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The Brothers Lionheart

It was so terrible and sad to stand there in the dusk, watching and knowing that Jossi was quite along and helpless out there in the swirling waters. We saw him come up once on the crest of a wave, then he sank again and we saw no more of him.

It was almost dark now as the river of The Ancient Rivers took Jossi and carried him off to Karma Falls.

Chapter 15

The day of the battle, the day everyone had been waiting for, came at last. There was a storm over Wild Rose Valley that day, so that trees were bent over and broken. But it wasn’t that kind of storm Orvar had meant when he had said:

“The storm of liberation will come, and it will break the oppressors, as when a tree breaks and falls. It will go forward with a roar, sweeping away our slavery and finally freeing us again!”

He had spoken like that in Mathias’s kitchen, to which people had come in secret to hear him and see him; yes, they wanted to see him and Jonathan.

“You two, you are our comfort and our hope, you are all we have,” they said when they came creeping to Mathias’s house in the evenings, although they knew how dangerous it was.

“Because they want to hear about the storm of liberation just as children want to hear sagas,” said Mathias.

The day of the battle was the only thing they thought about or longed for now. This was not all that strange, for after Orvar’s escape, Tengil had grown crueller than ever, every day finding new ways of tormenting and punishing Wild Rose Valley, which was why they hated him even more passionately than before and why even more weapons were being forged in the valley.

From Cherry Valley, more and more freedom fighters came to help. Sofia and Hubert had an army camp in the deepest depths of the forest, near Elfrida. Sofia sometimes came through the underground passage at night, and in Mathias’s kitchen they made their battle plans, she and Orvar and Jonathan.

I lay there, listening to them, as I was sleeping on the sofa-bed in the kitchen, now that Orvar needed a place in the hideout.

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Category: English folktales
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