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Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
          Hall of Seasons  


 Second Encounter



Chapter  I


  "And, so, Your Grace, it looks like the Duchy's revenues will be up this season, given that...." Corwyn's seneschal was interrupted in mid-sentence by a commotion from the hall. All three men in the room turned to look toward the door, Morgan for the first time since the evening's meeting began actually looking interested. They caught the sound of heavy boots in the hall, then a sharp curse, and the door was flung open. A young lad, about 8 years old, darted into the room, followed immediately by one of Morgan's guardsmen. The man caught the boy by the arm and began to drag him out of the room.

"Sorry, Your Grace," the guard said, apologetically. "He got away from me. Slippery little devil, he is." Morgan smiled. He had quite a bit of experience with how slippery children could be when they did not want to be caught.

"It's all right, William," he said. "But what does the lad want? Is there something I can do for him?" The guard stopped in the doorway and shook his head.

"I don't believe so, Your Grace. He sneaked in through the kitchen, and we found him searching about the halls. He wouldn't say why he was here. Probably looking for something to steal." The man began to pull the boy out the door, but the lad resisted with all his 8 year old strength and shouted.

"I'm not any thief! I was sent here to find Sean Derry! Let me go!" At the lad's words, Derry, who had been watching the proceedings with only slight interest, looked up sharply. The other two men turned to him.

"Derry, do you know this lad?" Morgan asked his aide. Derry shook his head.

"I don't believe so, Morgan," he answered. He rose from his seat at the table and crossed the room to stand in front of the boy. He hunkered down to the boy's eye level and looked him up and down. The boy was dark-skinned with short dark hair that lay close to his scalp like a soft fur cap. His eyes were large and a deep, liquid brown. He was a handsome lad already and looked to be even more so as a man. "No, I have never seen the lad before." Morgan raised his eyebrows at Derry's words.



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