Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Scout's Honor - Chapter 71
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Our heroes finally have hope they can defeat the trogs -- if Tal can be believed!
"You know how to get rid of the trogs?" I asked.
Tal said, "The doctor says I do."
Tal's brow furrowed.
"What did you say before the doctor sent you to me?' I asked.
Tal's face cleared, "I was talking about the challenges."
"The big trog has one every morning," Tal said. "A guy with the trog calls for a challenger."
"Guy? You mean a man?"
"Yeah, but he talks trog, too," Tal said.
"Tell me about the challenge," I said.
"Not much to tell," he replied. "Sometimes a prisoner volunteers, sometimes the trogs pull a prisoner out of the crowd. They fight, the man dies, and the trogs all chant something."
"Anything else?" I asked.
Tal shook his head but Milo, who had been listening from his sister's bedside, nodded.
"Yes," he said. "When the trogs select a challenger, they just toss the body on a big fire. When someone volunteers, they make a pyre and hold a short ceremony. A trog funeral or something."
That surprised me. Considering how little I knew of trogs, maybe it shouldn't.
"Weapons or hand-to-hand?" I asked.
"Volunteers get to choose weapons," Milo said.
"Thanks," I said and Tal went back to Sarn.
"A lot of primitive cultures use challenges to select their leaders," I said.
"You don't know if that's what the trogs are doing," Callan said.
"It makes sense, Callan," I said.
From the other corner, Raoul tried talking around the gag I'd stuffed in his mouth.
"Tal," I said, "take the gag out of his mouth."
Tal did and Raoul spat, "There's no need to risk your consort, Callan. I will challenge the trog leader!"
Can Callan allow a prince of Tarteg challenge the trog leader to save Mordanian lives? Find out in Chapter 72, coming Friday!