Friday, June 18, 2010

Chapter 25

We weighed anchor on the eastern bank of Antrim, a spitting distance from Scotland and unloaded barrels of ale for a celebration. Heber was anxious for a demonstration of the warrior skills of his newly purchased slaves. He gave me a bow. I put an arrow in the cradle of the bow, drew back the string and pitched an arrow feebly above the ground. "No!" He screamed, grabbing the bow and pitching an arrow high into the sky. "Like thus." Once more, I tried and again it shot into the ground. "Learn or die!" he snarled. The fig man was given the same task, and pulling the bow until his fingers bled, expelled an arrow into a suitable distance. Heber nodded. "I knew that you would do it, Emus." "Your name is Emus?" I asked. "I don't know," he whispered. "But am satisfied with the name." "These slaves are natural warriors," Heber bragged to the brothers. "Then you don't mind scrubbing their black skins," they answered laughing. The mocking caused Heber to shove us brutally into the sea, which he did with his own hairy hands. When we came out dripping wet he uncoiled his rapacious whip and cut deeply into our backs. "Heber! Heber!" They chanted. I was stunned. This was Heber! The great Heber of all the legends? No, this brute was the eptimony of raw bestial activity; the decline of human flesh and civilized man, emotionally void except to care about himself; cynically cruel and wasting, eager to kill and destroy. I felt the outline of the Celtic cross hidden under my wet tunic. No, this treasured relic of the ages cannot belong to the arrogant brother! This ancestor had no key to unlock a door into a peaceful world. Warning: US and International Copyright Restrictions Apply.

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