I walked into the courtyard, shaking my head profusely. Ghost kings, nobles, murder? What was I thinking, getting tangled up in such important matters? And what was the king thinking, coming to me of all people. Of course, he probably had had no choice but I was still surprised.
I looked around. Where was everyone? It was still pretty early, but there should at least have been someone around here. Something hard hit me in the legs and I hit the ground. Edgar’s thin face appeared above mine, a shovel in his hands. “Where have you been?” he asked. I got to my feet and rubbed my legs. “Surely I wasn’t away long enough that you should feel the need to attack me. I do not think that I have even been away for an hour.”
“Well it feels like it.” Edgar leaned on the shovel. “They had us clean out the stalls. Smell!”
I quickly covered my nose in an ill-fated attempt to block out the noxious fumes coming from the shovel Edgar waved in my face.
“Come along, Elliot,” said Edgar, swing the shovel over his shoulder. “You will be joining the fun soon enough.” He turned and began walking toward where the horses were kept. I followed behind.
Edgar was strange, but he was quite a riot. He acted like a thespian or court jester, the way he exaggeration his actions and annunciated his words. In his mind, he was not Edgar the slave, but Edgar Clove the great actor, waiting to show the world his talent.
I grabbed a shovel and slipped in unnoticed into a stall. Cleaning out the stables wasn’t so bad. After you stopped noticing the smell, it became automatic, and that gave me time to think. I thought about the king and his claim of being murdered. That meant that somewhere in the castle, someone had committed and act of the highest treason.
Someone who might still be here.
That thought sent a shiver through my body. But what was I supposed to do? I was simply a slave. How am I supposed to get people to listen to the person that shovels the horse manure?