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The Brothers Lionheart

Jonathan looked at me and smiled slightly.

“Don’t look like that, Rusky,” he said. “This is nothing. Things’ll get much worse, you can be sure.”

Well, what a comfort that was! But just then the sun broke through, the mist vanished, the birds began to sing in the forest, all that had been gloomy and desolate disappeared, and the dangers seemed less dangerous. I grew warm, too, and everything felt better, almost good.

Grim and Fyalar were also all right. They had got out of their dark stable and could now graze the rich green grass again. They liked that, I’m sure.

Jonathan whistled to them, a quiet little whistle, but they heard it and came.

He wanted to get away, now, Jonathan. Far away. At once!

“Because the wall’s just behind that hazel thicket,” he said. “And I’ve no desire to see the whites of Dodik’s eyes.”

Our underground passage came up between two nearby hazelnut bushes, but the opening could no longer be seen because Jonathan had covered it with branches and twigs. He marked the place with two sticks so that we would be able to find it again.

“Don’t forget what it looks like,” he said. “Remember that big stone and the fir tree where we slept, and the hazel thicket. Because one day we may come this way. If...”

He said no more and we mounted our horses and rode silently away.

Then a pigeon came flying over the treetops, one of Sofia’s white pigeons.

“There’s Paloma,” said Jonathan, though I don’t know how he could recognize her at such a distance.

We had waited a long time for news from Sofia, and now at last her pigeon had come, just when we were outside the wall. She flew straight toward Mathias’s house and would soon be landing in the pigeon loft outside the stable. But only Mathias would be there to read her message.

This vexed Jonathan.

“If only she’d come yesterday,” he said. “Then I’d have known what I want to know.”

But we had to be away now, far away from Wild Rose Valley and the wall and all the Tengilmen searching for Jonathan.

We were to make our way down to the river via a detour through the forest, Jonathan had said, and then follow the banks toward Karma Falls.

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