The journey had been hard. The band of travellers expected to reach the capital the following day, but it would be necessary to spend one more night in the cold and the rain.
Officially Thomas was a prisoner, but there was little need for him to be under guard. He willingly accompanied his escort because they would lead him to his sons. This was understood among the soldiers and he had been left to roam freely each of the six nights that they had set up camp on this journey. The chief lieutenant and leader of this mission had especially appreciated the compliance of his charge. It was enough to have the miserable winter weather to fight, without the additional challenge of a dangerous or recalcitrant man among his troop.
On this night Thomas would do as he had done each preceding night over the past week. He would try to anticipate what challenges might lie ahead and how to deal with them. Why had his sons been abducted? Their disappearance itself had not been a complete surprise. The moment that the midwife had looked up at him before cutting the cord between Racael and his firstborn he knew that there was another child, and with that there would be danger.