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The Brothers Lionheart

Wait a minute, and you’ll see.”

He put his shoulder against the sideboard and pushed it aside. Behind it was a shutter in the wall. He opened it and inside there was a room, a very small room. Someone was lying asleep on the floor.

It was Jonathan.

chapter 9

I can remember a few times when I have been so happy that I have hardly known what to do with myself; once, when I was small and for Christmas Jonathan gave me a toboggan that he had been saving up for a long time. Then that time when I first came to Nangiyala and found Jonathan down by the stream, and the whole of that amazing evening at Knights Farm when I was so happy I could hardly contain myself. But nothing, nothing could compare with finding Jonathan on the floor at Mathias’s place; think, that one can be so happy! It was as if I were laughing aloud in my very soul.

I didn’t touch Jonathan. I didn’t wake him. I didn’t cry out with joy or go wild. I just lay down beside him quietly and fell asleep.

How long did I sleep? I don’t know. All day, I think. But when I woke up---yes, when I woke up, Jonathan was sitting on the floor beside me. He was just sitting there smiling; no one looks as kind as Jonathan when he smiles. I had thought that perhaps he wouldn’t be all that pleased that I had come, that he had perhaps already forgotten he had called for help. But now I could see that he was just as pleased as I was. So I had to smile, I too, and we sat there just looking at each other, saying nothing for a while.

“You called for help,” I said at last.

Then Jonathan stopped smiling.

“Why did you call?” I asked.

It was clearly something he could not think about without being upset. His reply came so quietly it was as if he could hardly bear to answer me.

“I saw Katla,” he said. “I saw what Katla did.”

I didn’t want to torment him with questions about Katla, and anyhow I had so much to tell him, first and foremost about Jossi.

Jonathan didn’t really want to believe it. His face turned white and he almost wept.

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