Historical setting: 589 C.E. when Brittany was forest
Today, we set out again for the hunt. And again, all I really want is to find that group of Christians they say are in these hills. On our first venture into the mountains I did see a cairn marking a trail for pilgrims, but I haven’t seen any other person who might know more of this than these pagan hunters. I was told the place where the Irish father and his followers have a community is a ruin of a fortress called Annegray. If I would see another person at least I could ask for direction. These mountains are a forested wilderness and I can’t even guess how vast.
Auldouff is a good distance ahead of us, Heinrique is still within my sight and here is a meadow with some deer grazing. Maybe Auldouff was right about a deer disguise. I seem to be able to move in fairly close to them even though they are alert to danger and listening in my direction. Then again, I guess Heinrique was right, as soon as one sniffs the air they bolt – leaping away in ever direction as fast and far as they can. Just now Auldouff rises up from the brush ahead of me, with his bow drawn, first aiming and missing a deer then notching another arrow and aiming straight at me, eye-to-eye, as though I were a partridge in hiding. Surely he sees I’m not prey. But he releases his arrow straight to … it must be close to my heart, I can’t catch my breath. Now here I am lying like a slain creature wrapped in the skin of the animal who once met this same fate.
Auldouff calls Heinrique to bring his blade because he thinks he’s wounded a buck. Auldouff comes nearer and he sees I am conscious so he says it was an accident. “You looked just like a deer to me, though I’ve never seen one face to face like that before.” He reaches to draw out the arrow, and I plead for him not to, but it is too late. Now there will be so much bleeding.
“I had to get my arrow back. Heinrique will stop the hurt. Don’t worry Ezra.” He backs off.
Heinrique is here now, and Auldouff is at a distance. “What have you done, Auldouff?”