Tells what happened after the clff broke away and Hecate and Morgolic fell into the river.
|Chapter 2.5 Matilda
Scene 1 of 2.5: Introduction of Matilda and Lilith.
Matilda was descended of a line of Witches who could trace their descent back over a thousand years. For the past six hundred, the matrons of her lineage had represented the Nirvana Coven in a mission of service to the Dwarves. The focus of the mission was to continue an alliance that went back to the war of Confederation, which had ended abysmally, in absolute defeat for the Witches and their allies.
One of the services the Witches brought, in the practice of their stewardship, was clinically referred to as “Bloodline Enhancement.” It was their intent to enhance the bond which still held the old alliance together and they were dedicated to strengthening the bloodlines and making them more prolific. As with the Elves, this was a sensitive subject but through a combination of selective breeding, and genetic science the Dwarves had grown stronger, larger and more numerous. Some might say their appearance had acquired a greater elegance but such judgments are a matter of conjecture. As with the Elves, however, the progress had a price; three prices actually. The first was a diminishment of telepathic powers, the second a reduction in life span and third, it necessitated mandates that were contrary to traditional mores of mating behavior. While the Dwarves acknowledged the benefits, as with the Elves, there was an undercurrent of grumbling and dissatisfaction over the way in which fundamental values were being manipulated.
The practice of selective breeding, augmented by the close study of genealogy and the application of dark science, were used quietly and without apology by the Witches. Indeed they had finianced the early research in the Emporium that explored genetic engineering. The Snagar and Simen Elves were examples of the "Progress" in pushing back the state of the art. Some of the fundamental breakthroughs they applied not only to themselves but to the Elves and Dwarves. First marriages of Coven females were always with selected males. Pregnancies, even after marriage, continued with selected males most of the time someone other than their betrothed. Only towards the end of her childbearing was a Witch given a choice in selecting a partner. Males were less common outcomes in the Witch pairings, happening about twenty-five percent of the time. Guiles Standaloft, Cateyln's first borne, Rupert Cracious, Mirandas, and Pluto, son of the Witch Olivia and High Councilor Kulrick La Vinneous were examples of the less common male offspring.
Scene 2 of 2.5: Arrival at the scene.
As the time approached for the “Assigning“ of her daughter, a party consisting of Matilda, Lilith, and two trusted dwarfs departed Monrovia, the mountain capitol of the Dwarves, for Nirvana, the onetime seat of the Confederation. Since Lilith was a Sapien, her betrothed was of a bloodline that had been carefully monitored for generations and Dumar, the promised one, was unaware of what was about to unfold. Lilith had known for years the name of her bethrothed but never met him. She had heard the process, though, explained often enough to accept it with no more than a rolling of her eyes. It was one of those right of passage things expected of a young Witch and not something that seemed overly difficult to manage. What she had never understood were the smiles, clapping of hands and whispers as the older women recounted their nuptial experiences.
The trek back to Middletown, as Nirvana had come to be called, had taken several months. Lilith had hated to leave her friends and felt it unfair that she had to leave the splendor of Monrovia for the primitive wilds of the Valley of Men. Why could her betrothed not have been brought to her, she often wondered? After all, she reasoned, after a daughter was born, he could certainly go back to that creepy little valley of long winters and sad memories. The two dwarves, Jonas and Milo while devoted to Matilda, had not been eager to leave their families and beloved mountains. Still they accepted it as a part of their service and kept any disenchantment to themselves.
Lilith aspired to be a Witch and accepted the calling with a stoic nonchalance. It was something she coveted, and the young girl accepted this burden as the first of many that engendered no promises of comfort and happiness. Further the young Witch was not without ambition. From earliest recollections she had seen the power her mother wielded and accepted the inevitably of it one day passing to her. So it was that like the dwarves, she kept her feelings to herself as she led the party on the long trek, through the caverns across the mountains and into the forests. They skirted Dead End and following the river, passing North of Middletown, heading West. At eighteen years, Lilith was strong and confident. She was as skilled above the ground as below and an expert with the bow and arrow. Her secondary weapon was an axe, although considerably scaled down to suit the strength of her forearms and shoulders. The party was within five miles of Gabriel’s shack and were hoping to close before the storm reached them. Throwing up her arm, Lilith caught a flicker of telepathic exchange. Focusing on the source she listened and although the static from the electrical storm garbled the transmission, she began to hear words and phrases and catch the intent of the traffic.
“What is it?“ asked her mother.
“There’s fighting, along the river,” Lilith answered. “Gabriel‘s daughter, Cateyln, and an elf are trapped somewhere up there along that high river bluff….. by Snagar.”
“Oh my goodness,” answered her mother, “How do things stand?“
“A face-off, it seems… Cateyln's screaming at the Elf to jump.”
“He won’t do it,” Lilith answered, “He’s scared of heights… water too.”
“Poor thing,” answered her mother with odd sympathy, “Why doesn’t she just give him a little nudge?”
“Maw! She’s holding four Snagar at bay," Lilith retorted, “And they’re getting ready to pounce.”
“Dear god, they’ll be ripped to shreds…what’s happening now?”
"The storm’s breaking up the sequencing.... I see symbols of oaths, incantations and obscenities..."
“Jonas, Milo, Drop the baggage and get your crossbows. We must hasten to the river,”
“The storm will soon be upon us.” Lilith noted, “The imagery is halting and the frames come slowly.”
“Where did you last place them?"
“Those cliffs directly ahead, the other side of the river.”
“Let’s go… ordered Matilda…. Quickly.”
Scene 3 of 2.5: Gabriel Lays Dying.
A mile further up the bank, Gabriel sat, fallen to her knees. She had done all she could to raise the mists. The pain in her chest was excruciating. Her glass orb and chain lay in the sand steaming. Two great wolves, Kira the female and Mosel the male, stood by her trying to shield the winds and rain that billowed about.
“Give no heed to me,” implored Gabriel. "Go to Cate.... she’s in desperate straits.”
Kira turned to her brother. “You go… I’ll stay here.“ she knelled.
Mosel sprinted off down the bank, a spray of sand scattered by his paws. In his mind he could see the Snagar through Cateyln's eyes and an ominous growl emanated from his throat. How he hated the big cats and these that threatened his mistress, sent a thrill of hate and anticipation coursing through his blood.
“I’m finished,” Gabby groaned, “No need to stay with me.”
“I’ll not leave you to die alone.”
Scene 4 of 2.5: Lilith and Matty to the rescue.
As the four approach the river Lilith could see the confrontation. Cateyln and the Elf were backed up on the ledge. From time to time she could see the dodging and parry of the Snagar as they maneuvered to find advantage, The tip of Cate's darting blade moved with blazing quickness as she countered their efforts. A sheer cliff arose above the onlookers, and from below they could see the desperate struggle.
“What now mother?”
At that instant a rip of lightening broke overhead, so close that the crackle of electrical energy and rending split of the atmosphere occurred in the same instant. As the bolt struck the cliff, the combatants were etched in a brilliant flash of white light. The ground trembled and high above, they watched as the ledge broke away and debris of falling mud and stone tumbled into the river. Atop it all came Cateyln and the elf, splashing into the rushing waters.
“My god!” screamed Matilda, “we must do something.”
At that instant a great white wolf raced past and leapt into the surging river.
“What the hell was that?" Uttered Matilda, her mouth gaping in amazement..
Lilith dropped her axe and followed the wolf into the racing torrent.
“Jonas, Milo, follow me.” shouted the Matron.
“We can’t swim.” Jonas pleaded.
“Down stream! Down stream, we must get down stream.” The three took off running down the sand bar. A hundred yards beyond loomed a fallen tree, spanning the two banks.
Lilith and Cateyln joined in the middle as the broiling current carried them along.
“Not me, not me… the Elf,” cried Cate. “To the Elf, girl, save the elf...there...I see his head bobbing.”
“Look! the wolf has hold of him,” Lilith answered.
“They’ll both drown!” screamed Cate, “Hang on Mosel! Good boy! Don’t let go. We’re coming.”
Lilith swam wildly as she saw the wolf and Morgolic go under. When they didn’t come up she kept stroking past the spot and then dove deep. Reaching blindly she felt the tail of the wolf and pulled hard, as she turned on her side. The current buoyed them once more to the surface. Turning Morgolic on his back she nelled....” I have him, let go wolf, I have him...”
The raging flood swept her quickly along and she side stroked desperately with one arm, while with the other, held the elf’s chin above the water. As she bobbed up she saw the trunk of a fallen tree spanning the two banks. Crawling along its slippery bark Matilda reached out desperately. Lilith reached for a limb as the current slammed her head into the log and started pulling them under. She felt the grasp of her mother's fingers grab her hair and pull her back to the surface. Once more she sputtered, gasping for air, still holding the Elf.
“Give him to me,” hollered Matilda.
Lilith extended his collar to her mother’s grasp and grabbed a limb as the turbulence threatened to pull her once more beneath the tree...
“I’ve got him Honey... “
Milo leaned over and took Lilith by the wrist. His grip was sure and his strength pulled her effortlessly up onto the slippery trunk. They lay exhausted unmoving as the wind screamed and the driving rain stung like hard pellets.
Matilda, pressed her face into her daughters and screamed over the howling wind. “What the frack got into you…. Have lost your mind? You could have drowned.... do you have the slightest notion how close we came to losing you?“
“I’m fine mother,” Lilith answered, “I’m fine.…” Then with a gasp she pointed…. “Look yonder.“
In horror they watched as Cateyln and the Wolf ran up the opposite bank. From the other direction the Snagar raced towards them. Time was suspended as they watched in terror. Cate reached the trunk two steps ahead and started across. The wolf stopped and lowered his head as the first of the Cats arrived. As it sprang the wolf raised up on its hind legs and caught the feline by the throat. The momentum rolled him backward but he came out on top, shaking the beast violently from side to side. He then spun and with his powerful shoulders slung the Snagar back at the three coming up from behind. Cateyln continued to scramble along the trunk.
“Back to the bank!” cried Matilda.
The four turned about and began crawling frantically for the other shore. Milo slipped and almost fell but held tight to the Elf, slung precariously over his shoulder. Jonas grabbed him by the scruff, offering support as his friend regained balance. Behind them Cateyln, with a spryness born of desperation, negotiated the slippery trunk, stepping sprightly over and past the gnarled branches. Behind her Mosel followed ducking the limbs and skittering along the slick surface teetering always on the brink of falling. As they gained the far bank the Snagar hissed, leaping up and down in frustration. The leader jumped up onto the log, trying to decide what to do next.
Lilith hissed back, shaking her fist, as the dwarves fitted arrows into their crossbows. The outcome had shifted in their favor. Then, the trunk tore free and began to pivot out into the stream. The Snagar on the other end leaped clear as it broke loose and went surging down the river. The Felines snarled in bitter dissappointment, cheated of their quarry. In the distance horns begin to blow. The Snagar turned away, climbed up the bank and disappear from view. The five rested forlornly, catching their breath, as Morgolic lay sprawled in the sand.
As they returned to their senses Cateyln suddenly remembered her mother.” Where’s Gabby?” she wondered?
“Back upstream, last I saw her,” knelled the Wolf…“in bad way.”
“Tell me?“ vized Cate.
Down in sand, heart in hands,” replised the wolf. “Saw death. Kira stayed. Sent me ahead.”
“Oh my god!” lamented Cateyln jumping to her feet “Oh my God, not my Momma.”
Mosel stood and began loping upstream.
"I’m going with him… You bring Morgolic." said Cateyln, "we’ll meet at the cabin."
"Jonas, get your gear and follow her." Ordered Matilda, "Milo pick up the Elf."
Milo hesitated “He stinks. Maybe he‘s dead.”
"They all do," Matty answered, “but this one still has life. We’ll bring your pack.”
"You OK Momma?
"I’ll be fine, Sweetheart."
Scene 5 of 2.5: Cabin Scene of Exhaustion and Sorrow.
As they entered the cabin Cateyln stood disconsolate, her face held in trembling hands of grief. Jonas had placed Gabriel’s body on the kitchen table. The old Witch was stiff with rigor mortis. He took a canvas from the woodpile and drapped it over her body. Milo laid Morgolic on a bed and pushed the pallet next to the smoldering fire. He pulled Morgolic's leggings off and began to vigorously massage his feet and thighs. Lilith handed him a quilt. Matty, put her arms around Cate, hugging her close. Lilith handed a second to her mother. She wrapped it around them as they shivered uncontrollably.
"Put some wood in the hearth," Lilith ordered. Scrounging around for kindling she found some in the scuttle and laid the pieces beneath the hearth. Milo approached with a armful of larger faggots. She whispered an incantation and SWOOSH the fire blazed to life. LIlith set about finding some food. In a few minutes she returned from the pantry with some vegetables and a salted ham. Her mother joined her and they diced it up, putting the contents into the cast iron cooking pot. The dwarves watched quietly, waiting for the water to start boiling. Cateyln sobbed and Matilda returned, sitting down next to her, arm around her shoulder, giving comfort to her cousin.
“Your Mom and mine were great pals in their younger days. Gabriel must have been one hell of a Witch. It was always Gabby this or Gabby that... now what would Gabby do...?" Well rest assurred, where your mom has gone you can bet there’s quite a gathering about now....clapping their hands and welcoming her home… "
I don’t mean to press and ordinarily I wouldn’t, but is there something about all this that we need to know.? Can you tell us just a little about what happed earlier?"
Cateyln took a deep breath
"Early this morning I came in the kitchen and Gabby was fooling with the crystals. Whattcha doing?“ I asked.
"Someone is trying to get hold of us," she answered.
"Well, Gabby doesn’t scry too well any more so I sat down next to her and focused."
You might have heard already, but the Cisterians have been doing some relic hunting below the gorge where the Husbands fell. There were a lot of things been washing up, mostly of no account….arrow heads, old armor and the like., but two weeks ago the sword of Orwald was discovered in the shallow waters below the rapids. You can imagine how excited Gabby was to hear that. Orwald was the father of our line. Anyway the sword was in good condition, considering how long it had been underwater, and some of the jewels were still encrusted in the handle... In all the excitement the Imporium got wind and sent a Battalion of Guards to claim it. Three companies on each side blocked the narrow gorge. Leading the security platoon from Cisteria was Young Cracious an Elvenhume, first son of King Malcomb and Miranda. He was steward of the Scarab of Miranda's line. With them was an Elf named Morgolic, officially a diplomat, but apparently some sort of a messenger or agent. Morgolic is an important piece to our geneology puzzle and we had big plans for him. Anyway, back at the gorge there was little time to react but Cracious had a plan. Morgolic was to hide under some rubble while Cracious launched a diversion. This would give Morgolic a chance to escape. The plan worked. As soon as Cracious, launched his attack the two Guard's task forces linked up giving Morgolic his opportunity. He took off with the sword and the Scarab, returning to Listeria by way of the Valley of Men. A Simeon elf, sent the last transmission. It reached us via Cisteriua/ Listonia and Olivia passed it on to us. It told of the situation, about Morgolic's route, and what he was carrying.
“I’m getting a bad feeling about this….” groaned Matilda. "Morgolic had Miranda's heirloom?"
"Yes, one of the four royal Scarabs….Cracious was carrying an original. He gave it to Morgolic, figuring he had the better chance.
"Pull off his tunic," ordered Matilda.
Milo unbuttoned Morgolic's leather jerkin There was no Scarb on the Elf’s chest, only an oozing chest wound above the solar plexis.
"Maybe it washed away…maybe it couldn’t breath and let loose, " offered Jonas.
Lilith blanched. She jumped up and ran back into the bedroom. Her mother’s eyes followed.
"Is everything OK, Sweety?" she asked after a moment.
"I’m fine mother," came a voice from the dark room, "Everything is just fine. My stomach grabbed, that’s all. My stomach just grabbed."
"Pheeew! " Must be all the excitement," Matty called back..
"I don’t think it fell off at all," said Cateyln. "They adhere pretty well and get their oxygen from the blood stream. Plus, they’re also attached by a Mithril chain... around the Steward's neck."
Lilith came back from the bedroom, buttoning her collar.
"Then what do you suppose happened to it?"
"I suspect he dumped the gems and the Scrab as the Snagar closed in."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because, when I took the sword the gems had already been removed from the hilt."
"Did you find a purse on the Elf?", she demanded, spinning suddenly on Milo. "By the Gods, if you did, don’t be shy about telling us."
"There was no purse my Lady…" said the Dwarf indignantly. " No purse, no gems and no Scarab….You wanna search me?"
"Sorry Milo," she answered, "I had to ask that’s all, I had to ask. This is very serious."
"I served you fifteen years," he mumbled, "and I ain’t no thief."
"Of course not… but like I said this is huge, and there's gonna be hell to pay."
Turning back to Cateyln she continued. "So you think he got rid of them in the last moments?"
"That's my take."
Scene 6 of 2.5: Lilith and Matty talk.
Later that night, after the others had passed into an exhausted and restless sleep, Lilith and her mother sat on the pallet they made in the corner. They were still too keyed up to doze off plus the effect of the mists still animated their bodies. Matilda, whose energy seemed boundless, was rocking back and forth and Lilith was rubbing her feet. The two had not done much talking on the trip. At night, they were usually bone tired, but mixed in was the usual tension between a mother and teenage daughter, that seemed to be growing ever more acute.
“What came over you jumping into the river like that?” asked Matty suddenly.
"I did what I had to do."
"You could have drowned and where would that leave us?"
“Is Coven business all you care about?" she answered sharply.
“Don’t get snotty with me," her mother answered. "You know damn well that’s not all I care about."
“Then what’s the problem? no hurt, no harm.”
“The problem is you need to quit knee jerking and start thinking like a Witch.”
“Oh! I get it," she quipped. "Today I should have pondered, hmmmm, considering my courses of action, while Cateyln and the elf bobbed off down the river.”
“When you think emotionally you become predictable and your weakness plays to our enemies."
“Right! Like the Snagar are capable of reason…. Really mother, sometimes you make absolutely no sense.”
"You seem to think that the first wild notion that comes to mind is the best one. Just like your father….when are you going to start behaving like a Witch. From now on there’s going to be a lot riding on you.”
"After living with you for eighteen years the future is going to be like a vacation."
"A vacation my ass, if that's what you're expecting...," she said exhasperated. Then she took a deep breath and softened.
“Still I hope so Honey, for your sake I hope so. Are you excited?"
"I’m whooped.... don’t think I can handle any more excitement for awhile."
“You thought you'de lost the Scarab... didn't you?" she teased in a whiney voice, "gave you quite a turn.”
"After all the talk about oxygen and washing away I had to make sure. I should have known not to worry, the damn thing is dug under my skin."
"Strange, when I was wearing it ,it adhered but when I held it by the sides and wiggled, it turned loose. Maybe if you wiggled it every now and then. I mean it left its mark and some blood on me but it never dug into my breast the way it has with you."
“Well maybe we're not the same mother, did you ever consider that? I’ll be glad to get rid of it. Let someone else wear it. Didn’t you say a Witch isn’t supposed to carry it very long?”
"I did but being the bearer of the Scarab is a great honor. This is your time to wear it and who knows, you might just be a chosen one."
Yeah right, six hundred years and nobody's been chosen yet."
"Have you had your period this month… "
"Really mother, do we need to have this discussion?"
"Yes or No?"
"No mother, but the march has been rigorous. I won’t be surprised if I'm late."
"Queezy stomach, nauseau, " she continued, raising her eyebrow
"No mother, none of those."
"You said earlier your stomach was flipflopping around."
"That was a cover mother… did you want me unbuttoning my blouse in front of everybody."
"Of course not Baby, I’m just wondering…that’s all."
"Hey,l have an idea. Why don't you wear it."
"I had my chance and I made no bones about hoping the honor would come to me. I wished every night that I'de be the one. I imagined my sisters, swooning with envy…., saying Ouh-la-la."
"Well I don't share your fantasy. It itches and I'll be glad to be rid of it. Let my "Assigned" carry it. Isn't that part of his job?"
"Make sure you don’t give it to Dumar until you’re sure he’s responsible and can keep his mouth shut."
"What’s he like Mother?"
"Now who do you think I’m referring to?"
"When I last saw him, he was only a boy. Spirited little fella, as I recall. But soon you’ll find out for yourself."
"I can hardly wait."
"I remember how it was for me..... meeting your father for the first time."
Lilith had heard this story about a dozen times and was tempted to cut her mother off. There was however a touch of sad excitement in her voice. Her appointment had turned out to be the love of her life and although she had children by others, men and dwarves alike, never shirking her responsibility, she had loved Herbert with an intensity that knew no bounds He had left the valley and returned with her to the Dwarves, serving alongside until his death earlier this year.
"Tell me about it."
"I was so excited I thought I was going to wet my pants."
"So what happened?"
"I walked right up and knocked."
"He came to the door and said in the kindest voice, "Who are you?""
"And then and then?" Lilith teased.
"I said shamelessly, in the most seductive voice I could manage, I’m new in town and was wondering if you know anyone who is in need of domestic help.... then I cast the spell."
"And what did he say?"
"He answered, 'No, but if I hear of anyone I’ll let you know....and started to close the door."
"What did you do?"
"Please help me," I sniveled, "its cold out here."
"Where are you staying?" he asked innocently?
"And I told him....'At the Inn.'"
"Its very expensive there, 'he offered.'"
"Last night's room took my last farthing..., now I've nowhere to stay."
"Did the boot you out of the Inn?" 'asked Lilith digressing'".
"Let me finish....You think I cared about the flea bitten Inn? Not that I'd ever been there in the first place."
"So what did he do?"
"If you don’t quit being a smarty pants.....I’m not going to tell."
"Oh please mother, don’t leave me in suspense."
"Ok," she said softening, "Well he stood there, stroking his jaw, thinking real hard. Then he blinked."
"The spell kicked in."
"It was a powerful, but not one that acted quickly."
So what happened?"
"I took out my handkerchief and began to cry.....I told him I was hungry and if he could spare me a crust of bread..."
"He fell for it?"
"Well he shook his head," she continued demonstrating, "and his mind seemed to clear up a bit, because he invited me inside. Sat me down at the kitchen table he did, fixed me some coffee and some delicious hot bread and jam..."
"So when did he offer you the housekeeper job?"
"What did he say?"
"It was more of a demonstration."
"About that time the spell took hold and he liked to come out of his skin."
"This was not the usual, run of the mill, love potion?"
"Heck no.... It was what you give to a bull when he’s slacking off on the job."
"You don't say!"
"You ready for this?"
"I’m afraid to ask."
"Well he carried me straight to his bedroom and did the deed. You were conceived that very night.."
"Oh my goodness gracious..."
"For years after he apologized."
"And I always forgave him."
"You are so sweet."
"Two months later we went before the magistrate."
"See that you do the same.....this is no trivial task.... Over thirty of our Coven over the last six-hundred years, helped set you up for this opportunity... You and your appointed one are at the tail end of carefully laid plans, leading to the conception of an honest to god Husband. Don’t let us down."
"I'll do my best to continue in the long and proud tradition," smiled Lilith.
Scene 7 of 2.5: Lilith Discovers dead Scarab.
Lilith did not enjoy discussing her menstrual cycle with her mother. Still worse, she was late. After Matty drifted off, she went into the lauder, and lit a candle. Taking off her blouse she raised her bra. The scarab hung unattached. This was unusual because it had burrowed deep and its secretions never seemed to stop her skin from itching. Now it dangled from its chain unmoving. She pulled the necklace over her head and looked intently. Close to the flame she could see it vividly. Maybe its just asleep she thought observing it between her thumb and forefinger. She squeezed ,as she had done on countless occasions, but this time, instead of a pliancy, she heard a crack and to her dismay a stream of dust poured out the bottom and onto the floor. Lilith jumped back almost dropping the candle. Then she looked again, this time closer. The beetle had clearly departed for the great insect heaven and its lifeless shell was all that remained in the fine strips of gold that had once imprisoned it.
"What is mother going to think?" she wondered in horror. "The relic has been in our family for over six hundred years and I wear it a week and the damn thing dies.” She groaned, already hearing her mothers admonitions. "I can’t deal with this," she thought to herself. "I've too many other things on my mind..." and dropping it back into her cleavage, suddenly realized how tired she was. However before turning in she looked around for a snack. She spied a jar of canned pickles on the shelf and reaching up took it and broke the seal. Fishing one out she bit down. It was crisp, crunchy and delicious...maybe one more she decided devouring a second. Returning to the pallet she crawled under the covers, yawned, and was soon fast asleep.
Scene 8 of 2.5: Dumar and Young Jernigan developed.
Dumar: You have to expect a few leaks....This was the storm of the century.
Young Jernigan: What did you and Orpheus see out there?
Dumar: Blood trails and body parts.
Young Jernigan: Any dead bodies?
Dumar: To tell you the truth, neither of us was expecting to find what we did.
Young Jernigan: How so?
Dumar : I don’t think Orpheus initially believed Liope’s report about the Snagar.
Young Jernigan: He does now?
Dumar: He does now.
Young Jernigan: What convinced him?
Dumar: Seeing that paw laying on the ground, among other things..
Young Jernigan: Are you for real?
Dumar: As a heart attack.... something ripped into four of them....there were blood trails and signs of bodies being dragged off through the mud.
Young Jernigan: What could have done that?
Dumar: You tell me, I’m clueless.
Young Jernigan: Wish I’d been there to see it.
Dumar: Tomorrow the Militia will be going out to investigate. If you want to come, I’ll put in a good word for you.
Young Jernigan: Would you really ?
Dumar: Sure, that’s what friends are for.
Young Jernigan: This place looks like a dump.
Dumar: Suits me just fine.
Young Jernigan: You bring a babe in here and she’d turn around and walk right out the door.
Dumar: Since when are you such an expert on babes?
Young Jernigan: I got one in mind.... which is more than I can say for you.
Dumar: I’ve seen you looking at Liope.. Have you invited her to take a little walk?
Young Jernigan: I’m working on it....give me a chance.
Dumar: She’s a knockout.... but be careful of her dad....there’s one mean fella.
Young Jernigan: First I have to get her down by the river; then I can worry about her dad.