>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Little Tassy sobbed brokenly. "Never see the sun again, or the woodlands, or Redwall Abbey. I couldn't bear it-I'd sooner just die!" Midda glared at the squirrelmaid. "Thanks for that, Tura. You've really cheered pore Tassy up."
The smile that dawned over the sable's features was one of pure evil.
Jango had found his little son, Borti. The pair of them were laughing and weeping, hugging each other fiercely. Buckler smiled. "There's a happy sight for ye!'
"There'd better be loads o' scoff left when ye get over here...or!" Sister Fumbril roared back in a fearsome voice, "Or wot, ye young lard bucket?" Her reply did not seem to bother Diggs, who grinned winningly as he called back, "Or we'll starve, an' you'll never know the blinkin' pleasure of our company ever again, so there!" Friar Soogum yelled, "That'd be a mercy, sir!"
Jango remarked sourly to Buckler, "Tell that lard barrel mate o' your'n that if he ever calls me Logaface agin, he'll be wearin' that liddle bobtail of his as a hat!"
Triggut, who had heard the squirrelmaid, snarled, "That's right. Don't upset Triggut Frap. Yew 'eard her. I'm a madbeast, see, crazy, crazy mad! Bees keep a-buzzin' round in my head, all day an' all night, never stop. Buzzbuzzbuzzbuzzbuzz..."
"I followed you and what did I find along the way? My old friend Dirva, a monster eel and one of your beasts, the big stoat Lugg, all dead. Very careless of you!" The tall sable's dark eyes flashed briefly. "I am used to death in my trade."
He called out cheerily to his newfound friend, "I say, Ambry, what's this friend of yours called? Just so I can shout to him if I see a young otter in the distance." Ambrevina Rockflash unwound her long, hefty sling. "Flandor, that's what he's called. Flandor!"
That was when everything went wrong.
"Did anybody teach you to sing, Mister Diggs?" Diggs puffed his chest out proudly. "No. Why d'you ask?" She smiled innocently. "Oh, nothing, really, but it might've been nice if they had." Diggs thought about this for a moment, then gave the hogmaid an icy glare. "See here, marm, I've seen creatures thrown overboard for remarks like that. It's bloomin' mutiny, y'know!"
"Flandor was my only friend." Diggla, who had been using the huge badgermaid as a hill, clambered over her shoulders and stared into Ambervina's deep-brown eyes as they softened with unshed tears. The mousebabe placed a tiny paw on each side of the big striped muzle. "Don't you not cry, now. Us all yore mates."
Vilaya stood up, leaning against a sycamore. "No time for dying. I've got a score to settle!" Gliv grinned coldly. "Huh, so have we both!"
Buckler shook his head. "Well, I've seen everything now!" Bartij winked. "Yore at Redwall Abbey now, young mate-you h'ain't seen nothin' yet!"
"Our hearts are filled with joy and cheer,/goodbye to anguish, grief and fear,/whirl me around now, tralalaa,/raise your voice and shout hurrah!"
"Get him to those stairs. Kneel him down and grab his ears. We'll see what he has to say when his head is decorating the point of a spear!" The guards dragged Buckler, struggling wildly, to the stairs. Forcibly, they made him kneel, two holding his forepaws from behind, with the remaining one tugging on his ears, stretching his neck taut. Zwilt stood over his victim, raising the big broadsword aloft to judge the strike. "Well, rabbet, you don't look so brave now, do you?" Craning his head sideways, Buckler stared with loathing at his enemy. "I don't answer to cowards!"
"We meet in happiness this day,/to celebrate our victory,/not to boast of fighting ways,/but just the joy of living free./Oh, may that feeling never cease,/for you, my true and honest friends,/enjoy this feast, in love and peace,/and hope our freedom never ends!" A tiny squirrelbabe held up his beaker. "I drink to dat!" Laughter echoed around the orchard as they fell to in earnest.
"Come on, let's go to Redwall Abbey. There's room for everyone there!"
"Aye, I've seen a few things and learned a bit. Travelling with a companion like goood old Diggs, friends such as the Witherspyks and the Guosim. Discovering the wonders of Redwall Abbey and its honest creatures. Huh, even meeting my first Bloodwrath mole, Axtel. Losing my brother Clerun, seeing his two little babes, knowing what it means t'be an uncle. freeing the young uns, battling with the Ravagers, watching friend and foe alike slain. You don't live through those things without addin' to your knowledge of life, sir."