Continued from Part X. Start at Part I.
Jakob backed away from the cart quickly before Krin saw him and became suspicious. The donkey was calmer now, and this gave Jakob a chance to look at the man’s face. A beard, a scar, flecks of grey and a few wrinkles. Eyes that were perhaps a little dull, but then what did a thief look like anyway?
“Thank you for the help, boy,” said Krin. “I bought this mule from a seller just an hour ago to replace one stolen far down-route. The seller promised a docile and pliant creature, I should not have believed her.”
Such two-facedness, thought Jakob. “A miserable though unsurprising tale,” he replied. “What miscreant would steal a mule from a hard-working tradesman? Is this what our people have come to? With our city destroyed we now simply loot from each other?”
The jibe had no apparent on Krin, who merely nodded in agreement.
I will kill him. The thought came to Jakob suddenly, riding on the back of his rising anger. The treasure had been his. He would have been a rich man, now this immoral opportunist had come and taken that dream for his own. Why should he be allowed to benefit? Who had found the lemfasite in the first place? Nobody knew what Krin looked like. Jakob could simply do away with him and take his place, notoriety doing the rest.
Jakob stared at Hexa, who stood some distance away, wagging her tail. Can’t do it here, too busy, he thought. Out on the road. When he sets off, when there is nobody to see, I will leap out and cut him down, and claim his cargo as rightfully mine. With the plan loudest and foremost in his mind, clouding out all other judgment, Jakob headed away from the camp, Hexa following, seeking hiding places along the route.
To be continued…