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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Astrid Lindgren > Fairy tale "The Brothers Lionheart"

The Brothers Lionheart

Yes, Orvar was one of those brave, strong people just like Jonathan. I was the only one who wasn’t at all brave. But when we’d mounted and I was sitting there with my arms around Jonathan’s waist and my forehead leaning against his back, it was as if a little of his strength came through to me and I was less afraid. And yet I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful it’d be if we didn’t always have to be strong and brave like this. If only we could be together again like during those first few days in Cherry Valley. Oh, how long ago it seemed now.

Then we set out on our journey. We rode towards the sunset, for the bridge was in that direction. The paths were many and confusing in the mountains of Karmanyaka and no one but Jonathan could have found the right way in such a maze, but he managed in some strange way, fortunately for us.

I watched out for Tengilmen until my eyes ached, but none appeared, only Orvar riding behind us in his horrible helmet and black cloak. I felt a stab of fear ever time I happened to turn my head and see him, so frightened I had become of those helmets and everyone who wore them.

We rode and rode and nothing happened. It was so calm and peaceful and beautiful all the way. A still evening in the mountains, you could call it, I thought. If only it hadn’t been so untrue. Anything might appear in all that stillness and peacefulness, and all we felt was a kind of horrible excitement; even Jonathan was anxious and on his guard every moment.

“As long as we get to the bridge,” he said, “then the worst will be over.”

“How soon can we get there?” I asked.

“Within half an hour, if all goes well,” said Jonathan.

But that was when we saw them, a troop of Tengilmen, six men with spears, on black horses, appearing where the path curved around a mountain wall and trotting straight toward us.

“Now our lives are at stake,” said Jonathan. “Move up, Orvar!”

Orvar rode quickly up beside us, and Jonathan flung his reins over to him, so that we should look a little more like prisoners.

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