It was still night, the dark before dawn. I stepped off the ferry after being away for a week.
I heard and could make out movement into the forest. There was a thwack!
I ducked a little knocking an arrow myself and a deer went down thrashing not to far away. I slipped into the trees and spotted a Panther stalking another deer a way into the trees. I took it out before she could just to see if I could and to show off. I have been practicing.^_^
I got another one too almost straight after, so we had plenty of meat for the camp for a while. She came round to where I was and we introduced ourselves and swapped news and gossip, while the first rays of the sun were stealing through the leaves.
Together we got the carcasses dressed, back to camp and strung up to finish bleeding. Then we decided to slip back into the woods for a patrol to see what was about.
We went together for a while and then I spotted a Kajira (slave girl) sitting quietly on the Town battlements in the morning sun. She looked familiar, so I said I was going for a closer look and peeled away, while my companion followed the contour of the Town wall within the forest.
I got close enough that I was fairly sure the Kajira might be “Y” who I last saw as a fellow Panther. I had heard she had been captured and thought this might be a chance to rescue her.
It was quiet, hardly anyone was about, such a chance might not come so easily again..
I slipped into the river that separates the town from the forest and quietly swam across. I snuck up to the base of the wall and listened. I could hear the Kajira speaking to a free male and could tell it was “Y”.
I waited till I could hear the guy wander away and then got set with a grappling hook.
I called out, “Psst! Y…!”, so there would be no alarm from her, then threw it, setting it in the battlement and swarmed up, jumping onto the battlements. I grabbed her, she struggled. I thought it was like swimmer’s panic and feeling a need to be back in the forest real quick I (as they say) "slugged" her.
Then I grabbed her and flung us both back over the battlement before I got spotted, slowing our fall with the rope. We came down hard. I un hooked the grapple and whipped the rope round her wrists to make sure she didn’t go adrift and then ran like the wind dragging her along back to the camp.
Once we were safe back behind our palisade I untied her and we hugged. She was glad to see me (except for acquiring bruises and scratches and getting messed up) and to get to see the camp again, but not overjoyed to be rescued.
We caught up on things and she confided her master had “lit her fire”. She was in love and he was talking manumission papers. Maybe even making her his woman. So my daring rescue was.. um.. not entirely what she was hoping the day would bring.
Awsome! parade.. on.. rain.. my.. make a poular phrase out of those words.
I thought about ransoming her back to him, but could not do anything to mess her chances of being happy. So I let her out of the compound and together we ran back towards the Town.
Near the town “Y” continued on over the bridge and I peeled away keeping out of arrow shot range, spotting my earlier companion coming back from the opposite direction.
She had been busy also, finding and capturing a male slave in the forest, while I was off rescuing people who didn’t actually need rescuing.
She was planning to trade him back to the town for golds.