昨日は薄曇りで風がありちょい寒い日でした。

なんだかその不思議が嬉しくなりました。

Matthias kept his sights on the river

2017-08-09 10:49:06 | 日記


"Then again," Matthias argued, "would it not be better if we made our way to the quarry and waited there? Asmodeus is bound to head for home."

"I wish it were that simple, my friend," Log-a-Log replied. "The land around the quarry offers no concealment; too flat and bare. Poisonteeth is full of ancient cunning too. He may have a secret entrance outside the quarry itself. I think it is best we wait here. I'll spread the comrades out in a line. We'll all keep watch."

Throughout the long afternoon, Matthias lay hidden at the base of a lilac bush. He was within calling distance of shrews secreted a short distance away, as they were of their neighbors farther along. Fully a half mile of the bank was covered in this fashion. Whoever spotted Asmodeus was to report, after letting one minute elapse, to Matthias, who was positioned roughly at the center of the line. Guosim and Log-a-Log were stationed on either flank.

The blazing sun hung over the watchers like a fiery disc. and the ground in front of him, not daring to move, whether to eat, drink or scratch. He was forced to endure the unwelcome attention of inquisitive flies and insects that buzzed about and walked across him at their leisure. Often he would focus so hard that his imagination played tricks. A slight ripple upon the water, or a vagrant breeze through the grass, became Asmodeus. He would blink and reassure himself that it was only a product of his tensed mind.

The young mouse lost track of time until he became aware of the sun starting to sink in a reddening sky heralding the twilight. Surely the snake must pass this way soon!

As complete darkness descended, a shrew sneaked up through the grass and tapped Matthias's shoulder.

"What's the matter? Has Asmodeus been sighted?" Matthias asked.

The shrew pointed out along the flank that Guosim headed. "I don't know, mouse. You'd better come and see for yourself. I'll go and get Log-a-Log."

Matthias scrambled out from beneath the lilac. Something must have gone wrong! Throwing caution to the winds, he

dashed along the river bank. Other shrews left their hiding places and followed him.

Guosim was seated upon the open ground, her eyes wide with fright, teeth chattering madly, her whole body trembling tike a leaf.

Log-a-Log came racing up. Matthias shouted to him, "Guosim's in a state of shock! Help me, let's get her into the water."

Grabbing Guosim between them they rushed her into the shallows and ducked her under the surface of the river. She came up spluttering but coherent.

"Giant Poisonteeth, the snake, Asmodeus, he was here! I didn't spot him until it was too late. He's taken Mingo. Gave him the magic eyes, then bit him and dragged him off! Poor Mingo. Ugh! It was horrible, horrible, I tell you, the rotten filthy reptile!" Guosim flung herself down sobbing into the grass.

Log-a-Log pulled her roughly to her feet. "Come on, don't lie there crying, shrew! The adder probably left a good wet trail for us to follow. Where did it happen?"

Guosim ran shakily some distance to the left. She pointed to the ground. "Right here! You can see the great slithering marks! Look!"

The evidence was quite clear. The wet path in the dry grass gleamed in the dark.

晻 They followed the trail with Matthias and Log-a-Log in the

lead. It twisted and turned tortuously, over small hillocks,

through hedges and across fields. Even when the wetness

stopped there was the musty odor of death clinging to the

'? ground.

? At the top of a small rise Matthias dropped into a crouch. :f Signaling sveryone to do likewise, he pointed downwards. ? "Look, Log-a-Log! There!"
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