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The Brothers Lionheart

And you can come to the Golden Cockerel whenever you like, don’t forget that, Karl Lionheart.”

Sofia was sitting there too, at a table all on her own, and Jonathan and I sat down with her. She was glad of that, I think. She smiled kindly and asked what I thought of my horse and wondered whether Jonathan could come and help her in the garden some day. But then she sat there in silence, and I noticed that she was worried about something. I noticed something else, too. Everyone sitting there in the tap room looked almost a little reverently at Sofia, and when someone got up to go, he always bowed first toward out table, just as if there were something special about her, though I couldn’t understand why. She was sitting there in her simple clothes, with a shawl over her head and her brown work-roughened hands in her lap, like any ordinary peasant woman. What was it that was remarkable about her?

It was fun at the inn. We sang lots of songs, some of which I knew beforehand, and some of which I had never heard before, but everyone was happy. Or were they? Sometimes I had a feeling that they had some secret troubles, just like Sofia. It was as if occasionally happened to think about something else, something they were afraid of. But Jonathan had said that life was easy and simple here in Cherry Valley, so what were think afraid of? Oh, well, between times, they were happy, they sang and laughed and everyone was good friends and liked each other, it seemed. But I think they liked Jonathan best. And Sofia, they liked her, too, I think.

Though afterward, when we were going home, Jonathan and I, and we were going out into the yard to get our horses, I asked:

“Jonathan, what is it that’s so special about Sofia?”

Then we heard a grumpy voice beside us say:

“Exactly! What is there so special about Sofia, I’ve often wondered.”

It was dark in the yard, so I couldn’t see who was speaking. But suddenly, he stepped forward into the light from the window, and I recognized a man who had sat near us in the inn, a man with red, curly hair and a little red beard.

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