It was many hours later and the sun was beginning to rise before Arnol finally awoke. “You are out of danger now,” said Eveli, who still sat by him. “But for a while I was worried whether the poison would claim your life.” She told him what had happened, and looking over he could see Elma sitting a good way off, surrounded by guards. “We are keeping careful watch over her,” Eveli said. “She will be viewed as a prisoner until we can decide what course of action to take.”

“There is only one course of action to take,” said Ethina, the sister of Arralor. “She should be put to death, for attempting to murder one of us. That is the only way to mete out justice.”

“No, we should not execute such a harsh judgment in haste,” Arnol argued. “Whether she meant it or not, I am not dead. Maybe it was an accident, or maybe she thought it would only make me sick. She thinks that I am the thief, even if her suspicion has no merit, so maybe she was trying to scare me into confessing. Either way, I don’t think we have the right to take her life.”

That day was clear and sunny, and as they began moving again Anson walked beside Arnol. “I don’t understand how you can have so much compassion for Elma after what she has done to you,” the former said to his friend. “Are you not angry at her?”

“I am very angry,” Arnol said. “I am furious, and part of me feels that it would be better if she was dead. But to be honest, I don’t really know what to think, or what would be the right judgment for her. The thought of taking the life of one of our own people scares me.”


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