Lewis: Common Knowledge

Sebastian, our regiment commander, decided that we did not have the luxury of spending the night in the village. We stayed long enough to let the horses rest, which allowed time to eat a proper meal. Eating on the road was not the most appetizing of ventures, to say the least.
We were able to travel another couple of hours before we were forced to pitch tent for the night. However, when the first light of dawn came up over the horizon, we were on the move once again.

“I understand why we are in such haste,” I told Luke after we had been riding for a few minutes. “But, it doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

Luke laughed. “Lewis, I say this with all due respect to a man of your station. You were never meant for the army. Never meant for farm work, either, come to think of it.”

It was nice to see a somewhat happy expression on Luke. There had been brief moments of similar expressions since I had met him, but this was the first since hearing of his sister’s adventures. I hoped it wouldn’t be the last.

We paused at a few more villages to allow the horses to rest. We spent one more short night in the forest, making our way to the last village early the next morning. Fredrick, the spy, told us there was an inn in town with a chatty bartender. Luke and I were assigned a short reconnaissance mission.

We ordered a few drinks and sat there in silence for a few moments to take in our surroundings. We didn’t have to wait long, though. “So, are you heading up to the garrison?” The bartender’s question startled me, but Luke was quick to stay in character.

“Yes, we have been assigned to the garrison,” he replied. “Apparently there has been some activity.”  

“Oh, yes!” The bartender smiled. “We’ve been able to entertain quite a few extra people the last week or so. We are close enough to the garrison that we even get the occasional soldier.” After a very brief pause, he continued, “Did you hear about what happened in that village down south?”

“We heard about some spies,” Luke replied, referring to Fredrick’s account of the village in question. “They haven’t told us so, but we believe that is why we are being sent to the garrison.”

“Oh, I imagine so.” The bartender wiped the counter with a visibly dirty rag. “I heard they had to burn down a barn to flush them out. Killed one of them, I heard.”

Luke and I glanced at one another. There had been no mention of any killing. I shrugged slightly, assuming that the bartender’s stories had been embellished.

“I think I might attend any executions that come out of this,” the bartender said, rubbing his chin with the same dirty rag. “Haven’t ever been to one.”

Luke and I stayed long enough to finish our drinks. We reported back to Sebastian who was with the rest of our group just outside of town.

“Fredrick’s information definitely checks out,” Luke reported. “In fact, our spies are common knowledge around here, it seems.”

“Well,” Sebastian replied, “let’s continue to the garrison.”

The End

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