Chapter LXXXIV

The morning dawned misty and chilly, but Beatrix was up before break of day and sitting in the main tent with the outlaws, Hathering and Lockspate, making plans.

‘We have to keep fighting,’ Beatrix said determinedly. ‘If we don’t, everything is lost. Everything we’ve done so far will be wasted.’

‘I know,’ Hathering said sadly. ‘But if we fight again, more will be lost and more will be wasted. I know when I am beaten. And I am beaten now. There is no point fighting for a lost cause.’

‘Our cause is not lost!’ she protested strongly. ‘We have everything on our side! Truth, justice, goodness...’

Hathering looked at her with dead eyes. ‘Do you still believe that simply being good makes you right? Do you still believe that good triumphs over evil?’

‘I believe that it should, and that we can make it happen. If you dream a dream, it is halfway true already. Will you desert everything we ever believed in, just because you believe yourself to be beaten? Will you really give in this easily?’ She spat. ‘Coward.’

‘You’re right. I am a coward. But better be a coward and live, then be brave and die.’
She turned away in disgust. ‘So the rebels will not fight again. But outlaws - you’ll follow me, won’t you? You’ll help me?’

To her surprise Jaques was the first to speak. ‘I am with you, Beatrix, if no man else is. I believe in better world. And to make a better world, we need Keiran. I stand with you.’

It was a matter of moments before the others joined them. Beatrix looked to Lockspate, the hint of a question in her eye, but he shook his head. ‘My place is with Hathering,’ he said tiredly. ‘I could not join you even if I wished to.’

The outlaws and Beatrix put their heads together, planning and plotting, until they knew exactly what they had to do. They had a plan. They would rescue Keiran.

The End

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