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Godwyn in the Stableyard

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When Godwyn arrived, he found two warhorses (his uncle's own horse, and a strurdy stallion that Lord Hardy had favoured) both being arrayed in the stableyard. The two senior guards, however, were standing to one side, in quiet but clearly worried conversation.

Godwyn joined the two guards. "Is there a problem?" he asked them quietly, while watching the grooms preparing the horses.

"We found two of them Boltons sneaking around the tack room," said the older of the groom - Hesson - grimly. "We've checked Ser Godfrey's gear twice since - there seems nothing wrong with it."

"Check the gear on the prisoner's horse, too," Godwyn said. "Hairy Bolton would love it if something happened to make it look like we were trying to cheat. It looks like he already tried poisoning his own son last night."

The two grooms looked at one another, startled. It was clear that they had thought only in terms of Ser Godfrey being the target of the Bolton's malice. But at Godwyn's urging, they began to examine the tack of the horse destined for Evan Tamm.

It was not long before Hesson suddenly swore.

He emerged from behind the horse to look at Godwyn.

"The girth, Master Godwyn. Half sheared through - but cunningly."

Godwyn nodded grimly. "The Boltons want us to take care of their trash for them, and then they plan on accusing us of treachery in doing it. Replace the tack. I will tell my uncle about this when he arrives, and see what he wants to do about it."

"Very good, Master Godwyn," said Hesson grimly - and the two grooms moved away with the horse to start fixing new tack.

As they worked Godwyn walked to the doors of the stable and stared out into the courtyard, watching for his uncle, and observing everything else that was going on. There was an angry frown on his face, and his hand was caressing the hilt of his sword.

There was no sign of his uncle but a slight, unmistakable figure was making her way towards him, hopping more than walking, and making use of a heavy stick to help her.

Godwyn strode from the stable doorway. "What are you doing?" he demanded, as he scooped her up. "You couldn't bear to miss the fight?"

He held her in his arms and looked down at her, his anger of a moment ago fading. "We've beed neglecting you, haven't we? Sorry about that. More and more troubles, all the time." He sighed and shook his head, then turned to carry her back towards the stables.

Edlyn submitted to being carried with a good grace, possibly because it gave her privileged access to Godwyn's ear.

"So," she said determinedly, "what is happening? Where is everyone?

"The battle plan," she added hastily. "Where are the troops arranged on the field?"

For Edlyn was shrewd enough to know that although gossip was to Godwyn a high and foreign tongue whereof he comprehended little, couching any question in military terms was more likely to get a response.

"The combat will begin soon," he told her, glancing around to be certain no one was close enough to overhear. "We discovered Hairy Bolton's men had cut through the cinch of the horse Tamm will be riding, I figure he wanted his son to lose, but then to be able to claim that we cheated. That's typical of the Boltons. My brother is taking some men out to hunt Wildings, he's demanding some of Bolton's men and some of Corryn's men as well. That will mean fewer Bolton men in among us, and the ones out in the woods will be outnumbered. Ser Corryn...." he shook his head. "He's doing something clever that I can't understand at all. Syndra is being guarded by Volf, she'll probably show up soon, I don't know where she's gotten to right now." He tried to remember if there was anything he was forgetting.

"And there she is," said Edlyn. She pointed across the stableyard and then waved.

"Syndra! Over here!"

Syndra was looking around purposefully, and though Edlyn and Godwyn were not who she was searching for, she brightened all the same. "Edlyn! Godwyn!" she greeted them as she hustled over. "Has Father been here yet?"

"He's armoured an on his way," Godwyn answered. "But he got stopped to talk with Ser Corryn and Hairy Bolton. He should be here soon." He looked at her and his expression turned gloomy. "Has anything else happened?" he asked.

Syndra hadn't planned to tell him. Honestly she hadn't. But she found once again that she could not keep things from Godwyn. She glanced around, ensuring they were alone, then whispered, "Limosa's missing. We think Ser Herys might have taken her." She hoped the stern warning glances she shot at both Godwyn and Edlyn would preclude any sudden outbursts.

"WHAT!?" Godwyn shouted. His right hand instintively grabbed for his sword hilt, unmindful of the fact that his right hand was currently under Edlyn's knees, helping to support her weight.

"SHHHH!" Syndra shushed him as she reached forward to keep Edlyn from falling in a heap.

Edlyn, startled, let out a yelp as her feet banged down on the unforgiving yard of the earth.

The grooms looked round, startled; the horses shied.

Syndra wrapped an arm around Edlyn's waist and used her other hand to physically turn Godwyn away from the grooms. "Godwyn, quiet," she warned him in an undertone. "Tamlin and Volf have dogs on her trail. I was with them until just a moment ago. When the trial's done, you can take me back to them and help find her yourself. But for now... by the Gods, keep it quiet!" She glanced over at Edlyn as well, though she was certain Edlyn understood the situation.

Godwyn's expression was furious. "This is unbearable!" he muttered, struggling to keep his voice low. "We've taken more than enough from the Boltons. They've taken our hospitality and wiped their.. that is they've..." he faltered, looking from one girl to the other. "They've blown their noses on it," he finished lamely.

"Well," said Edlyn, "you might have a chance for revenge soon. Here comes your Uncle, and Ser Corryn. Oh, and ... " She suddenly ducked her head and hissed at the other two, "And I've been very careful not to strain my ankle, do you hear?"

Page last modified on November 16, 2006, at 09:39 PM