Jenny: No Peace

What in the world between...? Artos surfaced out of his confused sleep into a confused state of wakefulness, the sound of running and shouting echoing through the corridors. Master Lucius, who had reappeared at his side, had stopped reading and was listening with bemusement. It was some type of Gaelic dialect. With a heavy tongue, Artos asked, "Are we being invaded again?"

"I...think the invaders left sooner than someone had intended," the Greek returned. He pulled his eyes from the door, ruffled himself back into a comfortable position within his chair, and fell back to reading. The shouting, meanwhile, had dwindled into the sound of running feet, which faded away as well. Master Lucius turned a page.

Artos shifted, grew uncomfortable, and shifted again. Now that he was awake, he was aware of the fluctuations in his temperature, first burning, then shivering with cold. He kept as still as possible, suffering the changes quietly. Only once, when the wound suddenly flared into bright pain did he jerk, and then only with the suddenness of it. Master Lucius glanced up, but said nothing.

"It is hard to sleep in this place," Artos said dismissively.

"It is busy," admitted Master Lucius. "It is hard to read. Shall I - "

"No. No, leave the door open. It is too closed in here without the door open. And...I don't mind the noise." He moved gingerly, linking his arm behind his head, and, finally finding a comfortable position, he left the Greek to his reading and dropped back to sleep.


Now you know what it feels like, the Guttersnipe thought. But aloud she said, "I am sure he is around here somewhere. The valley is a large place. He could have wandered to anywhere in it. The men should be down at the paddock now with the horses: we'll check there first."

They walked back out into the wind and driving fitful light which was beginning to smell a little of rain the later it got. Growing hungry, having not eaten, the Guttersnipe stopped at the gate of the villa yard and squinted, looking over the valley. "Ah! there." She pointed to Kay's telltale lanky figure and his hair the colour of dates, who stood by the stocky figure of the Irish bull. "Now," she added, taking a step back. "I am going to put something in my stomach. I have work to do. Don't get lost." She nodded and retired inside the courtyard.


Aren't we high and mighty in our humility! Kay grinned. The man's use of Latin was slow and almost absurdly archaic. It was like listening to Aeneas' defence before Dido. His next thought, after that, was that what the man lacked in agility with his tongue he might make up for in physical strength, and he wondered what it would take to beat the man in a boxing match. But he was ready to be off to see Bedwyr, who was missing his hand rather badly, though he did not say anything, and Kay did not feel like playing nursemaid for this man. He swung round, stepping backward in the direction of the cloister, saying apologetically, "The valley doesn't change, unlike the horses. You'll pick it up quickly enough..."

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