The English army did not match the next day. The body of the army stayed resting in camp while groups of heavily armed soldiers were sent out far and wide to ravage the settlements of the Scottish countryside. All the villages and towns were burned to the ground and two castles were destroyed. The Scottish villagers all abandoned their homes and fled into the forests to the north before the rampaging English army. There no help from anywhere.

The two-high born Scottish women were kept in the comfortable tent next to that of the Duke of Claymore, both located a wide clearing in the middle of the vast encampment of the English Army. The Knights of the Golden Spurs guarded clearing and the tents four tents there which included that of the Duke’s brother. No ordinary soldier was allowed within the parameter of the clearing.

Jennifer and her sister lay together on the floor of her prison tent, covered in the tartaned military blankets they had been given last night when the soldiers brought them into the tent. They hadn’t been harmed or bothered in any manner since then but Jennifer still hadn’t been able to sleep. She had been awake all night, listening to the sounds of the army she knew was destroying her people and their land. Jennifer understood the situation of her sister and herself being held hostage. It meant that her father and her people were made all the more helpless against the English. Jennifer could near such thoughts. She had to escape with Emma, she had to free her father and people of the shackles the English had cleverly put on them.

Emma had cried herself to sleep last night and Jennifer was thankful for that because her sister took fright too easily and was unable to handle the situation.

At the sound of footsteps outside the tent, Jennifer’s body tensed and she glanced overate the tent flaps. It was daylight now and lying on the floor of the tent like she was, she could under the flaps. She could see the long golden cloaks and the golden spurs on the boots of the two men standing guard on the tent, they had been there all night, always alert. Two new golden knights walked up to take their place and the two guards walked away. All was soon quiet again except for the distant sounds of the large camp spread out all around.

Jennifer felt Emma stir under the blanket next to her and put her arms comfortingly around her, knowing she was going to be as upset as she was when she had gone to sleep last night.

“Jennifer,” said Emma as she came fully awake.

“Yes, Emma, I’m with you,” replied Jenifer.

Emma sat up and looked around the tent then moaned in anguish. “Oh, what are we going to do?”

Emma began to cry again.

“Shush… shush,” consoled Jennifer softly. “We are going to get out of here and go home. Stop crying. One way or the other, we are going to escape and go home to papa.”

The sounds of footsteps approaching the tent from outside suddenly reached them and Emma clung to Jennifer fearfully. The tent flaps were flung open and a big man in the golden cloak and golden spurred boots strode in.

The man looked at the two girls with a hard-unsmiling face and pointed at Jennifer. “You, come with me. The Duke wants you.”

Jennifer felt the terror rise within her even as she felt Emma begin to tremble.

“Noooo,” moaned Emma in anguish, hugging Jennifer tighter.

Jennifer hugged her sister back.

“Be strong now, Emma, behave like the Scottish lady you are. They won’t harm us, they need us alive to make papa do what they want. I will definitely be back.”

“Will you come back?” asked Emma.

Jennifer disengaged herself from her sister’s reluctant clutches and climbed out of the mass of blankets that was their bed on the floor. She stood to face the Knight and he waved her ahead towards the entrance of the tent. Head held high, Jennifer walked ahead of him to the entrance and out.

The large tent of the Duke of Claymore was only about a stone throw away and several knights of the Golden Spurs stood guarding it directly despite all the other guards spread out around the clearing. As Jennifer’s guard escorted her closer to the tent, she noticed the big giant of a man standing authoritatively in from of the entrance to the tent. The man was not wearing the golden cloak and shiny armor of the other knights but was dressed in simple clothes of black leather. The spurs on his boots were golden and the battle ax stuck in his belt told of his identity.

Jennifer felt a shiver of terror run through her. This was definitely the terrible giant called Arik who legend had it, never spoke a word to anyone but protected the Black Wolf day and night like an ever-present guardian angel. Jennifer didn’t recall seeing yesterday but then it had been night and she had been so terrified and confused.

The giant eyed Jennifer as she came up but didn’t get out of the way to let her pass so she stopped in front of him, feeling so small. Her guard moved off to stand to one side and left her alone.

Jennifer was barely as tall as his shoulder and she was considered a tall woman by many.

The giant kept looking down his nose at her for a moment longer than abruptly stood aside and gestured her towards the tent flaps.

With a shaking heart, Jennifer forced her legs to carry her on forward.





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