The Battle for Skandia Book Four Ranger s Apprentice 4

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As she pushed her way through the snow laden bushes becoming wetter and. wetter in the process she felt a surge of pleasure The first snare in the line. held the body of a small ground foraging bird Evanlyn smiled grimly as she. thought how once she might have objected to the cruelty of the bird s death. Now all she felt was a sense of satisfaction as she realized that they would. eat well today, Amazing how an empty belly could change your perspective she thought. removing the noose from the bird s neck and stuffing the small carcass in her. makeshift game bag She reset the snare sprinkling a few seeds of corn on. the ground beyond it then rose to her feet frowning in annoyance as she. realized that the melting snow had left two wet patches on her knees as she d. Evanlyn sensed rather than heard the movement in the trees behind her. and began to turn, Before she could move she felt an iron grip around her throat and as she. gasped in fright a fur gloved hand smelling vilely of smoke clapped over. her mouth and nose cutting off her cry for help,Don t miss any of the adventures of. APPRENTICE,THE RUINS OF GORLAN,THE BURNING BRIDGE,THE ICEBOUND LAND. THE BATTLE FOR SKANDIA,THE SORCERER OF THE NORTH,PUFFIN BOOKS.
Published by the Penguin Group, Penguin Young Readers Group 345 Hudson Street New York New York 10014 U S A. Penguin Group Canada 90 Eglinton Avenue East Suite 700 Toronto Ontario Canada. a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc, Penguin Books Ltd 80 Strand London WC2R 0RL England. Penguin Ireland 25 St Stephen s Green Dublin 2 Ireland a division of Penguin Books. Penguin Group Australia 250 Camberwell Road Camberwell Victoria 3124 Australia. a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd, Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd 11 Community Centre Panchsheel Park New Delhi 110. Penguin Group NZ 67 Apollo Drive Rosedale North Shore 0632 New Zealand. a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd, Penguin Books South Africa Pty Ltd 24 Sturdee Avenue. Rosebank Johannesburg 2196 South Africa, Registered Offices Penguin Books Ltd 80 Strand London WC2R 0RL England.
Copyright John Flanagan 2006,All rights reserved, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE PHILOMEL BOOKS. EDITION AS FOLLOWS,Flanagan John John Anthony, The battle for Skandia John Flanagan 1st American ed. p cm Ranger s apprentice bk 4, Summary After Ranger s apprentice Will battles Temujai warriors to rescue Evanlyn. Will s kingdom, of Araluen joins forces with rival kingdom Skandia to defeat a common enemy. ISBN 9781101019870, The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume.
any responsibility for author or third party Web sites or their content. penguin com,To Leonie for always believing,Table of Contents. Title Page,Copyright Page,Dedication,Chapter 10,Chapter 11. Chapter 12,Chapter 13,Chapter 14,Chapter 15,Chapter 16. Chapter 17,Chapter 18,Chapter 19,Chapter 20,Chapter 21. Chapter 22,Chapter 23,Chapter 24,Chapter 25,Chapter 26.
Chapter 27,Chapter 28,Chapter 29,Chapter 30,Chapter 31. Chapter 32,Chapter 33,Chapter 34,Chapter 35,Chapter 36. Chapter 37,Chapter 38,Chapter 39,Chapter 40, IT WAS A CONSTANT TAPPING SOUND THAT ROUSED WILL FROM. his deep untroubled sleep He had no clear idea at what point he first became. aware of it It seemed to slide unobtrusively into his sleeping mind. magnified and amplified inside his subconscious until it crossed over into the. conscious world and he realized he was awake and wondering what it might. Tap tap tap tap It was still there but not as loud now that he was. awake and aware of other sounds in the small cabin. From the corner behind a small curtain of sacking that gave her a. modicum of privacy he could hear Evanlyn s even breathing Obviously the. tapping hadn t woken her There was a muted crackle from the heaped coals. in the fireplace at the end of the room and as he became more fully awake. he heard them settle with a slight rustling sound,Tap tap tap. It seemed to come from nearby He stretched and yawned sitting up on the. rough couch he d fashioned from wood and canvas He shook his head to. clear it and for a moment the sound was obscured Then it was back once. more and he realized it was coming from outside the window The oiled cloth. panes were translucent they would admit the gray light of the pre dawn but. he couldn t see anything more than a blur through them Will knelt on the. couch and unlatched the frame pushing it up and craning his head through. the opening to study the small porch of the cabin, A gust of chill entered the room and he heard Evanlyn stir as it eddied.
around causing the sacking curtain to billow inward and the embers in the. fireplace to glow more fiercely until a small tongue of yellow flame was. released from them, Somewhere in the trees a bird was greeting the first light of a new day. and the tapping sound was obscured once more, Then he had it It was water dripping from the end of a long icicle that. depended from the porch roof and falling onto an upturned bucket that had. been left on the edge of the porch,Tap tap tap tap tap tap. Will frowned to himself There was something significant in this he knew. but his mind still fuddled with sleep couldn t quite grasp what it was He. stood still stretching and shivered slightly as he left the last warmth of his. blanket and made his way to the door, Hoping not to wake Evanlyn he eased the latch upward and slowly opened. the door holding it up so that the sagging leather hinges wouldn t allow the. bottom edge to scrape the floor of the cabin, Closing the door behind him he stepped out onto the rough boards of the.
porch feeling them strike icy cold against his bare feet He moved to the spot. where the water dripped endlessly onto the bucket realizing as he went that. other icicles hanging from the roof were also dripping water He hadn t seen. this before He was sure they usually didn t do this. He glanced out at the trees where the first rays of the sun were beginning. to filter through, In the forest there was a slithering thump as a load of snow finally slid. clear of the pine branches that had supported it for months and fell in a heap. to the ground below, And it was then that Will realized the significance of the endless tap tap. tap that had woken him, Behind him he heard the door creak and he turned to see Evanlyn her hair. wildly tousled her blanket wrapped tight around her against the cold. What is it she asked him Is something wrong, He hesitated a second glancing at the growing puddle of water beside the. It s the thaw he said finally, After their meager breakfast Will and Evanlyn sat in the early morning sun.
as it streamed across the porch Neither of them had wanted to discuss the. significance of Will s earlier discovery although they had since found more. signs of the thaw, Small patches of soaked brown grass were showing through the snow. cover on the ground surrounding the cabin and the sound of wet snow sliding. from the trees to hit the ground was becoming increasingly common. The snow was still thick on the ground and in the trees of course But the. signs were there that the thaw had begun and that inexorably it would. I suppose we ll have to think about moving on Will said finally voicing. the thought that had been in both their minds, You re not strong enough yet Evanlyn told him It had been barely three. weeks since he had thrown off the mind numbing effects of the warmweed. given to him as a yard slave in Ragnak s Lodge Will had been weakened by. inadequate food and clothing and a regimen of punishing physical work. before they had made their escape Since then their meager diet in the cabin. had been enough to sustain life but not to restore his strength or endurance. They had lived on the cornmeal and flour that had been stored in the cabin. along with a small stock of vegetables and the stringy meat from whatever. game Evanlyn and he had been able to snare, There was little enough of that in winter and what game they had managed. to catch had been in poor condition itself providing little in the way of. nourishment, Will shrugged I ll manage he said simply I ll have to. And that of course was the heart of the problem They both knew that. once the snow in the high passes had melted hunters would again begin to. visit the high country where they found themselves Already Evanlyn had. seen one such the mysterious rider in the forest on the day when Will s. senses had returned to him Fortunately since that day there had been no. further sign of him But it was a warning Others would come and before. they did Will and Evanlyn would have to be long gone heading down the far. side of the mountain passes and across the border into Teutlandt. Evanlyn shook her head doubtfully For a moment she said nothing Then. she realized that Will was right Once the thaw was well and truly under way. they would have to leave whether she felt he was strong enough to travel or. Anyway she said at last we have a few weeks yet The thaw s only just. started and who knows We may even get another cold snap. It was possible she thought Perhaps not probable but at least it was. possible Will nodded agreement,There s always that he said.
The silence fell over them once more like a blanket Abruptly Evanlyn. stood dusting off her breeches I ll go and check the snares she said and. when Will began to rise to accompany her she stopped him. You stay here she said gently From now on you re going to have to. conserve your strength as much as possible, Will hesitated then nodded He recognized that she was right. She collected the hessian sack they used as a game bag and slung it over. her shoulder Then with a small smile in his direction the girl headed off. into the trees, Feeling useless and dispirited Will slowly began to gather up the wooden. platters they had used for their meal All he was good for he thought bitterly. was washing up, The snare line had moved farther and farther from the cabin over the past. three weeks As small animals rabbits squirrels and the occasional snow. hare had fallen prey to the snares that Will had built the other animals in that. area had become wary As a consequence they had been compelled to move. the snares into new locations every few days each one a little farther away. from the cabin than the one before, Evanlyn estimated that she had a good forty minutes walking on the. narrow uphill track before she would reach the first snare Of course if she d. been able to move straight to it the walk would have been considerably. shorter But the track wound and wandered through the trees more than. doubling the distance she had to cover, The signs of the thaw were all around her now that she was aware of it.
The snow no longer squeaked dryly underfoot as she walked It was heavier. wetter and her steps sank deeply into it The leather of her boots was already. soaked from contact with the melting snow The last time she had walked this. way she reflected the snow had simply coated her boots as a fine dry. She also began to notice more activity among the wildlife in the area Birds. flitted through the trees in greater numbers than she d previously seen and. she startled a rabbit on the track sending it scurrying back into the protection. of a snow covered thicket of blackberries, At least she thought all this extra activity might increase the chances of. finding some worthwhile game in the snares, Evanlyn saw the discreet sign that Will had cut into the bark of a pine and. turned off the track to find the spot where she and Will had laid the first of. the snares She recalled how gratefully she had greeted his recovery from the. warmweed drug Her own survival skills were negligible and Will had. provided welcome expertise in devising and setting snares to supplement. their diet It was all part of his Ranger training under Halt he had told her. She remembered how when he had mentioned the older Ranger s name. his eyes had misted for a few moments and his voice had choked slightly Not. for the first time the two young people had felt very very far from home. As she pushed her way through the snow laden bushes becoming wetter. and wetter in the process she felt a surge of pleasure The first snare in the. line held the body of a small ground foraging bird They had caught a few of. these previously and the bird s flesh made excellent eating About the size of. a small chicken it had carelessly poked its neck through the wire noose of the. snare then become entangled Evanlyn smiled grimly as she thought how. once she might have objected to the cruelty of the bird s death Now all she. felt was a sense of satisfaction as she realized that they would eat well today. Amazing how an empty belly could change your perspective she thought. removing the noose from the bird s neck and stuffing the small carcass in her. makeshift game bag She reset the snare sprinkling a few seeds of corn on. the ground beyond it then rose to her feet frowning in annoyance as she. realized that the melting snow had left two wet patches on her knees as she d. Evanlyn sensed rather than heard the movement in the trees behind her. and began to turn, Before she could move she felt an iron grip around her throat and as she. THE BATTLE FOR SKANDIA THE SORCERER OF THE NORTH PUFFIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Young Readers Group 345 Hudson Street New York New York 10014 U S A Penguin Group Canada 90 Eglinton Avenue East Suite 700 Toronto Ontario Canada M4P 2Y3 a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc Penguin Books Ltd 80 Strand London WC2R 0RL England Penguin Ireland 25 St

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