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"I only know that certain steps, gestures and postures place me here, with you. I hoped that a certain posture would bring you into my time. It did."
Mathis opened his mouth to speak and felt her invisible finger stopping his lips.
"Daniel," she said, "I wouldn't want you to investigate on your own. I do not know what the consequences might be."
"Fine, I won't, but let me ask you--what if it's a cloudy day? What if one of us stays too long and it gets dark? Are we trapped forever in another time or crushed in a black universe?"
"My, you're an alarmist. No. No actual time passes. You stand in the light for a very short time."
"I understood that. And in order for it to work, it does have to be a sunny day in your time and in mine?"
"An interval of sunlight in both. Yes, that is what creates the River."
"So, we can't be stranded in the other's time, or ripped to shreds if we're traveling the River when a cloud flies over."
"What a dreadful thought. No, I don't believe so."
"What about diseases? I mean, couldn't I bring germs or viruses into your culture, something that could be lethal in your time?"
"No. I've had neuralgia and dyspepsia and, when I entered the River, into your world, I was healthy. And one time I had a cut on my arm. When I entered your world, it was healed. When I returned to my own, it was still there. And..."
He could tell she was blushing. "Go ahead," he said. "Tell."
"I don't think I can get babies, from what we're doing."
"Ooh, good point, wench." He tickled her. She fought him. Soon they were on the floor. It's not easy wrestling an invisible woman, and sureenough, Dan Mathis lost. When she had him firmly pinned, he asked her, "Who are you? Tell me."
"But you live in the house, in that time," he prompted. "Clearly."
"Aha. See, what I'll do is, I'll listen to all the voices of the women there, and I will match your voice."
"You may try, but I believe that my voice sounds quite different, carried on the River, than it does in life."
"Why can't I know who you are?"
"Because you would be disappointed."
"No, I wouldn't."
"Hell I would. Station and class and money don't present the barriers they do in your time. We don't have those prejudices."