The Brothers Lionheart
” That sounded good, I thought.
“Though you’re still my old Rusky,” said Jonathan. “You know that, don’t you, little Karl?”
We were soon down in the village and went clattering down the village street on our horses. It wasn’t difficult to find out way, because we could hear laughter and talk from a long way away. And we saw the sign, too, with its large gilded cockerel’ oh yes, here was the Golden Cockerel, just like those friendly old inns you used to read about in books. The lights glowed in a friendly way through the windows and you really felt like trying out what it was like to go into an inn. I’d never done that before.
But first we rode into the yard and tied Grim and Fyalar up alongside a large number of other horses standing there. That was right what Jonathan had said about your needing a horse in Nangiyala. I think every single person in Cherry Valley had come riding in to the Golden Cockerel that evening. The tap room was packed with people when we went in. Men and women, large and small, everyone in the village was there, sitting and talking and enjoying themselves, although some of the little children had already fallen asleep on their parents’ laps.
What excitement there was when we came in.
“Jonathan!” they shouted. “Here’s Jonathan!”
The innkeeper himself--a large, red-cheeked, rather handsome man--shouted so he could be heard above all the noise.
‘Here’s Jonathan--no, here are the two Lionheart brothers, my goodness! Both of them!”
He came forward and swung me up on a table, so that everyone could see me, and I stood there feeling my face going red all over.
But Jonathan said:
“This is my beloved brother, Karl Lionheart, who was arrived at last. You must all be kind to him, just as kind as you are to me.”
“You can rely on that,” said the innkeeper, and he lifted me down again. But before he let me go, he held me in his arms for a while and I felt how strong he was.
“We two,” he said, “we’ll be good friends like Jonathan and me. My name’s Jossi. Though I’m mostly called the Golden Cockerel.