Nine days after leaving Verdas, Sparrow’s Troop made it to Hilton. True to its name, the town sat upon a hill. There they rested at the Happy Bee Tavern for the night. As the men and Sarah sat drinking and enjoying the warmth of the fireplace, Sergeant Sparrow went to talk with the Scout Coordinator.
On the dawn of the next day, Sparrow’s group assembled outside of the Coordinator’s house. The Coordinator supplied them with some warmer clothing along with standard Scout rations. Leaving, they marched along as if they were out on a regular border patrol. But, rather than follow the normal route, Sparrow led them in a large loop around the town.
“River crossing is about a half mile downstream,” Sparrow told them on the second day. “We’ll cross under the cover of dusk.”
Sarah shivered despite the clothing she wore as a cold wind blew across them. “Is it wise to cross when it’s so cold? I imagine the water can’t be all that warm.”
“Scout Commander said there was a boat waiting for us. The villagers will make sure it gets back on the other bank before the next group arrives.”
Sure enough hidden by reeds in a marshy part of the river the boat sat. They crowded into it and hunkered down. Hidden by the trees and tall grasses they waited for nightfall. Sarah wasn't the only one who dozed off and on.
“Time for flight my Sparrows,” Scout Sergeant Sparrow whispered as the sun began to set.
Her three men and James grabbed oars and began to row them out. The cold wind that whipped down from the mountains made everyone stay low. If there had been an enemy camp just across the way, Sarah would have felt like Washington crossing the Potomac, despite the fact there was no ice on the water; yet.
The boat landed among the reeds and brush that lined the opposite bank. Sparrow deftly hopped off the bow and brought the boat in, tying it to a nearby tree. She helped everyone unload.
“We’re on Azurian soil now,” she spoke quietly to them. “We’ll be going for stealth more than speed though these parts aren’t inhabited by many.”
“Only one town along the Huerta River on this side,” James stated, “but Lord Farquad’s manor house is near here. He’s my uncle and I know him to be on our side, so he could help us.”
Sparrow nodded as they moved on. “Sarah check in with Phoenix, let him know were across and give him James’s information. We won’t act upon it, unless he says so.”
Sarah relayed what James had said to Jason who thought about it for a while.
Everyone’s still on schedule so far. Best leave the Lord Farquad be for now. We want to get out with the Princess before we start any major campaign. Worst case we take refuge there on the way home.
Sarah relayed the information back to Sparrow and she kept them to their current path.