The Brothers Lionheart
Every time Sofia came, she said:
“Here’s my savior! I didn’t forget to thank you, did I, Karl?”
Then Orvar said each time that I was the hero of Wild Rose Valley, but I could only think about Jossi out in the dark waters and feel sad.
Sofia also arranged for a supply of bread for Wild Rose Valley. It was brought over the mountains from Cherry Valley in wagons and was smuggled through the underground passage. Mathias went around with a pack on his back and in secret, shared it among the houses. I hadn’t known before that people could be made so happy with nothing but a little bit of bread. Now I saw it, because I went with Mathias on his walks, and I saw how the people in the valley were suffering and I heard them talk about the battle they were longing for so much.
I was frightened of that day, and yet I almost began to long for it in the end, I too, for it was unbearable to go on waiting, and dangerous, Jonathan said.
“You can’t keep so much so secret for so long,” he said to Orvar. “Our dream of liberation could be crushed so easily.”
He was certainly right in that. It needed only one Tengilman to find that underground passage, or a renewed search of houses, for Jonathan and Orvar to be discovered in the hideout. I shuddered at the very thought of it.
But the Tengilmen must have been both blind and deaf, or they would surely have noticed something. If they had listened just a little, they would have been able to hear how that storm of liberation was beginning to rumble, the storm that was soon going to shake the whole of Wild Rose Valley. But they didn’t.
The night before the day of the battle, I was lying in my sofa-bed, unable to sleep because of the storm outside, and because of my own anxiety. It had been decided hat the battle would start at dawn the next morning. Orvar and Jonathan and Mathias were sitting at the table talking about it, and I was lying there listening. Orvar spoke the most; he talked and talked, his eyes glowing.