General Hector sat in his office. He would have to report his findings to the King tonight. Knowing the King would be interviewing Phoenix and Sarah together in just a few days himself, the General took some time to collect his thoughts. The only person he hadn’t talked to was Sarah herself, though he had meant to. Perhaps, he wondered, he should go back and do so.
Chewing on his whiskers the General thought about his trip to Lady Abigail’s. Herbert had shown him in and to the back where the Ladies had gathered in the sun room. He had watched for a moment from doorway while Hector fetched Lady Abigail from where she was teaching some young woman to sew.
He had asked Lady Abigail a few quick questions on what she knew of Sarah. He had glanced at the woman occasionally as Lady Abigail told him the little she knew.
“Not from Vervell,” the General checked his fingers as he listed them out. “A long time Friend of Phoenix,” which confused General Hector because how could Phoenix and her be Friends if she wasn’t from his father’s fiefdom. Still Lady Abigail had continued, supporting what the other Scout Sergeants had also said. “Lost everything, all worldly possessions, all family,” and that was where the stories began to differ.
General Hector chewed on his whiskers some more. Lady Abigail had called her a poor dear, stating how hard she was trying to fit in, despite the gaps in education one would expect of a Lady. Two of his Scout Sergeants, Wolf and Eagle, had commented how she made no effort to hide the fact that she was a woman. Eagle; however, didn’t believe she wasn’t a camp follower and the General suspected him of spreading the rumor. Wolf; however, said she certainly had caliber and quick thinking, for she had accomplished her mission in true Troop Phoenix style.
“Well and efficiently,” the General muttered. And then there was Bear. In his rumbling way he mentioned that it was clear Phoenix hadn’t like their idea of sending her in to General Wholowski’s camp. Not, of course, did Bear blame him, he didn’t particularly like the idea himself sending a woman in to do a man’s job. But Phoenix had been confidant she could do it, if she chose to. And, Bear had amended, Phoenix did a right good job of getting her to agree, though as he’d told them, she’d sworn no fealty to the King. She’d also been, Bear told him, a great help to Martha and all eight of his boys liked her. In fact, Bear had stated, as if this fact overrode any statement he made, his Ryan was particularly fond of her. General Hector smiled. He had met Ryan once, over a year ago. Even back then the boy had an uncanny sense of who to trust.
General Hector had purposely saved interviewing Griffon till last. He knew Griffon had known Phoenix since he was an infant. Griffon had also been the Sergeant with the most faith in the boy insisting that Hopeful Jason was given a chance at the Scout Trails though he’d missed a lot of his training. Griffon’s information had been the most interesting and General Hector wasn’t sure just how much of it he could trust. Griffon was known for being able to spin tall tales.
Griffon had started by stating that though Sarah looked like his daughter Rosaline, she was not in fact his child. He was also the first to mention the Gods, for it was, he had surmised, the only way Phoenix and Sarah had become friends. Even more still, he reported was that she had been felled by a Nigiri dagger, not once, but twice. The first time had happened during the Ambush on their return to Vervell. She had been knock out at the beginning of fright, but by the time there were ready to continue the next day she was up and walking. The second time, and The General was surprised that Sergeant Phoenix hadn’t told him this part, she’d been attacked in Griffon’s back yard. After three days of being near death, and even at one point seeming to have been dead, Sarah had risen again just like a phoenix.
General Hector chuckled, “A lady Phoenix for our Sergeant Phoenix.”
No, the General stood; the only person, it seemed, that Sergeant Phoenix had put in excess danger had been Sarah. He would report his findings to the King, with the recommendation that Phoenix not be given any disciplinary action.