Jenny: An Odd Creature

Master Lucius heard the soft step come up behind him as he saw to the last of his books. He was grateful that the Guttersnipe did not get agitated with the amount he managed to unpack at any given stop. He always tried to keep them tucked away, but after one came another, and then another after that. But she seemed to understand, and when she was not worrying about things, she came and had a look herself.

Looking over his shoulder, he saw it was Domitia who approached. Her face was still a tell-tale white, and her lips were pursed in a thin line. For a moment, he confessed, he had felt the same way. In his mind's eye he had seen the Guttersnipe as she had first come to them, bristling and scarlet in her tunic, in many ways very archaic of mind, for which he had struck up a liking of her at the outset. She had been small then, a tiny bird in the mouth of a fox. But he knew now that he would see her as she had ridden back to them, scarlet and amber, almost barbaric in her frenzy to see to their safety. She was the new generation: neither Roman nor British, her Lord Ambrosius and Gwenhywfar at once.

He understood what made the whiteness in Domitia's face. She alone was British, wholly so, with no traces of the clipped Latin in her voice, in the turn of her heel, in the running of her dreams. She was finding herself, far apart from the shock of knowing her young friend had killed three men, on the brink of a new time as mixed as the waters of the Middle Sea. And he pitied her for that.

"We owe her our lives, I am sure," he said conversationally. He passed her one of his horse's panniers, full to the brim of his books. "She would probably die for us - though, I think - " he gave a husky laugh " - she would rather live and save us both. She is an odd creature, to be sure." He gave a sidewise glance. "What do you think?"

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