“Hold yourself still,” I said. Thorton-Syme inhaled but made not other response. I used my hunting knife to cut the bandages from his injured leg. The bite did not look good but neither did it seem to have worsened. I applied more of the salve and wrapped clean strips about the wound.
Thorton-Syme exhaled. He could not have been holding his breath that entire time, could he? He said, “The bloody cats know their medicine. Ha! That is a sentence I’d not have thought to ever pronounce. I’ve always preferred the company of hounds myself.”
The creature lurched through the forest, swatting at the branches of the trees that impeded his way. We followed at a walk. There seemed no need to hurry. The poor beast was heading away from the village so we had no fear of him hurting any other men.
“What are we to do with him?” I asked.
Father drank from his flask. He did not offer a taste to me. He gave me a smile instead. “Perhaps he will stumble off one of these cliffs and we will need do nothing.”
“Please, Uncle Billy? Just one story?” Magnolia pleaded.
Norse Billy lit his pipe. “About your father? When we sailed under the black flag?”
“We won’t tell Mother,” I promised.