If a guardsman had happened to have been watching at that particular moment, he would have seen a barely-visible trail of people, hurrying towards the fortress, bent low to the ground and clad in greens and browns to help them blend with their surroundings. He might have thought something of it, he might not. Either way, he most likely would have raised the alarm, at least with his commanding general.
But, luckily for them, no guardsmen happened to notice, or even look in that direction. For they were all downstairs in their mess, gorging themselves on stolen food and smuggled wine. Celebrating their wonderful victory, drinking to the health of their leader, the military genius.
Down in the cells, the mood was very different. The cells were small and square, separated from each other only by an iron grille. Light came only from a tiny window high in the wall and two burning torches set into the opposite wall from the cells.
Carla sat quietly in the corner, hearing the raucous shouts from above. The rebels had lost. Beatrix- And Quigley. He would never escape now. And neither would she.
She felt as though she was grieving for a dear friend. The rebels hadn’t meant that much to her, surely? She was only Beatrix’s maid - not a political bone in her body.
But the pain she felt said otherwise.
She had to do something! She couldn’t just sit here, waiting for everything to end. What would Beatrix do?
Throw a tantrum, probably, the sarcastic side of her said. It was a small, squashed part of her being that usually got no say in things, but as her situation grew worse, so her sarcasm had grown larger.
No, Beatrix would know what to do. She’d... She’d...
Suddenly, Carla sat bolt upright. Her hair would’ve stood on end if it could.
‘Of course,’ she whispered. It was so blindingly obvious.
Beatrix wouldn’t be happy sitting in a tent, no sir. She’d be out here, trying to get herself killed, as likely as not.
So why wasn’t Carla trying to get herself killed too?
‘Okay, people,’ she said loudly, standing up to get everyone’s attention. ‘Here’s our plan for getting killed.’