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The Brothers Lionheart

The man who was come to fetch Fyalar gave in at once.

“There must have been some mistake,” he said and slouched off toward the path like a dog with its tail between its legs.

“Mathias, are you never afraid?” I asked when he was out of sight.

“Yes, of course, I’m afraid,” said Mathias. “Feel my hear thumping,” he went on, taking my hand and laying it on his chest. “We’re all afraid,” he said. “But sometimes you mustn’t let it show.”

Then the evening came, and darkness, so it was time for me to leave Wild Rose Valley and Mathias.

“Good-by, little lad,” said Mathias. “Don’t forget your grandfather.”

“No, never,” I said. “I’ll never forget you!”

Then I was alone in the underground passage. I crawled along the long dark tunnel and I talked to myself all the way to keep myself calm and not to be too frightened.

“No, it doesn’t matter at all that it’s pitch dark...no, of course you won’t suffocate...yes, a little earth is running down your neck, but that doesn’t mean that the whole passage is going to collapse, you stupid thing! No, no, Dodik can’t see you when you come up; he’s not a cat that can see in the dark, is he? Yes, of course Jonathan’s there waiting for you; he is there, do you hear what I’m saying? He is. He is!”

And he was. He was sitting there on a stone in the dark, and a little way from him Grim and Fyalar were standing under a tree.

“Well, Karl Lionheart,” he said. “Here you are at last.”

chapter 12

We slept under a fir tree that night and woke at dawn; it was freezing cold, at least I was. Mist was lying between the trees and we could hardly see Grim and Fyalar. They looked like two gray ghost horses in the gray light and the silence all around us. It was utterly silent, dismal in some way. I don’t know why everything seemed so gloomy and desolate and worrying that morning. All I know is that I longed to be back in Mathias’s warm kitchen and I was uneasy about what lay ahead of us, everything that I knew nothing about.

I tried not to show Jonathan what I was feeling, for who knows, perhaps he would suggest that I go back, and I wanted to be with him through every danger, however great it was.

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