- Brian Jacques
It was about noon. The sun was at its highest peak, and shining merrily down upon the friends and thier captors. The birds could not be heard, and there was utter silence except for the whistling of wind ruffling the leaves, that clung to the trees as if for dear life. The whole of taht morning, the entire horde had sat around, licking, and tending to the wounds that the short, yet deadly battles of the day before, had inflicted upon them.
Trager had long before lain down to rest. His eyes closed, breath comming evenly., he felt at peace. He had what he wanted, the sword of Martin was his, and new prisoners into the bargain! Could a hordes commander have a better week? Perhaps. . . . .ownership of an abbey came to mind. A slow smile spread its way across his features, as dreams of riches and coquest raced through his mind.
Daniel blinked. The sun shone full on his face, and his throat was parched. He tried to swallow, which resutled ina coughing fit and a reprimand from a nearby guard, “You there! Keep quiet, or else.” Then the stoat continued on his way, muttering under his breath.
Daniel sighed, and momentarily raised his eyes heavenward.
Daniel found himself being nudged in his ribs by Scamper, who was chained to Frisk, and laying on the ground next to him, eyes closed, feigning sleep. His voice was abrley above a whisper, but Daniel could make it out clear enough.
“Lay yerself down, and pretend to be sleepin.”
The young mouse lay back and closed his eyes. Slowly he felt himself drifting off, then felt another nudge.
“Don’t fall asleep matey!” There was a hint of laughter in the otters voice, but Daniel could tell that he was serious. He opened his eyes, and rubbed them with a grimy paw, which was hard considering his paws were bound in front of him. Hot tears of frustration and anger coursed openly from his eyes. Scamper heard Daniel’s muffled tears, and opened his eyes. He wanted to comfort him, but chained as he was, with his paws bound tightly behind him this was impossible. He gritted his teeth, and tried to sound calm.
Daniel tried to regain control of himself, but nevertheless his voice shook uncontrollably. He glanced at Scamper out of the corner of his eye, and the sight of the brave otter, bound to his twin, yet sounding so cheerful, and still managing to look grim at the same moment, helped to bring Daniel back round. Scamper nodded knowingly, “I know its hard. But most things are. If we want to git through this one, were all gonna have to look on the bright side, and stay positive. No use givin in here mate. That lets down yore gaurd, and gives the enemy easy entry. The last thing ye want.”
The young mouse smiled ruefully at the otter, and rubbed his eyes again, clearing them of tears.
“I hear you, and I’m tryin my hardest, sir.”
“Don’t you sir me!” A large smile spread across Scamper’s face, and he turned his head and lay back down upon the solid earth. Daniel followed suite.
It was getting dark. There was nothing but a tiny sliver of a moon to be seen through the break in the trees. Frisk shuddered in his sleep, and turned over, dragging Scamper along with him, who was to tired to notice. All of the friends sat, or lay, leaning against the others for support. The dubbins snoring loudly. The only one of the party awake was The Sword Maker. He sat, leaning against Forte, eyes closed, but ears perked up, waiting for the right moment. A group of hordes members sat around a campfire, heating apples on wooden scewers that were placed over the flame. An unfortunate ferret by the name of Rugba wasn’t paying attention as he cooked his apple, he was busy talking with a group of stoats about past ventures.
“Remember when we were up north matey?”
“Aye, when we met those crows. The put up a fair fight mates, but none were a match for us!” The stoat who had just spoke stood, and flashed a wide smile, and made a fist and leaned over, as if daring the invisible enemy to attack at will. The company laughed. Rugba leaned too close toward the fire, and his sleeve caught on fire. He jumped up, with a yelp of surprise, and dropped his apple into the flames. All the corsairs fell about laughing, as the unfortunate ferret rolled about on the ground, trying to extinguish the flames that spread quickly. A weasel who had been sitting in a nother group, grabbed a bucket of water that they had pulled from a nearby stream, and doused Rugba with its contents.
Rugba sat up, and shook himself, trying to gain back his lost dignity. Rugba took the paw that one of the horde was holding out to help him up. The moment he did, he regretted it. he felt himself wrenched from the ground, and himself danling in midair, staring directly into the eyes of Trager. Rugba gulped loudly.
Trager pulled the luckless ferret close to his face, and dug his claws into Rugba’s skin. “Be carefully what your doing, ferret.” Then tossed Rugba roughly aside. He glared at the others.
“Tomarrow, we attack the abbey, known as Redwall.” An evil grin was plastered upon his face. He placed one footpaw on top of Rugba’s body, using him as a foot rest. ” We will leave at the crack of dawn, and camp outside the abbey, then attack during the night.” Here he paused momentarily.” Remember. There are to be no fires, and no noise. We need the elemnt of surprise. If that is lost, then nothing will save the creature who causes the disturbance. A skinning alive might bring the joy back into my life.” The smile grew until he held the entire hordes attention. “And plunder and riches for all!” This brought a great cheer from the assembly. Apple cores were flung into the air, and anything unedible was sent along with it. Trager helped Rugba up off the ground and went back to his place beside the fire. He took a sip of pure red wine, and leaned back against a tree. He knew it would take awhile for the horde to settle itself down, but he would let them do that at thier own pace.
Only Erin The Sword Maker heard these words spoken by Trager The Beast.