Lincoln did not return home that night. Aldo was holding Christina as they feared the worst. She was crying for her oldest son and wondering if she would ever see him again. Michael was pacing, his hand to his mouth, tears in his eyes. His brave but sometimes reckless brother was still out there. He was either shut in the city walls for the night, or he had done something really stupid and got caught. That would be awful. They could only dread what would be heading to him. He was so brave and so protective of them, he loved them so greatly that he had risked his life for them.
Lincoln was dragged to the dungeons in the castle, the smell made him wretch immediately. It was awful and he could hear quiet crying and loud coughing of the sick. He was scared and it showed on his strong face. He was thrown into a cell and others were in it. They were living in their own waste and that was the terrible smell. He saw a man sitting in the corner, he seemed he was keeping his distance from the rest and then he turned and Lincoln saw that he was a leaper. He saw a young woman huddled in another corner, she had her legs close to her chest and her head in her arms. She was crying. He went to her side and placed a hand on her shoulder. She flinched and then looked up at him. She had scars on her face that would have been pretty before.
“Its ok, its ok,” he comforted knowing the poor woman must be in pain. The dungeons were everything he had heard it to be, it was horrible.
A short, round man came to the gate and bashed on it with a bit of wood. He looked at each of them with a smile of satisfaction at their situation.
“Which one of you just got in?” he asked.
“I did,” Lincoln stood.
“Look after those hands, you wont have them much longer,” he taunted and then walked away whistling a cheery tune. The young woman looked up at him but he ignored her now. He was scared but he could handle it, he told himself.
King Tancredi was sitting at his table eating, his daughter by his side and his lords around the table. One was trying to make conversation with Sara the princess, it was obvious he was looking for a way in to become the next suitor the King might choose but Sara was hard to please. She refused to marry unless she loved the man. Her father laughed at this, the word love was not in his vocabulary nor his understanding.
“My lord, I ask you what should we do with the thief who tried to steal from you?” Lord Paul asked.
“Please, I pray you, do not speak of such things in my presence,” Sara said, she hated her father’s cruel punishments but they were out of her control.
“Kill him, cut off both hands it matters not to me,”
“Father, I beg you show mercy, or does that word have no meaning to you?” Sara asked bitterly having been ignored previously. The king looked at her. Her brown eyes held anger and they were desperately pleading with him.
“Mercy? That man stole from me, women have no stomach for this talk,” he said, Paul smiled. Sara was enraged.
“He stole bread, can you blame him, your people are starving,” Sara argued but respectfully, she was still maintaining the submissive and innocence a princess was required to have. The king looked into his daughters eyes and saw sorrow.
“If you stop sneaking food to your bedroom and giving it to maids to smuggle out to the people then I will show some mercy to this… thief scum,” Sara looked shocked. “Yes I do know about it,”
“Sara, if it pleases you I will have him work on my monument.”
“That monument is a waste of time!” she slightly raised her voice but was silenced by her father when he brought his hand down hard onto the table making everyone else look. Sara hated that monument being built on slaves backs in memory of one man: her father.
“That would please me very much, father,” she forced, at least the man was going to live and live without being disfigured.