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The Sword

Chapter 3 - Diego and Martin Search Furiously for the Lost Sword

The wrath of El Cid descended on the boys like a summer thunderstorm.

They had arrived at Huete after dark, and Rodrigo had discovered the loss the moment he dismounted. Now he towered over them with a look they had only seen when he was engaged in combat with his enemies. And, thought Martin nervously, most of those enemies were dead.

With one massive fist El Cid grabbed Diego by the front of his tunic. “You are responsible for the care of my weapons,” he raged. “How could you lose the most valuable weapon I own?”

Terrified, Diego tried as usual to lay the blame on Martin. “I told Martin to load the equipment on the saddles this morning. He must not have…”

“You are squire!” Rodrigo interrupted. “You are responsible!”

With that he sent Diego sprawling to the ground. Glaring at them both, he bellowed, “At first light you will go back and you will find Tizona. I do not care how long it takes. Do not dare to show your faces to me again until you have it!”

As if to add emphasis to their lord’s words, it suddenly started to rain.

Neither boy slept much that night. In the pale, pre-dawn light of early morning they set out, anxious to put some distance between themselves and their angry lord.

Since they were searching as they went, the journey back toward Cuenca proved to be painfully slow. The boys scoured the trail and the land nearby, asked at every village, and interrogated every traveler they met.

They even waded through and searched every stream they crossed, thinking the sword might have fallen into the water. Finally they were driven by exhaustion and darkness to camp for the night.

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