They brought her in with a bag over her head. Her legs and arms were bound. Her dress was short. It looked like it was made from a chiffon type of material. It was pale green and cut off near the top of her gently tanned thighs. A stripe of chiffon hung down her front, like the Egyptians and would have touched the floor had she have been standing. Instead a tall soldier carried her.
It was her, the chiefs daughter. She looked so helpless. She wasn’t struggling. In fact she barely seemed to be breathing. They must have used chloroform. The sight of her bare legs hanging helplessly from his arms made me shiver. Why did they take her? They yanked the bag off her head to reveal her long red hair and unconscious face. She let out a groan. Had they hurt her?
“Jack, my boy. Look who’s arrived. I hate to give you such a task as this but, you wouldn’t mind guarding our guest of honour, would you? Don’t want you running away now do we? Princess.” He spat the words at her. I nodded quickly and took her from the soldiers arms.
“Where should I put her? Are the boys setting up a tent or something?” At this the commander laughed hysterically.
“A tent? Jack, she’s not exactly going to be staying in 5 star accommodation. Find a hole somewhere and shove her in it. You can take a mat and a torch with you and I’ll find someone to relieve you in a couple of hours. Keep her hands and legs tied if you must, but just keep her there, and don’t let her out of your sight. Comprendez?”
“Aye sir. Can I ask? Why did we take her?”
“Now we have the advantage of a hostage. A bribe.”
“So… we won’t kill your daughter if you let us settle here?”
“Precisely. Although I’m hoping to get more than just the pardon to settle here. That’s for another day. Go and find somewhere. I’ll find you later.”
“Of course, sir.” With that I marched off, a vulnerable, helpless young woman in my arms, and tried to find somewhere that the commander would approve of. I was just following orders. Just following orders.
I found a spot deep within the maze of the caves and tucked her inside. I was careful to try and put her inside in a way that wouldn’t harm her. It was a sort of curve in the ground where the ground curved up over the entrance to for a sort of sheltered crater. Her breathing quickened a little when I removed my hands from her, but she settled down again. Content with where I had put her, I rolled out the mat and sat up against the wall. I could see the entrance clearly so I would know if she woke up. A part of me begged her to waken. The other was terrified that if she did she would try to run away and I wouldn’t be able to control her without hurting her.
She looked so peaceful. Her breathing was now steady and her chest rose and fell in slow even beats. I hadn’t felt more sorry for a person than I did right now, but I couldn’t allow myself to think that way. I hoped to god that the commander meant what he said, that he wouldn’t harm her unless they didn’t co-operate. Even then, I didn’t like the idea. This girl was completely innocent in the matter. She should have been left out of it all.
Her hands started scratching against the surface of the ground. Her breathing got heavier and faster. A whimpering noise slipped from her slightly parted lips. She would wake up soon.