I was just dipping into Suldrun's Garden last night, and I came to the part where Aillas is asking Persilian how to find his son Dhrun, whose existence
has been revealed to him by Suldrun's ghost:
Aillas spoke with great caution, lest inadvertently he phrase a casual remark in the form of a question. "I may ask you three questions, then no more."
"You may ask a fourth question. I will answer, but then I will be free. You have already asked one question."
Aillas spoke carefully: "I want to find my son Dhrun, take him into my custody, then return with him quickly and safely to Troicinet. Tell me how best to do this."
"That is essentially three questions."
"Very well," said Aillas. "Tell me how to find my son."
"Only that?" cried Aillas. "Two words and no more?"
"The reply is adequate" said Persilian and would say no more.
Hey wait just a darned minute! I count two additional questions here, carelessly uttered by Aillas in his exasperation with Persilian's cryptic advice: Only that? and Two words and no more? (the answers being Yes and Yes, or indeed 'The reply is adequate').
Apparently, neither Aillas, nor the supposedly crafty and punctilious Persilian, nor indeed Jack Vance himself seems to notice this lapse.
But isn't it difficult to believe that Vance would miss such an obvious gaffe, particularly after warning against it several lines earlier? Is Jack messing with our heads?