Sorry I haven’t been posting very much lately! Life just gets busy. Spring is obviously here, ’cause I’ve been outside a lot, taking pictures. 🙂
Anyway, The Sacrifice. Which I hope is more interesting than my rambling!
Part Sixteenth: In A Hurry
Five o’clock in the morning.
Sir Richard stalked down the inn’s dim, silent hallway; Cyrus trotting at his side. He wanted to run, but then his cloak might flare, and his sword had to stay concealed. The landlord was walking quietly about the main room, sticking daisies in small, clay pitchers on the tables in the main dining room. Hearing the stairs creak, he turned as Sir Richard came in. He opened his mouth for a good-morning-how-did-you-sleep, but the knight asked his first question before he could begin: “Where is your king?”
“Well, up in the castle, sir,” he stammered. “Why?”
“Can you give me directions?’
“You can see the towers from anywhere in the City, just go towards them. Are you in a hurry, sir?”
“A great one.” Sir Richard turned to go, but then paused to ask, “Can you assure me that the news, I have urgent business with your king, will not leave your inn?”
“Why ever not, sir?”
“That is none of your business.”
“Very well, sir,” he answered, a little suspiciously. “It shall not leave here, if you should rather it not.”
“Thank you.” The news could not go all over town if the King said no. He had to be prepared for a refusal, even if he did not understand how it could be necessary. Prepared for refusal? Shouldn’t he rather prepare for. . . no, it would be impossible to prepare for acceptance.
“What about your breakfast?” called the baffled landlord, throwing his handful of flowers down on a table in bewilderment and coming after him.
“No time!” Sir Richard shouted over his shoulder.
He all but collided outside the stable doors with a rather-sleepy Timothy, who was just looking in on the animals on his way to work. “Where’s my horse?” he demanded, forgetting to apologize or say good-morning.
The startled lad showed him to Jael’s stall and ran for the knight’s saddle and bridle.
“Can I leave my dog here?” It would take too much explaining at the castle, and he was in a great hurry.
“Yes, sir. I’ll look after him.”
“Thank you—very much.” He bent down and rubbed Cyrus’ ears. “Stay here and wait for me. Wait. And don’t envy me,” he added under his breath. “You might get breakfast this way.”