Chapter 9

by Bankrose

Daniel awoke, and then instantly regretted it. He found himself chained to Alfred, who was still snoring, which was probably just as well. Suddenly, somebeast kicked him in the darkness and called out, “One of ‘em’s comin’ around, sire!”

Trager the Beast stepped over the peacefully slumbering woodlanders and peered down at Daniel.

“Well, well, well,” The great Timber wolf growled, “What have we got here?”

Daniel struggled with his chains as he replied fearlessly, “I am Daniel of Redwall and I’ve come to take back the sword of Martin which you stole!”

Trager bent down until Daniel could feel the wolf’s hot breath on his face.

“You’re in no such position to do such a thing. You’re on my slave line now, and the sword is mine!”

Trager stood up and turned to face his army.

“Ayla! Bring that rotten otter here!”

A young female wolf stepped forward with an otter on a lead. The otter was thrashing about wildly, trying to pull away, but the strength of a wolf is not to be reckoned with. The wolf called Ayla pushed her captive down on the ground in front of Trager, and Daniel noticed that the poor otter was a female.

“Do you know this creature?” Trager asked Daniel. The dibbun shook his head, but at that moment the otter cried out, “Ah, leave the dibbun alone, you great brute. You can only attack chained creatures, I’ve seen you. You’re so yellow you’d be invisible if you stood in a field of dandelions! You’re a coward, a plain coward, sure as my name is Tigerlily Streamflower Lakepaw!”

Ayla dragged the yelling creature away roughly, and Trager snarled in anger.

“That stupid beast knows nothing, yet she holds the secret of Mossflower!”

Daniel was curious, despite himself, “Secret of Mossflower?”

Trager kicked him viciously and said, “Who gave you permission to speak? Ah, well, there’s more than one way to skin an otter! Ayla, fetch me Skintain the Torturer!”

A few hours later, when all of Daniel’s friends had woken up, they heard the screams of the unfortunate female otter. They were at Trager’s mercy, but one vital question was whizzing about inside Daniel’s head, and it wouldn’t go away. What really¬†was¬†the secret of Mossflower?