The Bancross Mystery: A Rough Ride.


“Keep up that shrieking, woman, and I will slice both you and your brat’s throats,” the man, Ceadda, shouted. “Your husband should have let me kill you both back at the inn.”

“But he didn’t, did he!” Hild hissed back. “He paid you well to ferry me and Bronaa to ‘safety’, only I don’t see Cliving as being very safe. I want to go to Faldham, blast you.”

Cedda half turned in his seat to pull the rough covering over the two women sitting in the back of the wagon. They had both been making too much noise for his head since they crossed the Entwade, and awoke. He would put a stop to their whining. He would pile the sacks of grain they sat on on top of them. That would stop all sound as permanently as a blade. 

“For the final time, I was paid to deliver you both to a contact in Cliving. Paega didn’t say that you had to be alive.”

Hild cursed her husband under her breath, and suddenly made to bite Cedda’s left hand, which was foolishly close to her. She caught some of the dried flesh in her teeth.

“What the!”

Ceadda twisted further and leant forward to strike the woman off, so was off his own guard for an instant as Bronna swung the untied rope which had earlier bound her wrists, over his head and round his throat. She twisted the rope and pulled tight. 

Hild struck out with a hand already bloodied from working loose two sets of rope. She hit Ceadda squarely on the jaw, even as he raised both hands to remove the tourniquet. There was a cracking sound. She could hit hard.

“Mama!” Bronaa choked through a parched throat. 

“You think I never picked up any tricks from watching Fight Club then?”

Her cheeks stained with the many tears, (at least some of them false) she had shed since she had been bundled into the wagon beside her unconscious mama, Bronaa ran a hand almost casually back through her hair. She maintained the pressure of the rope as Caedda’s head slumped forward as far as it could go.

“You think I never picked up any trick from watching Ethel then?” she replied, finally removing her hold and using the rope to tie Ceadda’s wrists tightly. 

Hild was using her piece of rope to bind their captor’s feet. Then she reached out for the reins, even as the horse shifted pace uneasily due to the ruckus. 

“Steady there, Magni,” she soothingly addressed the Roaring Dragon’s seamhors. “We need to unload this ‘burden’ behind some rocks, where he wont be found. Then we will be on our way to Faldham, and if the Elfward will aid us, home. 

“I think we should take his boots, mama,” Bronna piped up. “Just in case.”