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The Brothers Lionheart

“In Wild Rose Valley,” I said.

Because Karl Lionheart lived in Cherry Valley and I would rather die than tell them who I was.

“Who are your parents?” asked Veder.

“I live with...with my grandfather,” I said.

“What’s his name?” said Veder.

“I just call him Grandfather,” I said, making myself out to be even stupider.

“Where does he live in Wild Rose Valley?” said Veder.

“In a ...little white house,” I said, for I thought that the houses in Wild Rose Valley would probably be white, as they are in Cherry Valley.

“You can show us that grandfather and that white house,” said Veder. “Up on that horse with you.”

So we rose away and just then the sun rose behind Nangiyala’s mountains. The sky was ablaze with burning fire and the mountain peaks were shining. I have never in my whole life seen anything more beautiful, anything more colossal, and if I hadn’t had Kader and the black rump of his horse straight in front of me, I would have been jubilant. But I wasn’t, no, indeed I wasn’t.

The path continued to twist and turn just as before, but soon it ran steeply downhill and I realized that we were approaching Wild Rose Valley. Yet I could scarcely believe it when I suddenly saw it right below me; oh, it was as beautiful as Cherry Valley, lying there in the morning light with all its small houses and farms and its green slopes and flowering wild-rose thickets; whole drifts of wild roses, there were. It looked so odd from above, almost like a sea with pink foam on the green waves; yes, Wild Rose Valley was the right name for such a valley.

But I would never have gotten into that valley without Veder and Kader, for there was a high wall, which Tengil had forced the people to build because hw wanted them as bondsmen, imprisoned for ever. Jonathan had told me that, so I knew.

Veder and Kader must have forgotten to ask me how I had managed to get out of the closed valley, and I prayed to God that they would never remember to either. For what could I answer? How could anyone get over that wall---and with a horse as well?

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