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

The Brothers Lionheart

They hadn’t seen us yet, but it was too late to escape. There was nowhere to escape to, either. All we could do was to keep riding, hoping that Orvar’s cloak and helmet would deceive them.

“I’ll never give myself up alive,” said Orvar. “I want you to know that, Lionheart.”

As calmly as we could, we rode toward our enemies, getting nearer and nearer. Prickles were running down my spine, and I had time to think that if we were caught now, we might just as well have stayed in Katla Cavern and avoided the torment of a long night to no avail.

Then we met. They reined in their horses in order to pass us on the narrow path, and I saw that the leading rider was an old acquaintance, none other than Park.

But Park didn’t look at us. he was looking at Orvar, and just as they passed each other, he said:

“Have you heard if they’ve found him yet?”

“No, I’ve heard nothing,” said Orvar.

“Where are you going?” said Park.

“I’ve got a couple of prisoners,” said Orvar. Park was given no more information and we rode on as fast as we dared.

“Turn around carefully, Rusky, and see what they’re doing,” said Jonathan, and I did as I was asked.

“They’re riding away,” I said.

“Thank goodness,” said Jonathan.

But he had spoken too soon, for now I saw that they had stopped and were all looking back at us.

“They’ve begun to think,” said Jonathan.

That was clearly what had happened.

“Stop a moment!” shouted Park. “Here, I want to take a closer look at you and your prisoners.”

Orvar clenched his teeth.

“Ride on, Jonathan,” he said. “Otherwise we’re head men.”

And we rode on.

Then Park and the whole troop turned around; yes, they turned and came after us so fast that the manes of their horses were fluttering.

“Now, Grim, show them what you can do,” said Jonathan.

And you too, my Fyalar, I thought, wishing that I myself was riding him.

No one had better steeds than Grim and Fyalar, who now flew along the path, knowing that it was a matter of life or death.

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