Final Kingdom

Final Kingdom by Gilbert L. Morris

Book: Final Kingdom by Gilbert L. Morris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gilbert L. Morris
of the Dark Lord, he is not the Josh we knew. He’ll have the mark of doom on his chest.”
    Josh let out a screech and threw himself at the dwarf. Sarah managed to push Josh so that the sword blade went wide. In one swift movement, Beorn knocked Josh down. At once he rolled him over and jerked the shirt aside.
    â€œThere, you see? The mark of the Dark Lord—the mark of doom.”
    â€œI don’t understand. This is not Josh?”
    â€œNo,” Beorn said. “The enemy has many such foul tricks as this. I’ve heard of this before. Somehow they can conjure up what looks like a real person, but he’s not a real person. Look.”
    Before they could stop him, Beorn plunged his dagger into the throat of the form lying on the ground. Sarah screamed and then covered her eyes, for the figure suddenly shriveled up. It shrank and shrank until nothing was left but a little bit of black ash.
    â€œIt
wasn’t
Josh,” Sarah whispered. “I knew it wasn’t Josh!”
    â€œThis proves one thing,” Beorn said. “Somehow the Dark Lord knows where we are.”
    â€œCould one of the magicians in the city have done this?” Abbey asked. “If they can do a thing like this, we are not safe anywhere.”
    â€œWe’re not safe,” Beorn agreed. “We must be on our guard. Anything we see must be tested. No one is to be trusted. No one.”
    The next day Dave awoke, his eyes clear. But his shoulder was painful, and he was not hungry. “Where are we?” he asked feebly.
    â€œWe’re waiting for Glori to come back with a horse and wagon to take us into the city,” Abbey said. “Here, you’re spilling stew all over yourself. You must eat.”
    â€œWhat’s happened since I’ve been unconscious?”
    â€œFor one thing, we saw a false Josh,” Abbey said.
    When Dave expressed astonishment, she told him the whole story.
    He said slowly. “That’s going to make things harder. We won’t know a friend when we see one.”
    â€œSure we will,” Abbey said. “All we have to do is look at his chest. If they’ve got the mark of doom, they’re the enemy.”
    â€œDid this Josh fool you?”
    â€œYes, he did, but I was so nervous and so ecstatic to see him, I guess it wasn’t hard to fool me. He didn’t fool Sarah, though.”
    â€œWell, she knows him better than anyone else. She’s still grieving over him, of course. We all are.”
    â€œI haven’t given up hope. I think Josh’s still alive, and I somehow believe that we’ll find him.”
    Dave took her hand. “You always believe goodthings will happen, that the good people will always win.” He held her hand lightly, then smiled. “I hope you always think like that.”
    Abbey flushed but did not pull her hand away. “I’m glad you’re better, Dave,” she whispered. “I was so worried about you. I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you.”
    His hand tightened on hers. She sat quietly beside him. They said nothing for long periods. It was a way they had come to have—to be comfortable with their silences.
    On the third morning, Reb spotted someone approaching. “It looks like Glori coming, and she’s got a wagon.”
    They all stood up to look. It was indeed Glori, riding a white horse. She was accompanied by a horse and wagon driven by a sturdy driver.
    â€œHow is Dave?” she called out.
    â€œMuch better,” Abbey answered. “But I’m glad you brought the wagon. He really shouldn’t walk.”
    â€œNone of you will have to walk. Everyone get in. We’re starting back at once for the city of the magicians.”
    As Abbey made a bed for Dave in the wagon, Reb asked, “What about these magicians? Did you meet any of them?”
    â€œNo,” Glori said. “I was too anxious to get back here, but they know we’re

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