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

The Brothers Lionheart

The man with the red beard--what was his name, now? Hubert?

“Oh, so you’ve been to see Sofia,” said Hubert. “What have you been doing there?”

“Weeding her garden,” said Jonathan, holding up his muddy fingers. “And you, are you out hunting?” he said, for Hubert has his bow in front of him on the pommel of his saddle.

“Yes, I’m going to get myself a couple of rabbits,” said Hubert.

I thought of our small rabbits at home, and I was glad when Hubert trotted his horse away, so that I no longer had to see him.

“Hubert,” I said to Jonathan. “What do you think of him?”

Jonathan thought for a while.

“He’s the best marksman in the whole of Cherry Valley.”

He didn’t say anything else but urged on his and we rode on.

Jonathan had taken Paloma’s message with him, pushed into a little leather bad under his shirt, and when we got home he put the piece of paper into the secret drawer in the sideboard. But first I was allowed to read what was on it, and this is what it said: “Orvar was caught yesterday and is now imprisoned Katla Cavern. Someone in Cherry Valley must have betrayed his hiding place. You have a traitor there. Find out who.”

“Find out who,” said Jonathan. “I wish I could.”

There was more in the message but it was written in some secret language that I didn’t understand, and Jonathan said I needn’t know it. It was just something Sofia had to know about.

But he showed me how to open the secret drawer. I was allowed to open it and close it several times. Then he closed it himself and locked the sideboard and put the key back in the mortar.

All the day I thought about what I’d been told, and that night I didn’t sleep very well. I dreamt about Tengil and dead pigeons and the prisoner in Katla Cavern and I cried out in my sleep, that it woke me up.

And then--believe it or not--then I saw someone standing in the dark corner over by the sideboard, someone who was frightened when I cried out and vanished like a dark shadow through the door, before I’d even woken up properly.

It all happened so quickly that I almost thought I’d dreamt it all, but Jonathan didn’t think so when I woke him and told him.

“Oh, no, Rusky, that was no dream,” he said. “That was certainly no dream but the traitor!

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