Chapter 14, Part 3
“Oh, I never said I didn’t know who collapsed the overhang. I just said it didn’t matter. And it doesn’t…yet. I did, however, destroy the exit, yes.”
They found Prince Dolan and the other men resting from their efforts at the pit. He gave Marta an odd look.
“We heard what sounded like a rock slide. I’m glad to see you’re both all right.”
“We are. We found where the bandits were getting in, but the crevice has collapsed. A skilled mountaineer could still reach it from that direction, but no one else.”
Prince Dolan looked thoughtful. “Perhaps that is for the best.”
“I thought so too,” Marta said. “Are we ready to leave?”
The three men kneeled by the pit and Dolan began to sing. Marta recognized the song as a hymn to Amatok. When he was finished the three of them went down to the stream to wash some of the dirt off. Marta and Sela waited by mouth of the cave until they returned. Their clothing was a bit worse for wear, but they appeared refreshed, if weary. After they had all climbed back down and rejoined the rest of their party there was still an hour or so of daylight left. Marta suggested they move on and no one objected, there being little interest in sleeping on the blood of the murdered pilgrims. They were not quite out of sight of the cliff cave when there was another rumbling, and a cloud of dust billowed out of the opening before it sank in on itself, leaving just the barest crevice to suggest where it had been.
First Law, Marta thought.
“Also likely for the best,” Marta said, as Prince Dolan looked back.
Dolan looked as if he was going to say something, thought better of it, and said something else. “No doubt you are right. Still, it’s a pity. It was a lovely spot.”
“Yes. Now it can remain that way. And perhaps those unfortunate pilgrims will find peace.” Continue reading