

Kahlan took a step backward. "What?"

"Your hair!" Zedd gestured. "Look at it. It's all smooth and shiny, and it smells so good."

"You smell my hair?" Kahlan squealed.

"Oh, everyone can smell your hair," Zedd grumbled. "It smells like springtime everytime you walk past. And it bounces about your shoulders as if it's alive. And it's so strong; I think it knocked one of those D'Haran soldiers out when we were fighting yesterday."

Kahlan smiled proudly and ran her fingers through the aforementioned tresses. "It is very good hair," she admitted.

"Look at mine," Zedd complained. "I've tried everything. It's been terrible since I came back to the Midlands. The weather here doesn't agree with it anymore. Back in Hartland I'd wash it, let it dry in the sun, maybe a little lavender oil…but here? Limp and lifeless." He tugged at his offending locks.

"Oh. I didn't know you felt so strongly about it," Kahlan said.

"Well I do. Now, spill. What is the secret of having such great hair? Whatever you and Darken Rahl use, I want some."

Kahlan shook her head. "I don't know what Rahl uses, but I don't have any secret. It's naturally like this."

Zedd snorted. "Don't play coy with me, Confessor. If that's natural, I'm a Mord'Sith!"

Kahlan shook her head. "I can't tell you, Zedd. Trade secret. Confessors only. If Rahl knows, he probably had it tortured out of some poor Confessor."

"I won't tell anyone," Zedd wheedled. "Please, Kahlan."

"I can't. I'm sorry."

"What if I guess?" Zedd suggested.

Kahlan crouched back down to finish filling the waterskins. "I suppose that might be all right," she said at last.

"Is it lavender oil?"


"Is it pig fat?"

"Ew," Kahlan said. "No."

Zedd thought a moment. "Is it mucous from the snout of the Turnwise lizard?"

"Certainly not!" Kahlan glanced askance at him. "You haven't actually tried that, have you?"

Ignoring the question, Zedd snapped his fingers. "It's ale, isn't it?"

"No. And I know you tried that one, because you didn't rinse it out properly and Richard kept asking me if I thought you were drunk." Kahlan stood and handed Zedd his waterskin. "Give it up. You'll never guess."

Zedd sighed. "I know it's ridiculous, vanity at my advanced age; it's only that I know it's my best feature, now. Richard has his muscles and you have your cleavage, and I just have my limp, lifeless hair."

Kahlan sighed. "You're such a hustler," she scolded.

"But you'll tell me?" he asked with a mischievous grin.

Kahlan glanced around to make sure no-one else was listening, then leant on Zedd's shoulder and whispered furiously into his ear. Zedd's face went blank, then his eyes widened in surprise.

"Really?" he asked, sceptically, as Kahlan stepped away.


Kahlan led the way back to the camp, Zedd trailing after her.

"What's that smell?" Richard asked in disgust, two days later.

"I don't smell anything," Zedd snapped. He glared at Kahlan.

"No, I smell it too," she said. She could barely suppress the laughter that was bubbling up in her chest.

Richard looked around him, and checked the soles of his boots. "It's foul."

"Perhaps we should take an hour or so to bathe," Kahlan suggested and looked at Zedd. "Wash our hair."

Richard nodded and went over to his horse, lifting its tail to see if that was the source of the stench.

"This is your fault," Zedd seethed, pointing a finger at Kahlan.

"You really think I'd give away a trade secret like that?" Kahlan asked. "Guess again."

"You'll be sorry, Confessor," Zedd said sulkily and went to wash his hair in the river.

"Bring it on," Kahlan said. "Me and my hair are ready any time you are!"