In this scene, Brother Miron is remembering a time in his youth as a young captain. They think the cave they’ve found is an answer to prayer. Little did they know what waited for them there.
Excerpt from PALADIN’S PRIDE.
His hand trembled as he poured a small glass of wine and opened the letter he had read so often he knew each word, each pen stroke, each tear stain by heart. Tonight he vowed once more he would add no more stains to the letter, but he knew he would. He always did.
He peered at the page and smiled. “The cave. One of my favorite letters.” He wondered briefly if there were any that weren’t his favorites.
My Dearest Husband
The cave with the crystals sounds delightful. Perhaps you can take us to see it one day.
The leaves are turning brilliant hues which make the hills look as if they are ablaze. Oranges, golds and fiery reds splash the small valley. The crops are in thanks to our neighbors. I’ve traded for supplies to tide me through the winter should I not be able to make it to town later. The root cellar is full of winter vegetables and dried fruits and meat.
Though I have need for nothing, I dread the coming winter. Last year, our first winter together, we spent in repairs and building. Preparing for the spring. Had I known war would call you away I would have spent every moment at your side. I would have stored memories instead of roots. I would have made more love instead of quilts. I would have touched you enough to last a lifetime. I would have, but I didn’t.
He wiped a tear from the corner of his eye before it could fall to the page yellowed with time. She had always feared for his safety and yet it was she and their tiny son who perished in the war. I should have been there for you
He shuddered as he thought of the cave. They had been riding hard for three days in hostile, unfamiliar land. Even the weather seemed against them in this harsh territory as clouds black and heavy with rain tumbled across each other in a race to cover the fading light of day. Arnet and Basrom rode ahead to look for shelter. Miron was sure they would be huddled under a tree somewhere, but the two boyhood friends searched with the confidence God gives fools and optimists.
Their efforts were rewarded with the discovery of a cave large enough for even the weary horses to rest out of the storm. Lightning split the sky and struck a towering oak tree that popped and exploded from the force. Miron shook his head. “That would have been my choice for shelter, boys. Looks like the powers are with us for once.”