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fantasy novel chapter 14
questing hero novel text online

Warning: this novel is intended for an adult audience. It contains violence and vulgar language and, additionally, contains at least a little sexual content.


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Chapter 14

        It took Togura three days to get out of the swamp. He never once relaxed during those whole three days. He would sleep, but only lightly, waking for any unusual sound. Finally, he found himself on a stream, which became a creek, which he followed down to the sea.
        By the sea was a tiny hamlet housing thirty-two fisherfolk. When they saw him approaching in his clothes of moss and bark and lichen, wearing his birds' nest headgear, they fled screaming; perhaps they were not entirely unaware of the abominations practised until so recently in the swamps of the hinterland.
        Togura looted their houses shamelessly, dressing himself in sealskin clothes, and loading what food he could carry into baskets of woven flax. Then he left, hurrying off before they could gather their courage and come back to kill him.
        He had not been able to steal any proper shoes, but the clogs he wore were hateful to him, contaminated as they were with bad dreams and claustrophobic memories. Two days along the coast, he tossed them into the sea. They bobbed up and down in the waves; he imagined he heard them over the thunder of the surf, walking the waters with a steady tromp-cho-tromp; he watched until they were out of sight, floating away, perhaps, to the smudged, hazy distances where the horizon was burdened with cloud, or by an island, or by, perhaps ,the coast of the continent of Argan.
        Then he marched on, barefoot.

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The text on this page is part of the fantasy novel The Wordsmith and the Warguild by Hugh Cook, which, when published in North America in 1988, was divided into two separate volumes, The Questing Hero and The Hero's Return. This text can be read for free online. However, the text is copyright - all rights reserved. For permission to use this text or any portion of it contact Hugh Cook.

The Wordsmiths and the Warguild was first published in 1987. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1998, 2004, 2006 Hugh Cook.