Saturday, February 20, 2010

Uncommon Loyalty

“Fine,” Henry said. “Once my family is free and Flax gets them out, the rest of you can fight where you will or go home.” He pointed at Fat Frank. “Make sure they find my family.”

“No lad,” Frank said, shaking his head. “That’s for Jacques and his chestnut mob. I stay with you. We find the witch and pluck her beard.”

“Frank,” Henry said. “I don’t even—”

“Hush yourself,” Frank said. “Listen to those lions roaring in your blood. Even I can hear them. I know this wager. I know the odds, and I know the stakes.” He pointed up. “By the time this bleeding sun has bubbled in the sea, the game will be played and the tale told. Where your feet stand when the sun has set, there will be mine. If your blood pools, it won’t be pooling alone, and if there’s nought left but a pile of ash, it will be ash of Henry Maccabee and Fat Frank Once-a-Faerie.” He thumped his green mace against Henry’s breastplate. “We’ve stood the storm before, son of Mordecai. Now draw that faerie sword and let’s to war. Your father labors.”

—N. D. Wilson, The Chestnut King, pp. 437–438

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