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The Brothers Lionheart

How many horses will Tengil give me for that when he marches into Cherry Valley?”

That’ll be something to see, I thought. Oh, Jossi so you’re going home to lure Kalle Lionheart into an ambush, are you? But if he’s no longer in Cherry Valley, what will you do then?

In the middle of all this wretchedness, I was cheered by the thought of how crestfallen Jossi would be when he found out that I had disappeared.

But then Jossi said:

“Little Kalle Lionheart, he’s nice, but he’s certainly no lion. There’s no more easily scared little weakling. Hareheart would be a better name for him.”

Yes, I knew myself that I could never be at all brave and that I shouldn’t be called Lionheart like Jonathan. But all the same, it was terrible to heat Jossi say it. I felt ashamed as I lay there, and I thought that I must, must, try to be a little braver, but not just now when I was so afraid.

Jossi at last stopped. He had no more scoundrelly things to boast about, so he got up.

“I must be home before daybreak,” he said.

They went on exhorting him until the last moment.

“Make sure you do something about Sofia and that little brother,” said Veder.

“Rely on me,” said Jossi. “But you mustn’t do the boy any harm. Because I care for him a little.”

Thank you, I’ve noticed that, I thought.

“And then don’t forget the password if you bring news into Wild Rose Valley,” said Kader. “If you want to be let in alive!”

“All power to Tengil, our liberator,” said Jossi. “No, I remember that day and night. And Tengil, he won’t forget his promise to me, will he?”

He had already mounted, ready to leave.

“Jossi, Chieftain of Cherry Valley,” he said. “Tengil promised me that I would be that; he won’t forget, will he?”

“Tengil forgets nothing,” said Kader.

And then Jossi rose away, disappearing the same way he had come, and Veder and Kader sat there watching him go.

“That man,” said Veder. “He’ll go to Katla when we’ve finished with Cherry Valley.”

He said it so that you knew what it meant to fall into Katla’s power.

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