Not long after they were there, Makler was given a name like Durbar’s. Because of his wild and fierce fighting style, they began the men began to call him Makler the Madman. Only initially did he protest the name, because actually he was very fond of it, and it encouraged him to fight ever the wilder. So they were a great pair, the Sureshot and the Madman. They were having a wonderful time atFortStena, and had never been happier. Then it all ended.
One day while they were sitting in a large room listening to a lecture about the history of cavalry, armed guards entered the room. Four stood by the only exit. The officer leading the class stopped and waited for an explanation. One of the guards spoke up, “Is there a Durbar son of Adar here?”
Durbar was paralyzed. He did not use his father’s name, and was shocked that the guards spoke it then.
“Yes there is,” the class leader offered. “Durbar stand up!”
Durbar’s face faded white as his heart sank. Sweat broke out on his forehead and in his palms and he felt at once cold and yet aflame. “Are you Durbar son of Adar?” the guard asked him using his father’s name again as if it were more important that he find the son of Adar than a man simply named Durbar. His muscles tensed as his instincts told him to fight or fly. He quickly took account of his environment and sought a solution to the problem he faced. Like a wolf cornered against a cliff he felt as though he could either attack the man seeking him or jump off the cliff and hope he survived.
“Yes I am he,” Durbar answered, his voice shaking.
“Come with us,” the man ordered.
Unsure, Durbar approached the men and they made a circle around him. Then the leader spoke again and confirmed the horror that Durbar feared.
“By order of the Duke of Harmon you are under arrest for treason.”
“What!” Durbar exclaimed, “There must be some mistake.” But he knew in his heart that the Duke had discovered who he was and had him arrested. Makler got up and appealed to the guards but they brushed him off. When he tried to forcefully free his friend a guard bashed him on the side of the head with the shaft of his pike. No one else moved, only stared in disbelief. One of the guards bound Durbar’s hands with rope behind his back and then led him away.
He was escorted to an empty room; empty, that is, except for Prince Warren and his two guards. Durbar entered and immediately knew that there was some foul play involved. The guards held Durbar in place andWarrenaddressed him. He unrolled the scroll and read, “By order of the Duke of Harmon you, Durbar son of Adar, are hereby charged with treason and conspiracy against a member of the royal family. For this you will be tried in Harmon and sentenced to death.”
“But I did not do anything,” Durbar reasoned.
“Never mind that. You are going to return to Harmon with me today.”
“What about Prince Rothan, can I speak with him?” asked Durbar desperately.
“No!” shoutedWarren. “He can’t help you, and he never should have helped you in the first place. He could have killed us all, associating with an assassin.
“Assassin? Are you mad? I haven’t killed anyone. What is this all about?”
“You may find out when we reach Harmon but for now there is no need for you to waste your breath on me. I will not help you.”
Durbar was given to the care ofWarren’s men and the Stena soldiers left. They took Durbar to a horse, which was already saddled and tied his hands around the animal’s neck so that he could not leap off and flee. Then one of them grabbed the reins of the horse and led it along. Durbar asked if he could gather his belongings, but was denied. Thus, they departedFortStena. Durbar did not leave the hero he thought he would be, but rather a prisoner. He still had hope that with Prince Rothan would come to his aid and clear the whole issue so he could return to Stena, but he underestimated Duke Orthan’s paranoia. The Duke was not about to let Durbar go free, and Prince Warren was more than willing to help his father destroy the Sureshot, hero of Harmon and Champion of the bow.