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The Brothers Lionheart

” he said.

“Yes, I know that,” I said. “And I know what the password is, too. ‘All power to Tengil, our liberator.’ I heard Jossi say it. Didn’t I tell you?”

Jonathan stared at me; for a long while he just stared at me, and then he began to laugh.

“Rusky, I do like you,” he said. “Did you know that?”

I didn’t understand why he was so pleased about the password, because he wasn’t going through the gateway anyhow, but I was also a little pleased in all my misery because I had been able to cheer him up with such a small matter.

Mathias had gone into the bedroom to clear up and Jonathan rushed in after him. They talked in low voices to each other in there, but I didn’t hear much, except when Jonathan said:

“If I fail, then you’ll look after my brother, won’t you?”

Then he came back in to me.

“Listen now, Rusky,” he said. “I’ll take the pack and go on ahead, and you must wait here with Mathias, until you hear from me again. It’ll take quite a while, because I’ve got a few things to arrange first.”

Oh, how I disliked that. I’ve never been able to stand waiting for Jonathan, especially when I’m afraid all the time, and I was afraid now, for who knows what might happen to Jonathan on the other side of the wall, and what was he thinking of doing that might fail?

“You mustn’t be so frightened,” said Jonathan. “You’re Karl Lionheart these days. Don’t forget that.”

Then he bade Mathias and me a hasty farewell, crawled into the hideout, and I saw him vanish down into the underground passage. He waved; the last thing I saw was his hand waving to us.

And then we were left alone, Mathias and I.

“Fatty Dodik doesn’t know what kind of mole is burrowing under his wall at this moment,” said Mathias.

“No, but suppose he sees that mole sticking its head up through the earth,” I said. “And then throws his spear!”

I was sad, and I crept out to the stable to Fyalar, for the last time seeking comfort from him. But he couldn’t comfort me, for I knew that after this evening, I would never see him again.

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