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The Brothers Lionheart

“Until we meet again.”

Then he trotted away with the two horses, just like that.”

“But what about me?” I shouted. “What shall I do?”

Jonathan waved to me.”

“Mathias will tell you,” he called.

And there I stood, staring after him, feeling stupid. But Mathias explained.

“You must see that you couldn’t get through the gateway,” he said. “You’ll have to crawl along the passage as soon as it’s dark. Then Jonathan will be on the other side waiting for you.”

“Are you certain?” I said. “Something might happen to him at the last minute.”

Mathias sighed.

“Nothing’s certain in a world where there’s Tengil,” he said. “But if it goes wrong, then you’ll have to come back and stay with me.”

I tried to think what it would be like: first crawling along the passage all by myself---that alone was horrible---and then coming out into the forest on the other side of the wall, waiting and waiting, and at last realizing that it had all gone wrong. Then crawling back again, and living without Jonathan!

We were standing outside the now empty stable and suddenly I thought of something else, too.

“What’ll happen to you, Mathias, when he comes, that man from Karmanyaka, and there’s no horse in the stable?”

“Yes, there’s be a horse, there,” said Mathias. “Because I’m just off to fetch my own. I’ve been keeping it at the neighboring farm while Grim has been in my stable.”

“But then he’ll take your horse instead,” I said.

“Just let him try!” said Mathias.

Mathias fetched his own horse back just in time, for soon afterward, the man who had come to fetch Fyalar did appear. At first he shouted and raged and scolded like all other Tengilmen because there was only one horse in the stable and because Mathias wouldn’t hand it over.

“Don’t try that one on me,” said Mathias. “We’re allowed one horse, you know that. And you’ve already taken away the other one and had my house mark for it. I can’t help it if you’ve made a muddle of everything, so that one fathead doesn’t know what the other one is doing.”

Some Tengilmen became angry when Mathias turned haughty on them like that, but some became humble and meek.

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