After a moment she sniffed. “You never did tell me where you are from,” she said.

“Ah,” I said. “It’s pretty complicated.”

“You were going to tell me before. In—in the cottage.”

I nodded. Yeah, I remembered. Didn’t make it any less complicated.

“I knew you would come for me,” she said. “At first I thought you were dead. When that peasant hit you. I thought they were going to kill me too.” She paused and took a breath. It shuddered a bit, but she steadied herself. “When they took me, I realized you weren’t dead. I kicked off my shoe.”

The slipper. Cyril standing in the doorway holding it. “You kicked it off?” Shit, that was a pretty smart move. For a teenager, panicking in the rain and dark, with no friends for who knows how far? “We found it—Michel found it. If we hadn’t, in that rain . . .”

“I know,” she said. “I remember thinking Martin would find it.” She looked up at me. “Isn’t that strange? I wasn’t thinking about Stephan or Cyril or Gigot.”

It briefly occurred to me that one could be insulted, but I understood her. You expect the guys with the big swords to lead the rescue.

Here it is, after a bit of a break: The first half of Chapter 14. (If you’re joining us for the first time, you can find the previous 13 chapters here.)

Click through for a PDF.

This is not the fastest-paced part of the book, but the action returns pretty quickly. Like in less than half a chapter . . .

I’d expected the previous posting to generate some comments, but there’s been only silence. Is that good news or bad . . . ?

Comment below; you know you wanna! And receive an email notification of every update to this site by subscribing (see the link to the right). Converse with me on Twitter at @charlesmryan, or follow my writing diary on Facebook at Charles M Ryan.

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