Shades of Red

Shades of Red by K. C. Dyer

Book: Shades of Red by K. C. Dyer Read Free Book Online
Authors: K. C. Dyer
Tags: History, JUV000000
in a nearby square. There was no time or breath left for speech as they climbed the steep slope towards an enormous castle that overlooked the city.
    Kate’s face was ashen in spite of the run. “Whatever you do,” she said, “don’t look at the fires.”
    Darrell nodded and concentrated on following Delaney. His once-golden fur was smudged and sooty, but there was no mistaking his energy. He wore a rough knotted rope around his neck and dashed around them to lead the way up the hill with Darrell and her friends in close pursuit. The castle gate was a scene of further chaos. People ran in all directions, uncertainty and even panic written across many faces. Delaney veered around the side of the castle wall and stopped, panting, near a guardhouse. Kate dropped her skirts and put her hands on her knees, gasping for breath.
    Brodie stuck his head into the guardhouse. “Looks like they’ve all gone to the burning,” he said grimly. He rested his hand on Darrell’s shoulder. “Are you really okay?” he asked.
    â€œYeah.” Darrell nodded. “I have so much to tell you. Is there somewhere safe we can go and talk?”
    â€œNo,” said Kate, her voice tinged with panic. “The Dominicans have rounded up all the Jewish people in Lisbon. They’re going to kill them all, Darrell. Yourpriest is the only person we’ve met who listens to reason, which means he’ll probably be dead before the day is over. We must leave
now
.”
    â€œBut, just a minute, you two, I think I may have found—”
    â€œI’m sorry Darrell, but it doesn’t matter what you’ve found,” interrupted Brodie. “Kate is right. We have to go.”
    Delaney barked sharply, and the trio looked up to see a line of soldiers marching purposefully towards them. In the lead was the soldier who had broken down the cottage door. Clutched securely in the arms of two others was the Franciscan priest.
    â€œ
Marranos
!” screamed the first soldier, and the group broke ranks and ran up the slope towards the castle wall.
    â€œ
Go
!” Brodie pushed Darrell into the guardhouse. Pieces of armour were strewn about haphazardly as though they had been recently discarded. A passageway led from the guardhouse into the gate yard outside, guarded by an enormous portcullis. Darrell started for the passageway, but Kate pulled her back.
    â€œNo — this way!”
    In a dark corner at the back of the guardhouse stood a small closet with a heavy wooden doorframe. Darrell could just see the outline of a flaming symbol as it began to glow a deep red on the wooden surface. Beside the glowing symbol was the charred remains of the image ofan eight-armed candlestick. The friar’s menorah.
    Kate was already holding hands with Brodie and she smiled tremulously at Darrell. “Try not to let go of my hand this time,” she whispered.
    â€œI’ll do my best.” Darrell wound her fingers through Delaney’s rope collar and, grasping Kate’s hand firmly, followed her friends through the low doorway.

C HAPTER S IX
    Darrell handed around the last of the peppermints from her pocket as they sat on the stairs, recovering. Delaney lay on the bottom step, panting gently.
    Brodie patted his head. “You’re an amazing dog, you know that?” He looked up at the soot and dirtstained girls. “He always seems so unperturbed by these journeys.”
    â€œI’ve never come back without my clothes ripped to shreds,” said Kate, pointing at the dirty bare knee poking through her jeans, “and he always looks like he’s just been to the groomers.”
    â€œSo, what do you think happened to Paris?” asked Darrell.
    â€œWell, he wasn’t touching us when we went through the portal,” said Brodie, “so he must still be here somewhere. He couldn’t have travelled with us.”
    â€œHe’s probably gone back up to the

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