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The Brothers Lionheart

Now it was my turn to creep through the hole, but I didn’t get that far, for then we heard the screech of the gate and it was as if all the energy ran out of me and I couldn’t move at all.

“Quick, quick, the lantern!” gasped Jonathan, and I handed it to him, although my hands were shaking. The lantern had to be hidden; the slightest glimmer would betray us.

The black escorts---they were already in the cavern, and more Tengilmen with lanterns in their hands. It grew terrifyingly light, but over in our corner it was dark and Jonathan bent down and grabbed my arms and pulled me through the hole into that dark passage behind, and there we lay, all three of us panting and listening to their cries.

“He’s gone! He’s gone!”

Chapter 14

That night we carried Orvar through hell. Jonathan did. He dragged Orvar through hell; there was no other way of describing it. I only managed to drag myself, and only just that.

“He’s gone! He’s gone!” they had cried, and when silence fell, we expected them to pursue us, but they didn’t. Yet even Tengilmen must have been able to reckon that there was a way out of Katla Cavern through which we had gone, and that wouldn’t have been all that difficult to find. But they were cowardly, the Tengilmen, daring to face the enemy when in a herd, but not daring to be the first to crawl into a narrow passageway where an unknown enemy was lying in wait. No, they must have been too cowardly, for otherwise why had they let us get away so easily? No one had ever escaped from Katla Cavern before, and how would they explain Orvar’s flight to Tengil, I wondered? But that was their problem; we had quite enough of our own. Not until we had dragged ourselves through the long narrow passageway did we dare stop for a while to get our breathe back, which we had to for Orvar’s sake. Jonathan gave him goat’s milk, which was sour, and bread, which was wet, but even so, Orvar said:

“I’ve never had a better meal.”

Jonathan rubbed Orvar’s long legs to bring some life back into them and be began to revive, though the couldn’t walk, only crawl.

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