As we went to get our horses from the inn’s stables I tossed the stable boy a copper and he smiled at me as I winked at him. The innkeeper led us into the richer part of town and up to the door of a big house, where he knocked on a door. “Who is it?” A male voice asked from just inside the door.
“It’s me! Benjamin the Innkeeper! I’ve brought a couple of possible guards for your caravan Marth!” Replied the innkeeper.
The door immediately opened, “Ben! It’s been a while since we last met! Who are these young ones? They can’t possibly be the possible guards for my caravan can they? They are so young!” Exclaimed the man who the innkeeper had named as Marth.
“These two, defeated John and his gang last night! All by themselves I might add.” The innkeeper, Ben, said.
Marth looked at us again, this time taking in my lean, muscular build, and Emily’s slim, athletic form. He looked at me, “What weapon do you use boy?” he asked.
“I use the longbow sir,” I said taking mine off my back and drawing it back for him to see. His eyes widened as I did so.
“Well, I can certainly use you then, I’ll pay you five silvers a week to guard my caravan, as well as providing food and bedding for you,” then turning to Emily, “What weapon do you use?”
“Saber sir,” she said drawing her blade and going through one of the more complex maneuvers that the weapons master had taught her.
“Mmh, I already have enough swordsman to guard my caravan, I’m sorry.” He said, then turning back to me, “Archers however, are in short supply currently, especially longbow men, are you willing to accept my deal boy?”
“No sir, not unless Emily is accepted in the group too; I will not go anywhere without her.” I said, looking at her I saw a mix of relief and pride showing on her face.
“What if I offer you seven silvers instead?” Marth asked, starting to look desperate now.
“I am afraid not sir, I am not in this for the money, you could pay us both only one silver a week and we would come so long as we had a place to sleep and something to eat. But as long as you refuse to let Emily on, we will not go.” I replied. Marth’s face lit up.
“Ah, well if that is the case, then I’ll do just that, you will each get one silver per week, a place to sleep, and three meals a day if you choose to sign with me and my caravan as guards…what do you two say?” Marth asked, smiling now.
“That’s better,” I said, “that, we will sign on with you as guards. When do we leave, and where do we leave from?”
We will be leaving as soon as possible, do you two have armor?” he asked.
“No, we do not, however I can get some if you will just direct me to a shop where I can purchase some.” I said. So he gave us directions to a smithy that made good quality armor. I bought a breast plate and a set of braces for my arms. Emily got a breastplate, shin guards, arm braces, shoulder guards, and a chainmail vest, as well as a scabbard that fit her saber very well.
Once we had gotten our armor we headed back down to Marth’s house; where we were assigned to a wagon and told that we were leaving in about an hour. We loaded our things into the wagon that we were assigned to. Once we had finished with that Emily and I walked around and got to know everyone in the caravan. There was a family from Menelorn in our wagon with us, so we got to know them first. They told us all about the buildings that were held up by pillars, and big buildings made of stone; where the soldiers carried huge shields the size of doors that could hook together to form a huge wall or box. A place ruled not by a king, but by a senate, which was elected by the towns people. A place where they worshiped not the one true God, but many different gods.
“Can you believe that?” I asked Emily incredulously when the grandfather had finished telling his story, “Just imagine being in a city square, surrounded by ornate stone buildings, some with massive, art-covered pillars! That is where we are going!”
Emily smiled as she imagined the place I had just described, “And the people all dressed in strange bright colors, from white, to brown, to red!” She added happily. We were both very excited about this trip; after all, we haven’t ever been far outside of Igral castle and the city Gilolthel let alone the country of Iglon!
“Come on, lets go meet the rest of the caravan we are going to be guarding.” I said, “We will have plenty of time to talk to these people later during the trip.” So we hopped out of the wagon and went on from wagon to wagon saying hello and informing them of our positions on this trip.
One well-dressed and very fat merchant on the trip loudly complained to the leader of the expedition, “What kind of expedition is this, that you hire a couple of mere children as guards!”
The leader quietly replied, “You think they won’t do their job well? I would love to see you fight either of them,” He motioned to us “Emily! Luke! Come over here, this man thinks that you aren’t fit to guard this party! Take out your longbow and prove him wrong!” So I went up to him, un-shouldered my longbow. Smiling, I pointed out a sapling about ten yards away from the wagons, “That sapling is my target.” Then I pulled an arrow out of my quiver and took aim. Right before I pulled back the bow, I turned to the merchant, “Do you think I can hit it?” I asked.
“Boy, I doubt you can even draw the bow back, much less hit that sapling!” He replied pompously.
“Well then, I will wager you one silver that I can not only draw the bow back, but also hit that sapling without moving my feet even an inch!” I said, after I had already moved myself into a shooting position.
“It’s a bet boy.” The merchant said, the look on his face said that he had no doubt that he had just earned an extra silver off some poor, unsuspecting boy. He was very, very wrong.
As I pulled back my bow, arrow notched, I chanced a look at the merchant’s face; I could tell he was beginning to wonder whether maybe it was him that was going to lose the silver. I took a careful aim at the sapling, and then let the arrow fly. It whistled through the air then passed right through the sapling, splitting it in half, and hitting the ground a ways behind it.
I looked at the merchant smugly and held out my hand, I believe you owe me one silver kind sir. As the merchant handed me the coin I couldn’t help but add, “I hope you won’t doubt my skills again just because of my age.” He looked embarrassed and ducked back to his wagon. We didn’t see much of him the rest of the trip.
After that episode we returned to getting to know the rest of the people we would be traveling with for the next few weeks. There was another family, though these ones were from I small village around here in Iglon. There was traveling group of entertainers; they might amuse us around the fire at night. There was also a man from the Great Plains traveling with us to get back to his family to bring them back to the work that he had found here. There were also two sisters that were traveling to Beledh to begin fighting lessons in the knife fighting style of those that lived there. They had already been trained to use knives very well, but it is said that not even the best warrior of Iglon can best warrior of Beledh, if they can get their hands on a knife. I made a deal with those two, to teach them how to shoot a bow (they had brought a short bow with them) if they would teach me and Emily how to use a knife. All too soon though, it was time to get moving, so Emily and I mounted our horses and waited for the caravan to get under way.
We made one stop at mid-day to eat a cold lunch prepared the night before by the cook. Even at that point I was starting to get very stiff. I walked stiffly up to Luke, “How are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m fine so far, though I don’t think I’ve ever ridden a horse this long before; and it is starting to hurt” He put an arm around my shoulder and pulled me close, the pain vanished, and he looked at me. “You could have told me you were so stuff! I would have taken the pain earlier!” He pulled me close and I tucked my head under his chin. It fits so perfectly there! I think that God designed men’s chins with us in mind.
Sadly, the bell to signal for us to keep on moving rang about five minutes into the hug. I climbed back up onto the horse and guided it next to Luke’s. For the remainder of the ride we talked about everything from old times, to the terrain we were traveling. Luke even came up with a game where he picked an object that was in front of us and I had to guess it before we passed it. That was fun for about an hour, then we moved back to talking about whatever we could think up.
As the sun started to sink down into the sparkling sea, the bell rang out across the field we were traveling across; signaling a halt for the night. Luke and I went down to our wagon and hobbled our horses so that they could feed from the plentiful grass around without us having to worry about them. Then, once we had set up our mats, we reported to the caravan driver, who assigned us night watches, mine was first since I was bout among the youngest and a girl. Luke got the next watch, and after Luke, the other guards were each assigned a time-frame in which to do their jobs. Then, with the exception of me and Luke, who stayed to keep me company, they all went back down to the fire to enjoy the entertainment going on there.
“The stars are much more visible from here.” Luke commented. I looked up and we both watched the stars appear as the sky turned darker and darker shades of blue.
Eventually Luke put his back against a tree and pulled me against his chest. I tucked my head into its spot under his chin and just enjoyed the security of feeling of his arms around me. You never know, this could be the last time doing this for a long while!
About halfway through Luke’s watch, which was right after mine, one of the other soldiers came up to give us our dinner. “They say you can fire a longbow boy! Would you care to show me?” He asked as he handed us our plates of roast pork.
“I don’t see why not.” Luke said, slowly un-entangling himself from me and un-shouldering his long bow. Then, taking an arrow from his quiver he took an apple from his plate and walked about 20 yards away to place it on a stump. “If I hit that apple, then you roast it for me and bring it back.” He told the guard, who nodded in ascent.
So, for the second time today, Luke notched the arrow, drew back the bowstring, aimed, and released. The bowstring sung as the arrow whistled away, right into the middle of the apple. The force of the arrow carried the apple back for quite a ways before landing on the ground. Luke retrieved the apple and gave it to an amazed guard.
“In all my years as a soldier I haven’t seen either a longbow man or an archer with such good aim! I’m honored to roast this apple for you milord,” Jested the soldier good naturedly. Then, turning to face me, “Perhaps the pretty lady would like her apple roasted as well?” He asked.
I smiled, blushed, and then nodded. Luke was the only one who has ever called me pretty…and he doesn’t count. As the friendly soldier left, I pushed Luke back against the trunk so I could lean against him again. “I love you, you know.” Luke whispered in my ear. I blushed even more but snuggled up closer to him; it’s a good thing that it’s so dark, with all this blushing I’ve been doing tonight.
Eventually the soldier came back with three roasted apples in hand; he handed one to me, one to Luke, and one he kept. Then he sat down beside a tree opposite us and kept us company for the rest of our watch. We found out that his name was Christopher, and he had a been a soldier in the army of Iglon for three years before leaving active duty for something more relaxed, like guarding this caravan. He had worked here as a guard for Marth for about five years.
After a while of talking another guard came to relieve Luke of his watch, so Luke and I went to our beds and promptly fell asleep.
“TO ARMS! TO ARMS!” I woke up with a sudden jerk. FIRE! One of the wagons was on fire! And there were dark figures moving among the caravan. I turned to wake Luke up to find that he was already up and notching an arrow into his bow. I jumped out of bed and belted on the saber that was by my bed. No time to get myself in full armor, I pulled the breastplate over my head and charged to help Luke who had already fired off five arrows, silencing five of the robbers forever. I engaged the first dark robed man that came into my reach. He was armed with a club, and didn’t last very long. My second combatant had a nasty-looking knife, which he new his way around. He managed to cut my arm in a couple places before I took him down. The group that had attacked us were starting to get scarcer and scarcer. The third man I encountered had a rapier and he was more than a match for me. As he pushed me back I looked desperately around for Luke. “LUKE! WHERE ARE YOU?” I screamed.
“I’m coming Emily!” He shouted, distracting me for a fraction of a second. That was all it took, the man swiveled his sword under mine and thrust it into my stomach.
“NOOOOOOO!” An arrow whizzed into the man’s eye, another flew into his stomach, yet another right through his skull and out the other side. Then I blacked out from the pain.
I came to in Luke’s arms a moment later, the pain was gone, and Luke had a blank look in his eyes. I felt the bleeding slow, and then stop. Then my body started to mend itself at an incredible speed. As the last bit of scar tissue formed where the wound used to be Luke’s eyes started to blink rapidly as he came back to himself, then, he fell face forward into my lap.
“Luke! Wake up!’ I said, worried. When he made no response I started to shake him. “Wake up Luke!” I was almost shouting. He still didn’t move, is he dead? I checked his chest, it was moving slightly. He is alive! I tried to drag him into a corner, but I couldn’t the dead weight of his unmoving body was just too much. Then an armored hand came out of nowhere and as I turned on the perpetrator, my sword in hand, he jerked away.
“Relax! It’s just me!” it was the friendly soldier, Christopher, “I’m here to help…how are you standing? I saw that man stab you! I saw the blood, I heard you gasp in pain!” his questions lurched out in a flood as he helped me drag Luke to a dark corner to wait out the battle.
“Ah, you better wait till Luke gains consciousness if you want an answer to those questions; they are not for me to answer,” was the best answer I could force out. He looked at me strangely, and then let it go. He left us and went on to take care of the last of the robbers.
I cradled Luke’s head in my lap and waited for him to wake up. After a little while the noise of fighting died down and then stopped completely. Still Luke didn’t wake up. I fell asleep waiting for the sun to rise and was woken by the morning bell. Luke still wasn’t up. “Luke,” I called softly, “please wake up.” I begged. I gave him a little shake. His eyes fluttered open.
“Ugh, I feel horrible!” He said. He got up, but when he tried to walk started to fall over, so I caught him and we walked down to the food wagon for breakfast. When the others saw us they all smiled. “We thought you two had been killed in the fighting!” they exclaimed, “Even if Christopher here says that he kept an eye on you from the beginning of the battle till near the end! And some stories he had to tell about you two as well!” Then the speaker looked closely at Luke. “Oh! You are injured?” he asked coming up to Luke and looking him up and down, “I don’t see wounds! Where are you hurt boy?” He asked curiously.
“Not hurt, just extremely tired out.” Luke said tiredly. The soldier just looked at him strangely. Luke sighed, “Are you wounded anywhere perhaps sir? In pain? If you are I can show you why I am so tired out.”
“I am.” The soldier replied, very curious by this point.
“Give me you hand.” Luke said, holding out his hand. When the soldier held up his hand, Luke took a hold of it, and the soldier gasped. “If I were stronger, I could heal it completely, as it is I just have the strength to take away the pain.” Luke said.
“That’s incredible!” exclaimed the soldier. Then he looked at my arms and noticed they were all sliced up from the second man’s knife blade. “Let’s get some bandages on those,” he said, pointing at my arms. Christopher stepped forward and supported Luke, still looking thoroughly baffled.
The soldier took me to the fireside and put a salve onto my arms; it stung, but then soothed the wounds. After the salve he put on a bandage and told me to replace it every day. Then I went back to Luke. He was looking a little better, he had a bowl of stew in his hand and a big hunk of bread to go with it. He was eagerly sopping up the last of his stew with the bread by the time I got to him. Christopher who was sitting next to him was still waiting for an explanation of what had just happened; not to mention answers to last night’s questions.
Once Luke had finished his food he looked at me, then launched into an explanation of everything that had happened I got wounded. A mix of understanding, amazement, and disbelief developed on his face as Luke’s story unfolded. When he had finished Luke took Christopher’s hand. The disbelief on Christopher’s face was replaced by even more amazement.
“Wow! How do you do that?” he asked.
“I don’t think it is something that every one can do. It is a gift that has been given to me by God. I have been told it is in order to save the world actually. That is the mission I am on currently. I have to gather a group of people who will gather forces against the darkness rising up in the north.” Luke explained.
“I wish I could be a part of that group; but alas, I have other obligations, you will have to find your help elsewhere. However, if your gift is truly from God, then I believe that you will not only gather up a team, but also find success in the rest of your missions too. No one can overcome God’s will.” Christopher said, completely serious. It was very encouraging to hear that someone else also believed that there was an all powerful God out there, who cared for us and was watching out for us.
The bell to start the caravan rang out, Luke and I got up and rushed to our horses, mounted, and started to get moving. As we started to get moving; Luke nearly fell of his horse. I saw, so I stopped our horses, tied my horse to Luke’s, and mounted behind Luke. I took the reigns from him and started the horse moving again; this time with my arms around Luke, to keep him from falling. He smiled weakly. “I am still a little drained,” he admitted sheepishly.
I lifted my hand and pushed his head back against my shoulder. “Sleep,” I commanded him, “you need to get back as much energy as you can. I’ll wake you up when we stop for lunch.”
Luke obediently closed his eyes, and within minutes his breathing evened out and he was asleep.
“Time to wake up Luke.” Said a soft voice; it was Emily. I opened my eyes. I really didn’t want to, but I forced them open all the same; for Emily.
I let her know I wasn’t happy about it though. “Uuhnkk!” She laughed. Laughed! How dare she! I was just expressing my distaste at being woken! And she laughs! Women these days, never appreciate a man’s discomfort. Hmph!
I opened my eyes and realized the horse had stopped moving. Oh yeah! It must be time for lunch! Right on queue, my stomach grumbled loudly; bringing on another round of giggles from Emily. I got off my horse, “Where is the food?” I asked.
Once Emily had gotten control of her giggles she managed to get out “They are handing it out right now at the food wagon.”
I took a step forward and nearly fell flat on my face. My legs hurt!. Then I remembered I had the cure for that. As Emily offered me her hand I jerked away, “I can walk by myself, thank you very much.” I sniffed. So I hobbled proudly over to the food wagon to get my lunch and then to a spot that seemed as good as any other to sit down and eat it.
Emily half-ran-half-walked up beside me, “I’m sorry Luke…I just…I couldn’t help it! You should have heard yourself!” At this point she imitated the first sound I made when I woke up. It was pretty funny, but I wasn’t going to let her know that, so I just kept walking, passing the place I had originally planned to sit in my hurry to get nowhere. Oops. I picked another spot and this time I did sit there.
Meanwhile Emily was still keeping up to and making apologies and still failing. I finally decided that even though her sincerity must be there even if her words didn’t show it, because the simple fact that she kept on trying. Maybe if I had allowed her to go on she might have succeeded, maybe not, I’ll never know. Why? Because I finally pretended that one of her apologies was good enough and pulled her in for a hug.
“I really am sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings…” she trailed off. Finally! A good apology! For once! Then she ruined it by giggling again. Ugh! Girls! Ah well, that’s just the way life is I suppose; I hugged her anyways.
“How are you arms?” I asked, “Wait, don’t tell me, just give me your hand.” I ordered. Her face fell, but she obeyed. As I directed my consciousness toward the wounds in her arms I saw that infection was starting to set in. It’s a good thing I saw this now and not later. Right now I can take care of it easily and with almost no energy, all I have to do is direct her white blood cells to where the infection was and weaken the infection so that her white blood cells don’t die in such large quantities. Though the puss started to form quite a bit quicker than they would normally, Emily was probably freaking out. It serves her right for giggling like that for no apparent reason. But now the infection was ended, I sped up the healing process a little bit, which took little to no energy for me, but it would make Emily a little more tired a little bit quicker, until the cuts were healed. I’ll take her watch, no problem.
When I came back to myself Emily was staring in horror at her arm. There was puss running down in rivulets from the wound. “It was infected.” I offered, “I took care of it before it got to bad.”
Emily stared up at me and looked as if she might go into shock at any moment. I hurried her to a nearby stream and dipped her arm into it, washing of the thick, white puss that clung to it. Then I pulled her to me. “It’s ok,” I whispered into her ear, “it’s just a little bit of puss, it won’t hurt you; and it’s gone now.” Eventually she snapped out of it; so I broke our embrace and towed her to the medical wagon to get a fresh bandage and some salve. Once that was done we went back to reclaim the food I had left in my haste to wash off Emily’s arm.
After lunch, we remounted and the caravan started moving again. I rode close to Emily just incase I had misjudged just how much to speed up her healing, after all, this was my first time speeding up the healing process. Emily is a strong girl, but everyone has their limits, and I just haven’t had a chance to learn them very well yet.
I was right, just as the sun started to paint the clouds shades of orange and pink, Emily fell toward me, asleep. Luckily I had ridden very close to her for the whole ride, and was there to catch her when she did; so I carefully lifted her off her saddle and put her in front of me. Then I took her reigns and tied her horse to the nearest wagon.
Later on, once the caravan had pulled to a halt for the night, I took Emily off the horse and rested her against a tree so I could hobble our horses to let them graze. Then I took a big blanket from my bedding and wrapped her in it so I could take her with me on our watch. What, you think I am going to let her out of my sight even for just two watches? Well I got news for you if you do; you are very, very wrong.
About halfway through my first watch Christopher came up with three dinners for us. When he saw Emily he laughed. “I see I brought one to many dinners!” he exclaimed.
“I’ll wake her up, she needs to eat, don’t expect her to be very entertaining in the realm of conversation though.” I told him. Then I gently shook Emily awake.
“Meh, Whyy?” She said, her words slurred with sleep.
“You need to eat honey, and the dinner is here,” I pressed a bowl of stew into her hands, “eat this, and then you can go back to sleep.” I said. Emily quietly ate her dinner then settled her back against me and promptly fell asleep.
Through the whole episode Christopher just sat back and watched. “You two really love each other don’t you?” He commented.
“There are those that say that; yes.” I replied sardonically.
Christopher smiled, “You have a sense of humor I see, that’s refreshing.” Then, he leaned toward me, “Not a single one of those oafs over there have a single whit of humor in them.” He said smiled wider, “Can’t even take a little joke.”
So Christopher is a prankster is he, well, I think I’ll just give him a bit of his own medicine tonight. His watch is after mine, So I think I’ll find something to put in his bedding tonight while he is on watch. I hoped that he interpreted my smile as a response to his comment and not what I was planning to do.
Eventually I yawned and Emily turned restlessly in her sleep. Christopher insisted that I go on off to bed now, so I left to go find something to leave as a gift in his bedding. After I was out of his sight I turned off the path and started looking around on the ground. As I passed a clump of bushes I heard a hissing; when I inspected the bush more closely I found a snake in there! What a find! After examining it’s markings and making sure that it wasn’t poisonous (I even used my healing senses to make sure it had no poison) I carefully snuck it into Christopher’s bedding, hoping that the warmth would convince it to stay put. After I had finished with that, I carefully unwrapped Emily and tucked her into her own bed; after which I took my blanket and put myself to bed.
I was woken up not long after, to a loud, high scream. So my trick had worked I assume. I hurriedly got out of bed and ran in the direction of the scream, bow in hand, arrow notched, after all, I have to keep up appearances don’t I? When I got there I found Christopher standing on a fallen log as a disturbed snake moved around in his bedding, which was in an extreme state of disarray. When I saw it I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. As more people came out to see what the noise was about they started to laugh. I walked up to the snake and gingerly poked it with the tip of my bow. When it moved away instead of striking, I carefully picked it up with the tip of my bow pretended to examine it.
“Christopher you great fool! This snake isn’t even poisonous” I exclaimed. This made the, by now quite large, audience laugh all the harder. Christopher, his face turning red from embarrassment came down off his perch and quickly grabbed the snake and flung far away from the campsite.
“Don’t you people have something better to do than sit here and laugh at a poor guard?” He asked the his audience. They slowly drifted off, until it was just him and me.
“Next time please warn me before you scream eh? I thought we were being attacked and someone’s cat had been shot or something!” I called jokingly over my back as I went back to my bed. I was rewarded with a short laugh from Christopher. He didn’t suspect me, good; I don’t fancy having a trick like that being played on me. Because frankly, I don’t think I would have reacted very much differently.
I woke up before Emily the next morning, so I went to get our breakfast. When I got back, she was still peacefully sleeping, so I carefully disentangled her from her bedding and propped her against a tree while I put it away. Next, I retrieved our horses and tied Emily’s to a wagon and saddled mine. Then I packed up Emily’s breakfast, and put both Emily and her breakfast on my horse. Once the bell rang, signaling the caravan to start moving, I mounted the horse as well and did just as the bell suggested.
Emily woke up about an hour after we left last night’s camp site. Her breakfast took her all of about five minutes to inhale, and I had saved a large portion for her too. “Joy, give me your hand, I need to slow down the rate of your healing, or you are going to be having a problem with hunger and tiredness until your wound is completely healed.” She was still somewhat sleepy and didn’t completely understand me, but she gave me her hand anyways.
As I sent my consciousness to her arm I noticed that her wounds were almost healed, they had already formed a thin layer a skin to cover them, there was going to be scarring there though; same as there was with her stomach. Because her healing was almost done, I figured another night like last would be ok, so when I lowered the healing rate, I still left it above normal healing rates.
Once I had come back to myself I told Emily that she would still feel tired earlier today, and also hungrier, but after today her arm should be healed up, and after that her arm should be fine. She just nodded sleepily and leaned against me. I am definitely not speeding up the healing process this much ever again; not unless it is absolutely necessary.
That night, as I tucked a sleeping Emily into bed, Christopher came and told me that the next day would be a rest day, and that he was organizing a hunting party to gather food for the trip, as supplies were starting to run low because the robbers the first night had gotten away with some of the food we had brought with us. Because I was not only one of the few archers, but also the only one who could use a longbow, I would be a great asset to the group. I gladly came along with him…on the condition that Emily was allowed to accompany me. It was granted.
The next morning as Emily woke up, I told her about the hunting trip and she was ecstatic; “It’s a good thing we are learning now, while we have people to teach us, because we will probably be on our own in the wilderness at some point in our journey, and there will not be anyone to teach us there; we would have to teach ourselves.” She had a good point; I had never thought about it that way.
We left the caravan around noon with the rest of the hunting party, composed mostly of the bowmen in the guard, there were a few swordsmen, but not many, and Christopher was among them. Christopher followed me and Emily and taught us how to move quietly, and how to make traps, and how to wait at watering holes so as not to be seen. I managed to shoot a couple rabbits and a goose that was flying by, I was actually quite proud of myself as we made our way back to the caravan. All of the sudden Chris motioned for us to be silent and hide. Just as we had gotten into a hiding place, a deer ventured timidly out of the foliage, to where we had been just moments ago. Chris tapped me on the shoulder, and pointed first at my bow, then at the deer. I got the point and notched an arrow to shoot the deer, I quietly drew it back, aimed, and released. The arrow flew right where I intended it to go, through the deer’s heart, and embedded itself up to the fletching. The deer was dead almost instantly. Once I took my arrow out and cleaned it, we were faced with the problem of how to transport the deer, which must have weighed close to two hundred pounds, to the caravan, which was still almost a mile away yet. Eventually I made a sled out of vines and leaves and we put the deer carcass onto it then dragged it all the way to camp. It was evening by the time we got there; but when we did, the cook was thrilled.
“You got a whole deer! This is enough for at least three nights!” He exclaimed happily, “I the rabbits can be put into a stew too! The goose we can roast!” Needless to say, I was his favorite guard for the remainder of the trip.
The rest of the hunters came back with rabbits, foxes, fowl, and various rodents, but none of the rest had managed to catch a deer or any other large prey for that matter. Both Emily and I were quite proud of the accomplishment.