Slaves

Chapter 7

The Plan Revealed,

Djaq noticed this and even though she was a woman she was capable of a man's share of work, but she couldn't understand why Guy was so intent on finding what they had been sent down the hole to find. Especially after everything he had told her last night, so she eyed him suspiciously without voicing her opinion.

It was then that his pick hit the right lump of dirt and rock, finally revealing the rich vein of ore that Charles and Vaisey wanted so desperately. Guy then dropped to his knees and began to move the dirt away from the rock that harbored the gleaming golden ore, he then turned to Djaq.

"Should we tell Charles?" She asked,

"In order for my plan to work they have to know we found gold." Guy replied,

"You have finished your plan now have you?" Djaq asked,

"Yes I finished it when I was digging, that is why I wasn't putting much effort into it at the time." Guy explained,

"So who is going to tell him?" She asked,

"I'll go; I need to see the sun again anyway." He replied, as he leaned his pick against the wall, and made his way towards the ladder,

He soon scrambled out using one arm to shield himself from the blinding light of the sun, he saw Charles on the porch to his house, so he stumbled over to him, as he was putting on an act. He dropped to his knees at the man's feet.

"What is it you want, water rations don't get to you until mid-day, and you have a few minute left t wait?" Charles asked,

"We…we've found the gold." Guy replied,

"You found it I want to see, Malvir grab this man and bring him with me." He ordered, so Guy was pulled to his feet and dragged towards the mine,

When they had reached it Guy was forced down the ladder first, with Charles close behind, Gisborne then led him to where they had uncovered the vein of gold.

"Oh this is a glorious day, we have found the mother load, and the sheriff will be pleased." Charles rambled to himself, "Well what are you standing around for this gold isn't going to dig itself you know…get back to work or you wont be fed tonight, I want the first shipment to get to the sheriff as soon as possible." He ordered,

"But it will take at least a day to get one cart load of gold out of here." Guy protested,

"I don't care how long it takes I thought I had made that clear before." Charles said,

"I must protest." Guy continued,

"You must! One more word out of you and you will never protest about anything again!" Charles yelled, as he grinded his teeth showing how angry he was with Guy's protest,

Guy cringed and stepped backward to show submission to Charles incase it lead to something dire, Charles saw it as a small victory, and so a sadistic smile crossed his face.

"Now before you stop for the night I want you to have produced a significant amount of gold, and if not…well I think you have an imagination." He said, before he turned and climbed up the ladder after thoroughly inspecting the vein of gold,

"So where did that get you?" Djaq asked, when they were left alone again,

"It made it so Charles will celebrate tonight, and while he is drinking we will escape." Guy explained,

"But he said we wouldn't get past the first wall, so how do you plan on escaping?" She asked

"There are no fences through the trees left of this tunnel, if we can get into the trees then we will be safe." He continued,

"Are you sure Charles will be drunk tonight?"

"Well if he is or he isn't he won't be able to see us in the dark anyway." Guy reasoned,

"You are right but what will we do after we get into the trees?" She asked,

"We will make it to the nearest town and hide out until it is safe or we will steal some horses and make a run for it." Gisborne answered, "But for now we better work on getting this ore out of this mine." He advised, so they soon grabbed their picks again and began to hack at the stone that held the precious metal,

The Gold was mixed amongst dirt and wet clay along with hard rock, and by nightfall they had only managed to excavate half a ton of the combination, but Guy was hoping it was still all Charles needed to become drunk. Every time a basket full of soil was brought out of the mine, it was brought to the sieves where the bad stuff was thrown away, and the good stuff was loaded into the cart.

When Charles was happy with the progress that was made that night he sent his lackey to get the workers out of the mine, so Malvir soon peered down into the dimly lit tunnel and ordered them out. Working on the rock and clay was harder than Guy thought, but the thought of escape drove him on, even though his hands were shaking feverishly from swinging a pick all day.

Once again they all stepped in a line of single file, as they waited for their dinner to be handed to them, Djaq and Gisborne had made it out of the tunnel first so they were first in line. Gisborne was annoyed to find that all they were ever given to eat was either plain bread of vegetables, he needed his meat to keep up his strength.

It appeared that wasn't what Charles wanted though, because if he did he would feed them meat, he obviously didn't want to worry about spirited slaves. Only he would get that whether he wanted it or not because Gisborne's defiant nature and unwillingness to submit to authority made him a significant thorn in the side.

When they were inside it was the first time Guy had sat at the table to eat his meal, and Djaq was glad that he had finally come to terms with himself. She realized that could have been because he had finally completed the plan he had told her about, or that he had decided on what he was going to do about himself, Marian, and Robin.

When they had finished their meal, Guy walked over to the window to spy on Charles and his men who were at this time indulging on burgundy wine. When he saw that everyone was inside he quickly returned to Djaq.

"Right if we're going to make a move we have to do it now." He said,

"I will not go unless we all go." She said flatly,

"But what if they do not want to come?" Guy asked,

"Do you really think they want to stay here?" Djaq asked, shocked by Gisborne's question,

"All right but you'll have to ask them." Guy said, so Djaq muttered something in Saracen, and soon everyone nodded their heads,

"All right it's decided we all go." Djaq said,

"Fine but follow me and keep low, try not to make any noise." He explained, as he opened the door quietly and waited for everyone to exit before he closed it,

When everyone was on the porch Guy checked if the coast was clear before they moved on, they soon headed towards the tree line. Guy scanned the ground as they moved cautiously incase any snares were hidden, but by the time he saw the trip wire that lay in there path, it was too late one of the slaves tripped it.

"Run!" Guy ordered, and so they bounded towards the forest,

While inside the boss house, an alarm went off letting the occupants know that the slaves were trying to escape, Charles soon jumped to his feet.

"There making a break for it through the tree line heading south, grab your swords and let's go!" He ordered, as he grabbed his sword, and soon after ran out the door with an oil lamp,

"They won't get very far, because even though they don't know it there is a quicksand marsh down there, and if they don't fall in a die we'll have them back here in less than fifteen minutes." He explained, as his men soon followed him,

Gisborne lead the slaves deep into the forest, while jumping rocks and fallen logs, as they didn't know what the trip wire had done and they weren't about to take chances. As they went on Guy could sense that something was wrong, it wasn't just because he could hear yelling behind him, but because the ground he was walking on was getting wet.

They soon found a clearing, and most of the slaves could run faster than him, so they got out faster, then it hit him, they had run straight into a marsh.

"Stop!" He yelled, as he spread his arms, prohibiting anyone to continue,

Only his warning was too little too late because one slave soon found himself smack in the middle of a quicksand pit, and he was sinking at a rapid pace. He began to scream cries for help in his native language and Djaq tried to comfort him, while Guy grabbed a thick longish stick that he could use to get the man out of the pit.

"Stop moving you'll only make it worse if you struggle." Guy bellowed, as he extended the stick as far as he could,

One of the slaves grabbed his left hand, so he could lean over further without having to worry about falling in, when he leaned over again, the slave could just touch the end of the stick. He had sunk up to his neck already, and only his hands remained above the sludge, that was pulling him down further and further.

Even though Gisborne knew his attempt to save the man was in vain, he still tried but when he saw the man finally disappear, he planted both his feet firmly on the ground again. There was a moment of silence while everyone felt the loss of 'if you would' one of their own, because they had come a long way together.

Their moment of silence was soon interrupted when Charles and his men burst into the clearing as well, they were soon seized and pulled into a line before him.


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