“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.” –Thoreau

02 February 2010

Book two, chapter two.

              Finngall and Captain Egen made their way back through camp, assuring everyone along the way that it was safe to return to their bedrolls. As they neared the command tents, Marte appeared again out of nowhere bearing hot mulled cider and Rhetta at her heels.
                “Thank you, Marte,” Finn said, taking his mug and passing one to Egen.
                “Surely, milord,” Marte replied. They had agreed that it would be improper for her to call him by name when they were in company. She never slipped. “Will ya be wantin’ anything to eat, milord, Captain Egen?”
                “Please, Marte, something light,” Finn answered. “At my tents, and quickly.”
                “A course, milord,” she curtsied promptly and took off toward the mess. Captain Egen made a detour toward his own tent. Rhetta followed Finngall into the pavilion and flopped down near his feet, her head on her paws.
                ‘What’s going on?’ Rhetta inquired. ‘Why the commotion?’
                Finn gave her a discreet hand signal, which meant that all was well and that they’d talk later. She sighed heavily as the Captain opened the tent flap and took a seat across from Finn, a stack of papers under one arm. Marte was back instantly, carrying a tray laden with fruit and cheese. She backed out of the room, taking her place near the door in case anything else was needed.
                “That girl’s a Gods’ send,” Captain Egen remarked, mouth full of fruit. “If I weren’t married a’ready, I’d steal that kitten away from you, milord.”
                “You’d find she’s very loyal, and very happy with her work,” Finn laughed. “Although I suppose someday I’ll lose her to a handsome, young swain. But I doubt very much that he’ll be you, Egen.”
                Egen barked out a laugh and shook his head. “Fair enough, milord, fair enough.”