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The Brothers Lionheart

I whimpered when I recalled it, and Jonathan tried to comfort me.

“She isn’t there any longer. She’s gone now.”

But I wept and asked him:

“How can things like Katla exist? Is it---a monster, or what?”

“Yes, she’s a monster,” said Jonathan. “A female dragon risen from ancient times, that’s what she is, and she’s as cruel as Tengil himself.”

“Where did he get her from?” I asked.

“She came out of Katla Cavern---that’s what people think.” said Jonathan. “She fell asleep down there one night in ancient times and slept for thousands upon thousands of years, and no one knew she existed. But one morning, she woke up; one terrible morning, she came crawling into Tengil’s castle, spurting death-dealing fire at everyone, and they fell in all directions in her path.”

“Why didn’t she kill Tengil.”

“Tengil fled for his life through the great rooms of his castle. As she approached him, he tore down a great battlehorn used for calling up soldiers to help, and when he blew the horn...”

“What happened then?” I asked.

“Then Katla came crawling to him like a dog. Ever since that day, she has obeyed Tengil. And Tengil alone. She’s afraid of his battlehorn. When he blows it, she obeys blindly.”

It was getting lighter and lighter. The mountain peaks over in Karmanyaka were glowing like Katla’s fire, and we were going to Karmanyaka now! How frightened I was, oh, how terribly afraid! Who knew where Katla was lying in wait? Where was she, where did she live, did she live in Katla Cavern, and how could Orvar be there? I asked Jonathan and he told me how things were.

Katla didn’t live in Katla Cavern. She had never gone back there after her long and ancient sleep; no, Tengil kept her tethered in a cave near Karma Falls. In that cave she was chained with a chain of gold, Jonathan said, and there she had to stay, except when Tengil took her with him to instill terror into people he wished to terrorize.

“I saw her in Wild Rose Valley once,” said Jonathan.

“And did you cry out?” I said.

“Yes, I cried out,” he said.

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