Book 2 in The Outlaw Ranger series.
The battlehorse took long strides over the uneven ground.The rider had a long sword at his side and a shield across his back.
He rode calmly as he crested the hill.A village lay before him.
3 figures were saddling horses below.They seemed to be in a hurry.People in a hurry usually had something to hide,the knight knew.
Maddie tightened Bumper's girth as she spoke.“Where are we going to go?"
Jacob looked at her.“I'll find a place."
“With that map of Gallica?"Rebecca laughed.“Unless we leave the country,it's not much help."Maddie had to stifle a giggle.
They continued getting the horses ready in silence.The rangers mounted and began riding.
Outside the small village of Starlight Pond,was a large woodland.Hiding deep in this woods was a group of thieves.
They planned to storm the village that night and take anything of value.It was about noon they decided to attack early.
Jacob took the lead as they rode out of the village.The sun was overhead and Maddie estimated it was about noon.
They weren't far from the village when loud shouts were heard.The wind carried the noise to the rangers over the flat grass.
“What's going on?"Rebecca asked,puzzlement on her face.
Jacob shrugged.“Let's find out.But stay out of sight."
The rangers swung their horses in a wide arc, avoiding the main street.
Shouts came from homes and the inn.Jacob narrowed his eyes.“Bandits."
Maddie's gaze followed his,squinting against the sun.She dismounted and began pulling things out of her saddlebags.
“What are you looking for?"Rebecca asked,already dismounting herself.
“My sling,and my cloak."Maddie replied.
Jacob looked at her,nodded,then turned to find his own gear.
Moments later the three rangers were armed and wearing the familiar mottled cloak.The crept down alleys between houses,waiting for the best moment to catch the thieves.
Maddie grabbed a lead shot from the pouch at her waist,then slid it into the leather pouch of the sling.She held the weapon steady,ready use it if necessary.
The bandits were carrying sacks,probably full of what little money the village had.
“Don't be seen."Jacob breathed.He grabbed his thumcuffs,but he made sure his striker was close at hand.
As the lead man,probably the leader,came past the alley,Jacob grabbed the man's arm.He pulled his arms behind his back and fastened them with thumcuffs,shoving him forward.
The man behind him grunted and turned to see what had grabbed their partner.Jacob jerked him forward.
One of the bandits had gotten behind Jacob,ready to strike him.Rebecca kicked out her boot.The man tripped,and Rebecca fastened him with thumcuffs.
The group wasn't big.5 men,but one got away.The rangers crept farther down the alley.But,despite staying in the village for a while,they didn't realize the alleyway led onto another street.Not as large as the main road,but it had a bakery and butcher shop,and several houses.
Rebecca slowly backed into the ally,away from the street.Jacob and Maddie were doing the same.A few people were walking down the road.They hadn't noticed the rangers.
Or so they thought.
The knight slowly walked his horse down the road.He had seen the 3 horses leaving town,but he had also seen the wide arc they took.He assumed the riders were in town somewhere,but they were hiding.
Who would want to hide?Jones passed the allyway and his horse began shaking its head.
“What is it,Storm?"he patted the horse on the neck as he swung from the saddle.There was definitely something hiding in the shadows of the ally.