Swamped Chapter 68 Page 2

If he’s left, he’d either have taken the wagon or a desert horse. You can see the wagon, so you decide to check the stable. Or whatever they call it.

You get some directions from the guards and go over to look. The stable is more of a tent, and it’s mostly designed for smaller creatures. There seem to be quite a few of them, all with grebling-sized saddles. The desert horses are off in a corner; both seem to be present.

A grebling dumps some feed into a trough and then looks up at you.

“You planning on going out for a ride?” she asks. “Because these horses have had a rough night. So unless it’s real important, you’re not getting one. And you’re too big for the sandrunners. Not to mention, you’d better be real good if you plan on riding out with only one arm.”

“Actually, I’m looking for Rider. Tall human, dressed in purple armor, carries a big lance? I just wanted to make sure he hadn’t left camp.”

“I know Rider, he’s been helping me out the last few days. Got a real way with animals. Said he’d be taking a horse in a couple of hours after they’ve had time to rest. Don’t know what he’s doing now, though.” She holds out her hand. “I’m Barb.”

You shake with your one hand.

“Marshall.”

“Pleasure to meet you. I don’t meet a lot of humans out here, but most of them only think of me as a stablehand. Gotta say, I appreciate your crew a lot more.”

“I grew up on a farm, so I’ve spent plenty of time in a stable myself,” you say. “Though I can’t say I know much about handling desert creatures. Do they give you any trouble?”

“Sandrunner pups can be a handful, but by the time they grow up they’re pretty obedient. Never raised a desert horse myself, though; just taken care of them for human guests. And those ones are almost always well-trained.” She pauses. “Although, one of the horses your group brought in has been a little bit troublesome.”

“How so?”

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Well, it keeps making bird noises.