>> Friday, September 16, 2011
"Aye, there was nothin' wrong with the song, mate—'twas the singer. Our Log a Log's a champion dancer, an' a great leader, but when he opens his mouth t'sing, it sounds like a score o' frogs bein' pelted with rocks!" His companion, Banktail, agreed fervently. "I was goin' to say that meself, but I didn't want to 'urt the feelin's of any nearby frogs, mate!"
"Does that suit ye, Rake?"
The tall, dark captain unbuckled both his blades. "Aye, that suits me grand. Ah'm fair starved!"
Jum Gurdy murmured, "If I ever meet a hare who isn't, 'twill be a rare sight..."
Rake overheard the remark. He stared at the otter cellardog. "Ye were sayin'...?"
Jum replied neatly, "I was just sayin', Cap'n, we ain't had a bite to eat since last night!"
"Rest now, an' don't fret. Those killers will cry tears o' blood when we meet up with 'em. Ye have my oath on that!"
"Well, I'll even the score, I tell ye. We won't rest 'til we can dance on their graves, every last mother's son o' the cowardly butchers!"
Big Drander splashed out with his paddle, soaking the colour sergeant. He apologised, grinning from ear to ear. "I say, Sarn't, sorry about that, me jolly old paddle slipped. Didn't get too wet, did ye?"
Miggory held a paw toward Drander. "I dunno—tell me wot you think, big feller." Drander stood awkwardly, reaching out to touch the sergeant's paw. As he did, a quick flip from Miggory toppled him into the river. Miggory watched as his comrades rescued Drander. "Ho, sorry h'about that, young sah, me jolly h'old paw slipped. Didn't get too wet, did ye, wot?"
"Allus remember, young sah, the quickness o' the paw can deceive the eye—h'an' like h'as not, blacken it!"
"Mark my words, young 'un, there's trouble ahead for our Abbey. Big trouble!"
"Lookit 'ere, mates. We got uz a rabbet!"
The old rat nodded eagerly. "I et a rabbet once—'twas nize!"
To their surprise, Miggory showed no fear, but joined in amicably. "H'I don't think ye'd like me, though. H'I'm a hare, not a rabbit. We're tough, y'see."
A nearby stoat poked him in the back. "Tough, eh? 'Ow tough?"
Rounding on the stoat, the sergeant knocked him out cold with a thunderous straight left. "H'is that tough h'enough for ye, scumnose?"
"Now, do ye like proper, thick woodland stew?" She held up a paw before Drander could reply. "I mean real Woodland Stew, made to an ole Wiltud recipe. With every veggible ye could shake a stick at chopped up into it. Aye, an' full o' chesnut'n'acorn dumplin's."
Overcome by emotion, tears sprang to Drander's eyes. "Chesnut'n'acorn dumplin's, marm, it makes me weak just thinkin' about 'em. Oh, my giddy grandad, where is it, marm?"
The pace stepped up, faces were set grim, weapons grasped tight. On to the Abbey of Redwall, and bad fortune to any foebeasts who dared stand in the way of such warriors!
"Come on, me buckoes, let's give the scum some steel!"
Throwing away her blade, she pleaded, whining piteously, "Mercy, sir, mercy. Can't ye see I'm unarmed?"
Trug swung his sword, gritting out the words. "Aye, I'll show ye mercy, just as ye did to my young sister an' her friends the night ye murdered them!" The young hare's words echoed in the Seer's head. It was the last voice she ever heard.