Chapter 6

by Martin the Warrior

Daniel glared at Trager, rage overtaking him. “You’re the fox who was at the Abbey! THAT SWORD BELONGS TO THE ABBEY DWELLERS!”

Realization dawned on Trager. Yes. This was the creature who saw him that night. “Hey, mates!” he called merrily to his army. “These babes seemed to be headin’ ta’ the quarry caves. I say we ‘elp ‘im in.”

Roars of agreement came from the army.

“Show ‘em the way through th’ caves, Trager!”

“Trager knows the way.”

The vermin bound the dibbuns paws and proceeded to the quarry pit. Trager strode up to the pit wall and drew Martin’s sword, embedding it into the rock. Trager heaved with all of his might. The rock moved, revealing a passageway carved into the stone.

“Take ‘em in!” Trager said with a grin on his face.

“The dibbuns are gone!” Alison cried with fright.

“Calm down, Alison,” William, the cellerkeeper said. “I’m sure they’re just hiding.”

Alison shook her head. “No. Daniel stopped hiding last autumn. Oh! I just know they’re in trouble.”

“Is Daniel the only one missing?” the abbot asked, walking up to the badger.

Alison shook her head. “No. Alfred is missing, too.”

“So, just Daniel and Alfred?”

Alison nodded.

“It’s my fault,” the old abbot said. “I was too harsh on them yesterday.”

Foremole waddled up, holding the tiny molebabe, Grummer. “Nay, koind zurr,” he said. “Those two ‘ad it cummun to ‘im.”

“Perhaps,” the abbot sighed. “It doesn’t matter now. Tell everyone that we have to find Alfred and Daniel.”

“An’ ‘unthur ‘n ‘onjer, too!” Grummer chimed in.

Everyone turned and looked at the molebabe.

“What about Gunthre and Gonjur?” Alison asked.

“They’m bi gonn’d,” Grummer answered merrily, skipping off to play by the abbey pond.

The four Redwallers ran off to form a search party.

Trager stopped at a fork in the cave. “That way,” he said, pointing left. “I’ll follow ya’ lot ta make sure none of the babes gits ‘way.”

The entire army paraded down the corridor. Once out of sight, Trager pulled a stone lever which dropped a boulder into place at the entrance of the left tunnel. Trager laughed and headed down the right corridor.

The left tunnel ended in a room with a giant lake in the center. The army dropped the prisoners as they stood, mystified. Suddenly, a hissing sound could be heard. Alfred looked and saw several adders emerge from the lake. “RUN!” he yelled to his friends.

“Over here!” Scamper called, motioning to a small crevice.

The dibbuns crawled in with their paws still bound.

Suddenly, Alfred cried out, “Look!”

The dibbuns did.

“What are those?” Gunthre asked, pointing to three daggers on the ground.

“I bet they were the daggers that Lord Boar gave to Gonff, Dinny and Log-a-Log, wot,” Gonjur said. “Those look like badger handiwork t’me, wot wot.”

Gunthre, Gonjur and Alfred each took a dagger. Alfred choosing Gonff’s, Gunthre choosing Log-a-Log’s and Gonjur choosing Dinny’s.

“Listen!” Frisk said. “The screamings stopped.”

“You’re right!” Gunthre said. “But, the hissing hasn’t, and it’s coming this way!”

Suddenly, a stone door opened. A young male, brown furred mouse stood there. He wore a dusty, multi-layered tunic and a small bulging backpack slung across his shoulders. He also had three swords. Two were slung behind him between his pack and his back, the other was at his side, bound to his belt. “My name is Erin the Swordmaker,” he said, “And I want to help you recover the fabled sword of Martin the Warrior.”