"What are we looking for?" said Hubba Hubba, as Herio dismounted and took up a keen search amongst the remains of the fallen.
Herio made no reply.
"That's north, Herio," said Hubba Hubba, gliding along beside him as he remounted and trotted away. "Don't we need to go south?"
"It shouldn't be far off," said Herio, galloping a zigzag from helm to helm along the ground.
Hubba Hubba shared looks with Chirp, Tweet and Squeak as they followed along. Near a great naked dead elm, ringed with fallen sheets of bark and branches, Hero leaped to the ground to straddle a headless skeleton clad in a hauberk with a particularly ornate breastplate and gorget.
He rolled it over once in the faded tatters of it's black and crimson cape and doublet, looking at it. "Pen cachu!" he snarled between his teeth as he came down as hard as he could with his heel on the breastplate. "Not good enough!" He looked about quickly and spied a large rock. He grabbed it at once, rocking it out of its depression in the ground. It took three good tries with his veins standing out, grunting and straining to get it shoulder high. Then with a stagger or two, he ran forth with everything he had to heave it at the breastplate which flattened to wrinkles, crushing the ribs. He stood back a moment, getting his breath. "Y pen! 'Na fargen!" he cried, suddenly dashing over to a silver helm resting in the weeds. As he grabbed it up, a skull fell out onto the ground. "Pen cachu!" he cried out at the top of his lungs as he smashed it with the heel of his boot. "Llofrudd! You hanged my little brother! You hanged poor little Cefnogi Rhywun!" Taking a hatchet from behind Gwynt's saddle, he knocked out the eye teeth from the broken pieces and then chopped off the golden spike from the top of the helm. He wrapped all of them in a cloth and without a word mounted Gwynt.
Hubba Hubba, Chirp, Tweet and Squeak traded speechless looks from their perches high up in the dead elm before dropping into the air to follow.
"Bernard said Hebraun himself took off the varmint's head," said Hubba Hubba as he landed on Herio's shoulder.
"And I am forever grateful, featherhead. I only regret not getting to see it happen."
"So what's going to happen to the spike and the teeth?"
"They're a-goin' deep into the mire in the stinkin'est privy that I happen to sit on in Goll, at least. Something good. I'm not sure yet."
Hubba Hubba gave a quick nod and clacked shut his beak.
Ch. 17, The Burgeoning
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Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps