Friday, November 9, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 72

< Chapter 71                                                                                               Chapter 73 >

Prince Raoul has offered to challenge the trog leader to single combat!

            Let Raoul challenge the trog leader.  It was a tempting thought, but one fraught with problems of its own.
            "It has to be me," I said to Callan.
            "How very noble of you, consort," Raoul sneered.  "Save your lover, Callan!  Save him by sending me."
            "Tal?" I asked.  "Put the gag back in the prince's mouth."
            "I forbid that, peasant!" said Raoul.
            Tal said, "He might bite me."
            "He might," I agreed.  "If he does you have my permission to hit his head against the wall until he stops."
            Tal brightened, "Thanks!"
            "You cretin!" Raoul said.  "I'll see you hanged for-"
            Raoul did not bite Tal.  I was a little disappointed.
            "Why shouldn't I send Raoul?" Callan asked.
            "I think you know the reasons, Highness," I said.  "First, he could run off.  It's not very heroic, but Raoul's not much of a hero."
            That earned Raoul's nastiest glare yet.
            "He could lose the challenge," I continued, "leaving you to explain to his family -- including your future husband -- how you allowed a Tartegian prince to die fighting Mordan's battle.  And if he won, you'd have to explain to the Mordanian people why a Tartegian prince fought to save them while a Mordanian guardsman stood by."
            "Oh, David," Callan said, "losing Rob was bad enough.  I don't think I could bear it if I lost you."
            "You can bear it," I said, "and will bear it if necessary.  Your people need you to be strong and do what must be done."
            Callan sighed, then said, "David Rice, Captain of my Royal Guard, I request and require you save my people.  Tomorrow morning, you will challenge the trog leader!"

Can David defeat the trog leader?  Is the challenge one for leadership?  Find out in Chapter 73, coming Monday!