The Stranger
Words by Andy and Beth Wheeler
Music by Beth Wheeler
(Inspired by Roger Zelazny's Amber novels*)

		I wouldn't believe the story if I told it to myself
		It started on that morning I woke on that rocky shelf
		I stared in wonder at the bag of money next to me
		And tried to piece together some of last night's memory:
		I sat inside the bar playing cards with all the guys
		I won and won, and smiled as I watched their tempers rise
		That little guy across from me put up an awful fight
		But I knew this wasn't going to be that Jack of Diamond's night

I told that little guy to lay down his final hand That's all I can remember before waking in this land As I climbed down, the green horizon took me by surprise I stared into an olive sun and tried to shade my eyes I searched a while in silence for a friend in this strange place And then I saw him coming, riding at a frantic pace The figure of a horseman with a dust cloud at his heel I shouted, and he halted in response to my appeal
I stared as he dismounted for his clothes seemed strange to me It looked as though he'd dressed up as a Shakespeare refugee His garments shone with blackness and around them hung a cloak He frowned at me and drew a breath, but waited till I spoke I said, "Can you please tell me where I am and how I came?" He answered, "Funny, I was just about to do the same. I thought you were a native and I'm looking for an inn So sit and tell your story, I can't wait till you begin."
I told what I'd remembered and a smile creased his face He said, "It's odd we've met so far from your own time and place You remind me of my brother, he's a gambler just like you But I must be going now for I have many things to do Just as he was speaking, black clouds cut across the sky The rain came pouring down and the thunder roared on high We backed into a little cave I hadn't seen before And he offered me a smoke and we both settled on the floor
We talked a while and waited for the rain to die away He told me such strange tales that I didn't know what to say Of far-off cities where the laws of physics did not stand Of plains and towns and rivers, and of mountains tall and grand I smiled quite politely, but I didn't believe a word But noticed that he played with the hilt of his silver sword As if in reminiscence, an odd character, I knew He caught my eye and shrugged as if he thought that I was, too
The rain died down, the thunder did not rumble quite as hard He reached into his pocket and pulled out a single card I saw a mountain city with spires green and gold And thought I saw it grow and become solid in his hold He said, "If you would like to go home I can take you back And I can find it easily although there's not a track." I said, "No thanks, I've nothing to go back to in my land." So he said, "My name is Corwin," and he reached to take my hand


*If you've read the first series, you have no excuse for not knowing who the "Jack of Diamonds" is... and we know he never cheats at cards, but it doesn't mean that he wouldn't get even...

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