Harsh JudgmentMature

Dinner was eaten quietly, after which Harriet and Princess Allmarah brought down bowls of soup for Katherine and Tralee. Sparrow went down a little while later. When she returned with the empty bowls she beckoned over Sarah and Kevin.

“What do you think is wrong with them?” she asked Kevin.

He shook his head. “The baby has an ear ache, and right now it doesn’t look critical, but the Lady Tralee,” he shook his head, “I do not know what her illness is. It seems to be a cold that has taken hold in her chest.”

“Pneumonia?” Sarah asked, but only received puzzled stares from the two of them. “Can you treat it?”

“That’s just it.” Kevin sighed. “It’s not responding to anything I have given her.”

“So the baby we can bundle, but the Lady Tralee...” Sparrow prompted.

“Unless Mistress Laura can do more for her than I...” Kevin shrugged.

Holding up a hand to indicate silence, Sparrow tapped her lips in thought. “Sarah, contact Phoenix and let him know that Lady Tralee is too sick to be moved. We will have to move on without her.”

“Wh...” Kevin and Sarah’s startled exclamation was cut off by a glare from Sparrow.

Sergeant Phoenix, Sarah made her request formal. He responded quickly and she told him what Sparrow had stated. There was silence as if he too thought this was harsh judgment.

How does Princess Allmarah feel about this? Jason asked.

“Have you told Princess Allmarah?”

“She will understand,” Sparrow stated as she walked towards the shelter they had built.

Sarah looked to Kevin. He shrugged and then followed after Sparrow. Deciding she didn’t want to be with the others, Sarah went into the Temple looking up at the Godwood and asking for portation once more. When she arrived in the Gods’ Cavern Lady Miriam was weeping, while Harriet was urging her towards the stairs.

“She won’t go,” Harriet sighed.

“She’s been forced to do enough things,” Katherine’s voice was weary as she rocked her infant.

Princess Allmarah looked up from where she sat by Tralee. “We will stay down here,” she told them, “and keep Tralee company. Goodwoman Sarah, you will stay with us, will you not?”

“May I as well?” Sarah turned around to see Prince Hermanus had joined them. “Then you will have two swords,” he looked to Sarah, “just in case.”

Sarah smiled. “I’ve no problem with you being here, if you don’t mind being one guy among the gals, but,” she looked towards the Princess and Harriet, “it’s up to those who know etiquette better than I.”

Princess Allmarah nodded and Prince Hermanus went to sit beside her. Their silence was punctuated by coughing fits from Tralee, and the two worked as a team to tend her. Harriet turned to Sarah and nodded at the dwindling woodpile. Sarah returned her nod and went back up to find firewood.  As she was exiting the cavern for her second trip her paths crossed with Sparrow and Sarah stopped the Sergeant.

“You will let them stay down there won’t you?” she continued before the Sergeant could interrupt. “Prince Hermanus and I will lend our swords for protecting them, if need be, but Lady Miriam is afraid to be in the company of the men and Princess Allmarah wishes to stay with Tralee.” Sarah looked into Sparrow's eyes. “You should at least give her that chance for goodbye.”

Sparrow grunted and moved on. Sarah hoped her words had some affect on the Areni woman. There were obviously a few differences in how Sparrow viewed the world from how Sarah did. Thankfully, when Sarah returned they were all still down there, but it was Princess Allmarah who was crying. Coughing from Tralee, removed the possibility that the young lady had died.

Sparrow must have told her we’re leaving Tralee behind, she thought, looking sympathetically at the Princess.

Stacking her load of firewood, Sarah built the fire up, before joining the others. No sooner had she sat down, than James appeared. He looked to Sarah who nodded towards the Princess. Hermanus whispered to Allmarah. Raising her eyes slowly to look at James, Princess Allmarah nodded. So, James took his place in the circle around Tralee.

The End

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