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By Rosemary Sutcliff

The 9th Legion marched into the mists of Northern Britain―and they have been by no means visible back. millions of guys disappeared and their eagle usual was once misplaced. it is a secret that is by no means been solved, earlier . . .
Marcus has to determine what occurred to his father, who led the legion. So he units out into the unknown, on a quest so risky that no-one expects him to return.

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Probably it really is my father’s face that you just consider. He was once your Cohort Commander. ” Slowly Guern’s fingers comfortable and dropped to his part. “I must have known,” he acknowledged. “It used to be the talisman—and the beard. yet still, I must have recognized. ” He sat rocking himself a bit, nearly as though he have been in discomfort, his eyes by no means leaving Marcus’s face. “What is it that you simply do, your father’s son, the following in Valentia? ” he acknowledged ultimately. “You aren't any Greek of Alexandria, and that i imagine that you're no eye healthcare professional. ” “No, i'm no eye healthcare professional. however, the salves that I hold are stable, and that i was once proven the right way to paintings with them by way of one expert of their use. while I informed you that I had my father’s exchange, that no less than used to be the reality. I it until eventually I obtained me this leg and my discharge, years in the past. As to what I do, right here in Valentia—” He hesitated, yet just for an rapid. He knew that during this one subject, not less than, he may belief Guern totally. And so, very in brief, he informed him what it used to be he did in Valentia, and why. “And whilst it looked as if it would me that you simply weren't because the different hunters of the Painted People,” he comprehensive, “it appeared to me additionally that from you i'd research the reply to my questions. ” “And may well you now not have requested me on the first? simply because i used to be interested in you, no longer understanding why, and since you spoke the Latin tongue that I had no longer heard those twelve years, I introduced you to my very own position, and also you slept below my roof and ate of my salt; with this hidden on your middle pertaining to me. it should were larger that you just requested me on the first! ” “Much better,” Marcus agreed. “But all that I had in my center bearing on you used to be a bet, and a wild wager adequate! If I had spoken out to you with out first being convinced, and located too past due that you just have been, in the end, no except you appeared, might there no longer were Ahriman the darkish One to pay? ” “What is it that you really want to understand? ” Guern acknowledged dully, after a second. “What turned of my father’s Legion. the place is the Eagle now? ” Guern seemed down at his personal hand, at the head of the good puppy who was extra mendacity quiet beside him; then up back. “I can solution the 1st of your questions, a minimum of in part,” he stated, “but it's a lengthy tale, and primary i'll mend the fireplace. ” He leaned ahead as he spoke, and fed the sinking flames from the pile of thorn branches and heather snarls beside him. He did it slowly, intentionally, as if conserving off the instant whilst he needs to commence his tale. yet even if the flames sprang up back, he nonetheless squatted silent on his haunches, staring into the smoke. Marcus’s center had all started to race, and unexpectedly he felt a bit ailing. “You by no means knew your father’s Legion,” Guern started finally. “No, and in case you had, you'll were too younger to learn the symptoms. Too younger by means of a long time. ” He had replaced his tongue to Latin, and with the swap, all that was once of the tribes in him looked as if it would have dropped away. “The seeds of dying have been within the Hispana prior to ever it marched north that final time. They have been sown sixty years in the past, while males of the Legion performed the Procurator’s orders to dispossess the Queen of the Iceni.

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