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The Brothers Lionheart

I didn’t dare move or look up; I would have liked to dissolve into nothing, I was so desperate.

But then, in the middle of my misery, I heard Mathias’s angry voice:

“What’s going on? Can’t a man even sleep in peace at night?”

I looked up and saw Mathias; yes, he was sitting there in his bed in the dimmest corner of the room, peering at the light. He was wearing only a shirt and his hair was untidy, as if he had been asleep for a long time. Over by the window was the trough, leaning against the wall. This grandfather of mine must have indeed been as quick as a lizard.

I felt almost sorry for Dodik. I’ve never seen anyone look so utterly stupid as he did, as he stood there glaring at Mathias.

“I only came in for a little water,” he said sullenly.

“Water, oh yes, that’s a good one,” said Mathias. “Don’t you know that Tengil has forbidden you to take water from us? He thinks we’ll poison you. And if you come and wake me up again, I will too.”

I don’t know how he dared talk like that to Dodik, but perhaps that’s the right way to speak to a Tengilman, for Dodik just grunted and disappeared out to his wall.

Chapter 10

I had never seen a really cruel person until I saw Tengil of Karmanyaka.

He came across the river of The Ancient Rivers in his golden sloop and I was standing there waiting with Mathias.

It Jonathan who had sent me. he wanted me to see Tengil.

“Because then you’ll understand better why people here in the valley toil and starve and die with but one thought and one dream---to see their valley free again.”

High up in the mountains of The Ancient Mountains, Tengil had his castle. he lived there, only occasionally crossing the river to Wild Rose Valley to strike terror into the people, so that no one would forget who he was or begin to dream too much about freedom, Jonathan said.

At first I could hardly see anything, because there were so many Tengil soldiers in front of me, rows of them, to protect Tengil while he was in Wild Rose Valley. He was afraid, I suppose, while he was in Wild Rose Valley, that an arrow might come whistling out of some hidden corner.

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