swirl

I held my stick at the loose ready. I was half-crouching, half-kneeling with my stronger leg under me. I could hear my own heart beating and the stream-noises. They were coming. They were not far behind. When they had gone past, I would back-track to the stone marker and strike due east, the shortest way out as the crow flew. I would summon the constables, and we would retrieve the bodies of Lemzy and Sul. Would they go past blindly? Surely they were better at hunting men than I was at being prey. It was a good hiding place–a hollow in the bank where a tree had washed out and toppled in, enough for me to flatten out and hope. But there was a chance. There was a good chance they would assume I had continued along the well-marked trail. There was a good chance they wouldn’t see me. It was a good hiding place: thorny bracken and the tree-trunk above me; the great tangle of sprawling, broken branches and reeds in front; and the water was clear again and swift. Water would hide my scent. Water hid the scent of men from men and the animals that men tamed and ordered. Would it from–that?

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