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Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
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 Second Encounter



Chapter  II


  "Well, then, perhaps we should try to sort this out. William, bring the lad over here." As the guard began to draw the boy over to Morgan 's chair, the lad again began to twist and fight the man's grip. William had all he could do to keep a hold on the boy's arm. For all his small size, the boy was quite strong and agile. He almost succeeded in getting away, until Derry reached out and took hold of his other arm. "Whoa, there, lad," Derry said. "No one wants to hurt you. We just want to know what it is you are doing here." The boy looked up at Derry defiantly.

"I told you! I was looking for you!"

"Indeed, you did, lad. But when someone, child or no, comes sneaking into my castle, looking for one of my best men, I need to know why." Morgan had risen and crossed the room to stand at Derry's side, looking down at the boy with a stern expression. "Whatever your reasons, I am still the Duke of Corwyn, and you do answer to me." The boy subsided and stood quietly. "Now then, suppose we start by you telling us your name?"

"It's Selk, sir," the boy said. Again, Morgan raised his eyebrows.

"That's an unusual name. You aren't from Corwyn, are you, Selk?" The boy considered the question for a moment, before answering.

"Not as you'd say, sir. But we do visit your land often." Morgan let out an exasperated sigh.

"All right, then, where are you from?" Again, the boy hesitated a moment before answering.

"No one place in particular. We pretty much go where we please. May I give my message to Sean Derry now?" The boy reached inside his tunic and began to draw something out. Both Morgan and William moved to intercept a possible attack. But the boy pulled out a bag, made of a shiny silvery material and tied at the neck with what looked like braided weeds. He offered the bag to Derry, who took it gingerly, and was startled by it's weight. "It's a gift from my...." He hesitated, as if searching for the right word, "sister. Her name is Syrene. I'm sure you will remember her, sir." Derry almost dropped the bag he was holding at the mention of the name. Morgan was smiling openly now, for Derry had a bit of a reputation where the ladies were concerned.

"Ah, well, that explains a lot! But, tell me, Selk, why didn't your sister just bring her gift herself? I'm sure our Derry here would have been more than glad to see her again." Derry was looking quite uncomfortable at way this conversation had turned out.

"Well, sir, it's not as easy for Syrene to come here as it is for me. I'm sure you know what I mean, sir," he said to Derry.

"Ah, yes, I suppose it wouldn't be," Derry answered. Morgan, barely controlling laughter, turned to his normally staid chamberlain, who was trying to hide a smile of his own.



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