Swamped Chapter 21 Page 11

“But, hang on. The negotiations worked out, didn’t they?” you say. “The prisoners were exchanged, we settled a new rain treaty, think there was something else but those were the big ones. I was kind of out of it back then.”

Razor doesn’t say anything.

“But then, I guess I wouldn’t have heard of anything that failed if the council were keeping it close to their vest, would I?”

“About fifteen percent of our members are from Kandria,” Razor says. He seems to be leaving it to you to figure out the rest.

“Kandria. Right, I think I heard about this. There was a failed revolution some time back. Rebels were either hunted down or fled to the swamp. But the hardliners are running things now, and they want vengeance. They want the Bogknights to hand over any identifiable Kandrian prisoners as soon as possible.” You stop and think for a bit. “So let me take a bit of a guess here. Silver was trying to get a formal treaty saying they wouldn’t send any prisoners back, no matter what their home countries requested.”

“Indeed. It was a sticking point. Silver thought Long was personally amenable to it, but was facing pressure from his superiors back home.”

“Let me guess. Back home in Kandria.”

“I don’t know what trick Silver had in mind to get that agreement, but whatever it was, we couldn’t do it without him. Rider and Claws did manage a strong agreement, it’s true. But not one that could provide our Kandrian troops with a sense of relief.”

“Why didn’t Silver stick around to see that through?”

“I have my theories, but they’re confidential. Regardless, I think you have enough information to grasp the nature of my worries now.”

“You think we’ve got a Kandrian spy in our midst.”

He doesn’t say anything. He’s not going to confirm it or deny it, not here.

“I believe we are done here, unless you have anything else to ask. Best be quick if you do, though. I’m a busy man.”

Well. Do you?

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Razor, someone helped that prisoner escape. No one armed newmuck is going to know to hide in the walls of our Rookery.

Do you know anything about that?

And Razor then calls Crook over.