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

The Brothers Lionheart

And again I heard about the death penalty for sheltering Lionheart and the reward for the person who betrayed him.

While Veder and Kader were riding around trumpeting all this, people were coming to Mathias’s house to say farewell to Jonathan, and to thank him for everything he had done for them, which was probably a lot more than I knew about.

“We’ll never forget you,” they said with tears in their eyes, and they brought bread with them and gave it to him, although they had hardly anything to eat themselves.

“You’ll need it, because it’s a difficult and dangerous journey you’re undertaking,” they said, and then they hurried away to listen to Veder and Kader once again, just for the fun of it.

Soldiers came to Mathias’s house too. I was sitting terrified on a chair in the kitchen as they came in, not daring to movie, but Mathias was bold.

“What are you looking for?” he said. “I don’t believe that Lionheart youth even exists. It’s something you’ve invented so that you can go around messing up people’s houses.”

They certainly messed up the place. They began in the little bedroom, where they tipped all the bedclothes onto the floor. Then they rummaged through a cupboard in there, throwing out everything that was inside it, which was fairly silly. Did they really think Jonathan was hiding in a cupboard?

“Aren’t you going to look inside the pot cupboard too?” asked Mathias. But that made them angry.

Then they came out into the kitchen and set about the sideboard, and I sat on my chair feeling the hatred riding up inside me. It was that evening that we were going to leave the valley, Jonathan and I, and I thought that if they found him now, I wouldn’t know what I’d do. Things couldn’t be so cruel that they caught Jonathan during his last hours in the valley.

Mathias had stuffed the sideboard full of old clothes, sheep’s wool and things, to muffle any sound from the hideout, and they hauled the whole lot out on to the kitchen floor.

And then! Then I wanted to scream so that the house fell down; yes, because one of them put his shoulder against the sideboard to push it to one side.

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