Guess who's making cameos in this chapter?
The next morning, in Madrid, Dameon shook Mark awake and said “We know they all got here before us, now we have to find them.”
“Find who?” Mark asked drowsily.
“You know who!” Dameon exclaimed “Wake up!”
“Oh right, those people!” Mark answered, jumping out of the bed he had borrowed from an innkeeper who knew nothing about him, since he had climbed in through the window last night.
“We should look in the market first.” Dameon said, ignoring Mark. “Then we can just wander around and see the sights.”
Ten minutes later, having scaled the wall again to get out, Dameon and Mark were both strolling down the street headed toward the source of all the noise that they could hear from two blocks away. They turned the corner and made their way into the midst of the revelry, wending their way through until they reached the contests of strength and arms.
As they leaned on the stage in front of them, watching the boxing match now in progress, the hooded man standing next to Dameon turned and said “So, you got this far after all. I was beginning to worry about you.”
“What? Oh, yes, we were fine, thanks” Dameon answered distractedly, still facing the stage. A boy with bright red hair had made his move and was now driving his much larger opponent into the rail. Suddenly, it finally dawned on Dameon that the man next to him knew what they had been doing. He immediately turned to confront the speaker and found himself staring in David’s face.
David, who had by this time removed his hood, said “In case you haven’t guessed yet, the redhead is Luke. He’s won every one of his matches so far. Gabriel took the rest of the boys a bit farther down to watch the quarterstaff duels. That direction.” He continued, pointing to his left.
Dameon took Mark and pushed his way through the crowd until he came to another stage where the audience was twice as large. Little wonder, because this match was far more exciting. Both men were experts, gaining or losing nothing. Suddenly, one of the men spun around, let go of his staff, and sent it spinning straight at his opponent’s legs. Jumping out of the way, the second man ran after the one who had released his staff, seeing an easy end, only to find him three feet away, armed and ready. Seeing the rush, the first man did another quick spin, shifting himself so he was broadside on to his attacker. Within thirty seconds, he had jabbed the man in the ribs, rapped his knuckles, and tapped him on the leg. All this was enough to make the man collapse on the stage.
As the crowd cheered the good show, the winner vaulted over the railing and landed next to Mark. Turning, he exclaimed “So none of you are hanged after all! I thought so as soon as I caught a glimpse of Matt running around. He doesn’t know about me yet though. I call myself Jose Sponsloreo..”
“Well, Dad,” Mark remarked “this is a lucky turn of events. Everyone thought everyone else had been captured and it turned out nobody was.”
Dameon cut in. “The audience is upset and there’s a challenger on the stage already, so you’d better get back on stage.” He remarked to Joseph.
“I’m too tired. Let Mark defend my title.” Joseph replied
At this, Mark eagerly grabbed the staff and vaulted on to the stage. Raising the staff above his head, he spun it around a couple of times and announced “I will now perform the world premiere of the ballet of the quarter staff!”
Closing in on his opponent, Mark made an exploratory jab, threw in a couple more spins, and rapped his opponent’s skull so hard that he doubled up, with eye- blurring speed. Just as he turned to face the crowd once more, a sling stone came whizzing out of nowhere, headed straight for Mark’s chest. He quickly sidestepped it and swung the staff for all he worth. The staff split on contact, with the broken end flying off over the back the stage while the stone sped back to its origin at the rear of the crowd.
“I say! Good play, that!” An American voice with a slight Spanish accent rang out. Mark jumped from the stage to meet the two men pushing their way through the crowd. The speaker, a tall man with cropped light hair, was wearing a long, frayed, brown coat, and was unarmed, save for a small knife that looked as if he sliced his lunch with it more frequently than fighting with it. His companion was slightly taller, with much darker hair. His sling was tied around his waist, but his stone pouch was much more prominent. He was decked out in black. The light – haired one, who was built like a wrestler, (And most likely was one), introduced them. “Hello there, Dameon, I remember you, even if you’ve forgotten me. I came here soon after we met to work in the underground. This man is my Portuguese friend. An expert shot with a sling, as you’ve noticed, but he speaks no English, only Portuguese. Oh, I almost forgot! Our names! You can’t introduce yourself and leave those out. In Spain, I go by Jose Blewant: My friend is Haydn Schaffrout.”
Schaffrout turned and whispered in Blewant’s ear for a moment. Blewant than translated his friend’s remarks. “He tells me he has seen a man running about who claims to be looking for an American in a blue coat. He says that since you fit the description, you had better come see what the man wants.”
Schaffrout and Blewant promptly walked off, with Dameon, Joseph, and Mark trailing behind. Joseph told Mark “Drop back and find your way to the others while you still can. We’ll handle this.”