Chapter 13, Part 3
“I’m thinking that we may not have a choice.”
When Prince Dolan returned, he confirmed both Bonetapper’s report and Marta’s own suspicions—the pass was simply too narrow where they were to turn the wagons around until they reached the way station. “It’s against my better judgment, but I think we have to go on, and assess the situation at that point,” Marta said. “Unless you think we can back the wagons all the way to the border?”
Dolan nodded. “Not really, so I’m inclined to agree. All my men know to stay alert regardless, but especially so now.”
When he had rested for a bit Marta sent Bonetapper back up the pass, with instructions to scout but otherwise keep below the level of the cliff, as he had also reported that there were many nesting birds of all sorts established there who did not take kindly to ravens in their territories and were more than willing to demonstrate that opinion en masse.
“They’d do the same thing to any raptor in the area, I’d wager,” Marta said. “Such things do sometimes curtail Bonetapper’s freedom of movement.”
“So a goshawk wouldn’t have been any more useful,” Sela said.
“Rather less, considering the goshawk,” Marta said dryly. “At least Bonetapper generally does as he’s told.” Continue reading