Fifth Lost Winter’s Line Chapter

     Evelyn whispered to Goblinque, Fitzroy has been captured…

     Goblinque said, “Yes, he called out to you?”

     “He called out to both of us,” Derek said.

     “I have advised everyone not to help him. I told Fitzroy long ago, ‘Men will come for you with evil intent. Every time you scar and rape a girl, you create a lifelong enemy. Simply slit their throats when you’re finished with them.'”

     Evelyn yelled, “Goblinque!”

     “I can’t believe he got away with it as long as he has…” William said.

     Goblinque said, “Jericho finally caught up with him…”

     “How did Jericho find him?” Evelyn asked. “Fitzroy has outwitted posses for generations.”

     Goblinque said, “I don’t know.”

     “We have been teaching Cheryl to write her name!” Evelyn said.

     Derek said, “We? What is this we business? I’ve been teaching her.”

     Evelyn glared.

     “She can only write the C-h-e,” William said.

     “She is getting good at shifting too,” Evelyn said. “If she’s a wolf, I can say, ‘Shift,’ and she’ll shift back into a human promptly.”

     “Jericho walked right into the pub Fitzroy was drinking in. Walked right up behind him and challenged him to duel. It was uncanny,” Goblinque whispered.

     “It’s the perfect opportunity to strike at Jericho and kill him for once and all,” William said. “Fitzroy could lead us directly to Jericho.”

     Derek said, “William makes a strong point…”

     “He has two archers with him that command the wicked bow. Not one, but two,” Goblinque said.

     “How did he find a second archer?” Evelyn asked.

     “Has to be his old pal, Roger,” William said.

     Derek said, “I thought Roger was dead.”

     “Different Roger,” Evelyn said. “The Roger who hunted for a time with Jericho simply retired.”

     Derek asked, “How do you know these things?”

     Evelyn smiled. “I have my ways.”

     Goblinque said, “Do tell?”

     “He retired over a girl, and it happened to be a girl I hexed…”

     “You never send girls to me!” William howled.

     “You don’t command the wicked bow and hunt our kind as if there is nothing better to do across the generations.”

     William sighed. “I could never master the wicked bow or the wicked sword.”

     Evelyn smiled. “Because you have no patience.”

     “I practiced for months!”

     Derek said. “It takes years, old man, and you never bothered to teach me the techniques.”

     William said, “How can I teach that which I have not mastered?”

     Goblinque smiled. “You’ve taught girls how to use their mouth on your manhood; have you not?”

     William nodded thinking back to the many times he had done just that.

     Evelyn smiled.

     Derek said, “We can’t simply leave Fitzroy to whatever fate they have planned for him.”

     Evelyn said, “Jericho is not to be trifled with, and if he has two archers, we would have to send an army.”

     “So we send an army…” William said.

     “Most of our forces near them have been wiped out,” Goblinque said. “I don’t know how close to their final destination they are, but it would be a week at least before a large enough force could reach them.”

     William sighed. “Oh.”

     Evelyn said, “We need music for Cheryl. I want to teach her how to dance.”

     “I’ve played the flute before, but I need a drummer to keep a melody.”

     “I can play a drum: it’s quite simple,” Derek said.

     Evelyn nodded. “I’ve been thinking of acquiring a harp.”

     “A harp would suit you well,” Goblinque said.

     “I could learn to play…”

     “I have a harp made from the finest oak and tightly bound steel strings. I’ll send it to you, Evelyn.”

     “Does it make a good sound?” Evelyn asked. “I want something that carries. I want to be able to put the harp in one room, and for Cheryl to hear it in her bedroom.”

     “It’ll serve you well, my dear. I’ll send it via wagon.”

     “Thank you, Goblinque.”

     “When will you bring Cheryl to my fortress, so I can meet her?”

     “She’s far too young to travel,” Evelyn said.

     Derek said, “She’s tough. She could travel to the fortress.”

     “No, she would change into a bird or something and be lost forever.”

     William said, “Has she done a bird yet?”

     “Well, no… But she does a snake quite often, and I wouldn’t want some peasant cutting her head off.”

     Goblinque said, “I can wait…”


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