The Viking (Chapter VIII, page 2 of 11)

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"Ye are welcome," said Stefan. With that, the animal ran down the river bank and out of sight.

"I am Diarmad from Clan Macoran."

"I am Stefan…"

"I know, we have all heard. Is it true there be a giant in the north that be slow o' wit?"

"Aye." Stefan had a feeling he was about to get trapped in his lie and decided to head home.

But Diarmad quickly caught up. "When ye go north again, may I go with ye? I would see this giant."

So would I, Stefan thought. "'Twill be a long time afore I go back."

Diarmad was disappointed. "But when ye do, will ye take me?"

Stefan stopped and looked at his new friend. Already he was much taller than Diarmad who had the famous light skin and red hair of the Macorans. Nevertheless, he had blue eyes instead of green and a warm smile. Stefan hesitated to agree to take him north, but decided a lot could happen before then and he probably would not be held to his promise. "Aye."

"Macoran told us all about ye, 'er I should say he told some and they spread it around. Gossip be our favorite diversion."

"'Tis the same where I come from. Where do ye live?"

"Just beyond the trees. We know Jirvel's husband cast her off. Two other men went with him. Does she know where they have gone? Macoran would surely like to know, he be none too pleased about it."

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