The goliphant suddenly stopped. What’s wrong, you stupid animal? the driver said. He whipped it hard on its back. Keep moving!
It moved a couple of steps more, and stopped again. A big tree was blocking the road. What the… The driver silenced. A man came out from the bushes, another out from the leaves of the tree.
Rond rose to his feet, got his sword up from the ground. He stumbled a bit, took another sip of the strong liquor in his flask.
Hey, where are you… Tim sat up, looking confused.
Leave d’is to mee… Rond mumbled, and went half running, half falling down the hill.
Please! Please don’t hurt me! The driver held his hands high.
I don’t care about you, Rond said as he got closer. You ssuck, get out of here! A couple of the guys laughed. The driver jumped down from the wagon and ran back where he’d come from.
Coward! Tim was still sitting in the grass. They had been waiting all day, and the day before. A lot of time to waste in the sun.
Rond stopped by the goliphant, looking him into the eyes. Hi there, my friend, he said. Don’t worry, this will soon be all over. He lifted his sword, let it fall. One rope fell to the ground. The goliphant took a nervous step back. Rond struck again.
Run off, my big friend! You’re free!
The animal stepped over the trunk, a bit clumsily, and ran down the road. It stopped, turned around and lifted its trunk. Then it ran off into the bushes.
Rond took a step back and fell on his butt in the grass. That was reward enough, he thought. There would probably be gold as well, though. Gold enough for a lot of booze.