- Gonath found himself repulsed by the woman yet could not bring himself to turn away.
“How do you know my name? And who are you to know of my untimely demise? If there is such truth to what you speak."
“It seems I have your attention, yet your questions are foolish ones. Your father was not so different."
“How? What do you...”
“No questions here. This is not the place. There are many who still seek the truth. Come, let us return to your home. We will dampen your curiosity as we go.”
“Old woman, I know not what knowledge you possess or pretend to possess. I know not of who you are, and I know not of where you come. I have not the time nor the patience to play out your riddles or your insults."
“Nor can you ignore what I have to tell you, young Gonath! Let us go now before it is dark. Thieves will be rampant tonight as your mother once discovered.”
Struck by what the old woman seemed to know and weary of arguing in the street, Gonath resigned to bring the woman home. He wanted to learn more of what she knew of his parents and compare it to the monk's vague version.
Gonath lifted the woman and placed her atop the horse she approached. As he did, the woman dropped what looked to be a coin. He bent to retrieve the gold piece and was struck in the face with the heel of the old woman. He spit the dirt from his mouth and listened to the worn cackle and the trailing words, “You foolish, foolish boy!” as the woman rode off. Gonath shook the insults from his mind to make room for the anger and embarrassment of being made the fool. Bested by an old hag. Now I know I have no place in the Army, he thought.
This is where something will go.