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Ben was not sure which was worse. Being bored or being worried. Except for the slow, deep breathing periodically interrupted by Lansal panting shallowly, he had not moved since the night before. There was nothing to do for him, at all; the dressings they had applied earlier were completely dry.

Gadalla napped leaning to the side on the corner of the sofa and Anna napped leaning on the woodcutter. Ben was left to amuse himself by staring out the window.


Stayten entered the room every few hours to check on them. He brought them food and arranged turns for them to use a room in the boarding house for bathing. But for the most part, Gadalla, Anna, and Ben sat watching through the window, the coming and going of the people in the town. Or watching each other watch the people in the town.


Late in the afternoon, Stayten came in again. “I believe that the men riding away to lead the guards on a wild goose chase worked. Seems like there are hardly more than a dozen guards in town.”


“That’s good.” Ben nodded.

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Copyright 2018, 2019, 2020  —  Bill Snodgrass