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

The Brothers Lionheart

Sofia made him let me go, but she wasn’t pleased with me.

“Karl, it’s dreadful to call a person a traitor when it isn’t true. But you’re too young to know what you’ve just said.”

Hubert just laughed quietly.

“I thought I was the traitor. I, who know so much and like white horses, or whatever it was you wrote on the kitchen wall at home.”

“Yes, Karl, you hurl your accusations in all directions,” said Sofia sternly. “You must stop doing that.”

“I’m sorry, Hubert,” I said.

“Well, what about Jossi?” said Sofia.

“I won’t say I’m sorry for calling a traitor a traitor,” I said.

But I couldn’t get them to believe me. It was dreadful when I realized that. They wanted to go on with Jossi. They were bringing their own misfortune on themselves, whatever I tried to do to stop them.

“He’s leading you into a trap!” I cried. “I know he is. I know! Ask him about Veder and Kader, whom he meets up in the mountains. And ask him how he betrayed Orvar!”

Jossi looked as if he wanted to rush at me again, but he controlled himself.

“Can’t we get going now,” he said, “or are we to risky everything because of this boy’s lies?”

He gave me a look full of hatred.

“And I liked you once,” he said.

“I once liked you, too,” I said.

I could see how scared he was beneath his rage. He really was in a hurry now, because he had to have Sofia captured and imprisoned before the truth dawned on her, otherwise his own life would be in question.

What a relief it must have been to him that Sofia didn’t want to know the truth. She trusted Jossi and had always done so. And I, who had accused first one person and then another, how could she believe me?

“Come on now, Karl,” she said. “I’ll sort all this out with you later.”

“There’ll be no ‘later’ if you go with Jossi,” I said.

I wept then. Nangiyala could not afford to lose Sofia, and here I was unable to save her, because she didn’t want to be saved.

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