“What did you tell her, sir?”
“That I might need to murder Otto if he should ever return here,” said Randall flatly.
“Sir Randall, that was most improper of you to say. Even though it may well be true the girl is young and easily frightened by such ideas.”
Randall smiled and looked at Klara warmly. He motioned for her to sit on the stool Ennlin had just vacated.
“Well said, lady Klara, I heed your wisdom and will watch my tongue around such tender minded girls in the future.”
“You do me too much honour, sir; I am merely serving you faithfully.”
“No, you are being honest and speaking your true mind. That is the mark of a lady, and I appreciate that.”
Klara bowed her head courteously.
“Thank you, sir.”
“Tell me what is the situation with the villagers?” Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 6”
Otto shook his head dismissively. Randall fixed his attention on the big man.
“Do you have a problem with my plan, Otto?”
Otto cocked his head to the side smiling casually, then swinging it back about to face Randall his expression had transformed to one of abject fury.
“Yes, sir I have a problem, do you have any idea how much work we villagers have to do just to put food on our tables and to survive the winter? Yet you come here and cause a scare telling everyone about some unseen threat to them and demand we do as we are told. Heinrich here got lost in the woods because he believed your tales; there are no monsters out there. But yet you want a motte and bailey, well that’s just great, because I’m the woodsman here and you basically want me working all day every day to get the timber for such a work. Will I get any payment for it? Will I get any thanks? What about these other folk? They have more important work to do. Why should we do what you want us to do?”
Randall maintained a steely gaze at Otto throughout this entire outburst. He looked on as though completely unaffected by the torrent of extreme emotion that had just been poured forth. Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 5”
“It’s hard for me to say. They might have been stolen weeks ago, or immediately after they were put into storage. Considering how much is missing, it was probably over several weeks and several raids in the night. While we keep a careful stock on the meat, we don’t often check the other goods in that shed. Rather we did not notice until we were taking an inventory in preparation for the harvest, sir.”
“It is possible, but as yet I no idea how they managed to do it, sir.”
“And what are your guards men armed with?”
“Farming equipment, clubs, and a few axes, sir.”
“No armour, sir.”
Randall took a moment to consider all this.
“If I needed a band of fighting men, how many could you muster?”
“Sixteen fit young men, and maybe another twenty older men still able in body enough to fight, sir.” Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 3”
In the centre of Humhyde, Heinrich and Otto were discussing the village’s troubles.
“I don’t know how or even when this happened, but nearly all our supplies of pig fat and offal have been taken,” exclaimed Heinrich.
“What? Did they steal our meat too?” asked Otto.
Heinrich shook his head, “No. That’s the thing. The bacon and the hams were stored in the same shed, yet they didn’t touch any of that. They only took the fat and the offal. They took it from the vats, and then resealed them so no one would notice.”
Otto laughed, “Someone must be playing a joke on us. What kind of thief breaks in and goes to that much trouble to steal pig fat?”
“It’s not funny. The offal doesn’t matter, it was going to be used as fertiliser, but we needed that pig fat to preserve our food supplies for the winter. We might not have enough to store enough food properly this year. We might have to ration this winter out.”
Otto frowned and placed a hand over his belly. He was a woodsman and like most woodsmen he was a tower of a man. Easily the tallest and strongest in the village as his job required him to cut down trees and haul the logs by hand through the forest. The forest was not a safe place for most people; only big men like Otto could work in the forest with some degree of security. Only a fool starts a fight with a giant. However, the problem with being so big and strong like Otto was that he needed to eat more than most men and no one suffered more from rations than men like Otto. Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 2”