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Old 07-11-2006, 02:06 PM   #62
Flame of the Ainulindalë
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I’ve lost my knife! I’ve lost it! After they had lightly bandaged his head and shoulder, Khala and Cuáran had left him alone to help with the other wounded. This is so humiliating! How I hate Fewerth!

The Easterling’s mutilated body lay face down a couple of feet from him. He had had a beautiful dark reddish brown coat that was now ripped and smeared all over with his own blood. He had had boots too but they had been taken away from him by someone. Hadith couldn’t see his spear either. I tiny shimmer of hope entered Hadith’s conciousness. If they haven’t turned him around, he might still have his knife! It might be even better than the one Khamir gave me! With that he rose quickly, feeling a bit dizzy at first from the effort but then went to the body to take a closer look at it.

He turned the body around. The fear that had frozen in his eyes was something Hadith couldn’t quite face. The man was young, not much older than Hadith was. Hadith could see it even though his face was bruised pretty badly. For a short while he was just embarrassed. The Easterling didn’t look like a mighty warrior or brutal villain, but like an ordinary young lad. He studied the corpse in haste. There was nothing left. Everything of any value had been ripped off him already.

Hadith turned the corpse back face on the ground and stood up. They trusted me with a knife and what did I do? I lost it! I’ve betrayed their confidence in me, I’ve totally bungled it! He felt desperate. There was no way that he could save himself from the humiliation now. They would find out sooner or later that he had lost his knife. So he should confess his shortcomings preferably know than later. On the plantation one always got over with easier punishment if one confessed early. Hadith had learned this just too well. Fewerth was always good at that! He suddenly remembered and his anger towards Fewerth rose again. Maybe I should just go to him and demand my knife back? Khamir could testify that it is the one given to me. Hadith was still standing by the side of the dead Easterling. He bit his lip, not knowing what to do. A single teardrop ran slowly down his dirty cheek.

But one didn’t peach against others. Not if they were true men. Hadith’s mother had been firm with this lesson and Hadith had taken it to his heart. Even as Fewerth had had been the one who had acted foully, he would not let on him. He would settle the matter with him, though. But as he was not sure when or how he could make it, he realised to his horror that he still would have to go and make the humiliating confession to Khamir.

With a heavy heart he started looking for Khamir. Will they ever trust me with a blade again? They will think of me not worthy any more...

“I don’t have time for this, Hadith” Khamir had answered him as he had addressed him with his troubles. That had been even more humiliating. And to top his anguish, he had gone and slipped Fewerth’s name to make his claim. He had been so nervous! He had planned all he would say when he would meet Khamir, but what happened? Just nervous mumbling and betrayal.

But it was Khamir’s words that made him actually to realise the situation. Many people were wounded, some might even be dead. How about that young girl who was attacked by the dog? He hadn’t checked or even asked about the girl after the skirmish was over. He had been so full of his loss of a knife he had forgotten about other people. Now he was not only humiliated but also ashamed of himself. His first test at being a worthy man and a defender of others had proven a disaster.

Suddenly he heard Khamir addressing him: “Hadith, come here,” he called him and gave him the knife he had taken from Adnan. “If you lose your knife again, to anyone, I cannot say you’ll get another.” Hadith was quite baffled of this new twist of fate. He took the knife and bowed to Khamir, but as he was trying to open his mouth to thank for the confidence or to promise to keep this one more carefully, Khamir had already turned away to address the others.

Hadith took his leave without asking as Khamir clearly seemed busy. I should do at least something right today, he thought to himself and took to looking for the older ladies. He found Khala and Cuáran soon enough and helped them with an older man who had a nasty cut in his side. But his mind was mainly preoccupied with solitary reproaches.
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