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Captain of the Guard: Men of Death and Money

September 25, 2019

“Certainly not, Captain.” Marious tried to smile. It was hideous.

Pookie rested his head on the ground and watched him carefully.

“Are we still on the right track?”

Emile and Marious nodded. “Indeed we are. He has not left the road yet.”

Pookie flicked a glance at the other two, but didn’t say anything.

“What is it, Pookie?”

The dog licked his black lips with his big pink tongue. “There were others on the road before and after him recently that are seeking him as well.”

Cedric felt a shiver. “You’re sure?”

Emile and Marious sniffed the air. “He’s right.”

Pookie’s lip curled, but he said nothing.

“How do you know that?”

Emile looked smug, Pookie looked bored, while Marious answered. “Does it matter?  Your question accepts that we can by how you phrased it.  You did not ask if we could do it, merely ‘how.’”

The Captain looked at the hound.  His life had been so much simpler just a few days ago. “I get enough of that nonsense from Alstone.”

“Sorry, Captain.” Emile said contritely.

“Don’t expect an apology from me. I wasn’t the one asking a stupid question.” Pookie snarled.

“There is no such thing as a stupid question!” Emile snapped.

“Yes there are. Starting with: I’ve done nothing wrong, why are you doing this?” Pookie tilted his head, “come to think of it, any question that begins with why is probably a stupid question.”

“You’re being terribly rude.”

“I would rather be honest,” Pookie paused showing his teeth, “than polite.”

“We’re wasting time.” Cedric interrupted. “What can you tell about the others?”
“Do you know who they are?”

“Many men, although only one or two cross the road at a time.” answered Emile.

“And horses.” added Marious

“Men of death and money.” Pookie said.

“Then we must hurry. Go to the fore and lead us to him.” The dog got up and loped ahead causing the horses to shy away in fear. Cedric ran to his horse and motioned Whisper over. “Send more outriders forth. We are not the only ones pursuing our quarry.”

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