- Brian Jacques
Alison and Abbot Cornelius listened intently as Spearwing the Sparrow Queen related what her scout had seen.
“Do you mean to tell me that Daniel, Alfred, Gonjur, and Gunthre have been captured by vermin and that horde of vermin is heading to attack here tonight?” asked Alison.
“Thatta what sparra scout say” answered Spearwing.
“This is terrible!” exclaimed the abbot. “We’re going to be attacked by a horde and four of our dibbuns who are their slaves!”
“Don’t forget those three otters and the mouse that were with them,” added Alison.
“Thank you for warning us, Spearwing,” Abbot Cornelius said, “I think it’d be best if you return to your tribe now.”
“Sparras help wormmice fight horde,” Spearwing said, and with that, she flew off.
Daniel was curious about what Scamper, Erin, and Forte had been talking about all morning, ever since being recaptured. When they had finally finished their conference, they told Frisk and the dibbuns what they had planned.
“We’re going to escape today, mateys.” said Scamper. “Just follow our lead and we’ll be out of here in no time.”
“How?” Daniel, Alfred, Gonjur, and Gunthre all yelled in unison. “Nachoon failed and they’re on their guard now!”
“You just leave that to us, mateys,” Forte said. “All we’ve got to do now is wait until the horde is gone, and all that’s left are guards.”
“The horde is gone.” Daniel said. “But, they left many guards, thanks to the episode this morning!”
“Right you are,” Forte said, “but, we have to wait a while so the guards can’t alert the rest. They won’t be able to surround us this time!”
“How are we going to warn the search parties of the horde?” Alison voiced aloud.
“I don’t know, Alison, I don’t know,” the Abbot replied.
“No need to, chaps, we’re here already,” came the voice of the gallant hare, Felcore. “The lovely sparrow queen sent her troops to tell us the bad news.”
“Thank the seasons she thought of that!” the Abbot said.
“Well, I’d best be off to get our men training for a battle,” Felcore said. “Just thought I’d tell you chaps we were here.”
“Wait, Felcore, there must be some way around unnecessary bloodshed,” the Abbot said, worriedly. “They’re seasoned killers, and we’re peaceful creatures, not used to fighting. Even though we probably outnumber them 2 to 1, we wouldn’t stand a chance.”
“I know what ya mean, Abbot, but there doesn’t seem to be any other way out,” Felcore said, gravely, and out the door he went to find recruits.
At about midday, Forte was satisfied that Trager and his horde were out of range to hear the guards. He then set about finding sharp rocks to cut the chains with.
Once their chains had been cut, they looked around to see the guards left behind, every one of them dozing off to sleep. Then, Erin spotted their weapons.
“Look, over there, it’s our weapons,” Erin whispered.
None of the guards budged an inch as they crept over and got their weapons.
One of the guards woke suddenly to find himself secured tightly in chains, with two other guards close by, sound asleep. When Erin saw one of the guards had awakened, he came over, followed closely by the rest of the group.
“Where’s that otter that the wolf showed us yesterday?” Erin demanded.
“O..over there, behind those rocks,” the guard stammered out.
“Come on,” Erin said.
As they crept around the rocks, they found the otter fast asleep.
“Psst, wake up.” Forte said as he shook the otter to wakefulness.
“Who’s there?” the otter said, half awake.
“We’re escaping, would you like to join us, mate?” Scamper asked.
Suddenly, the otter came fully awake, staring at the escapers.
“Escape?!”, she yelled.
“Yes, we’ve already got the guards chained up, and the horde’s left to go attack our abbey,” Daniel said, as Erin started picking the lock with his sword blade.