The Legend of Luke: A Tale from Redwall
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In this twelfth book of the masterful Redwall epic, storyteller Brian Jacques goes back in time to the days before Redwall, revealing with dramatic poignancy the legend of the first of the magnificent Redwall warriors--Luke, father of Martin.
Joined by Trimp the Hedgehog, Dinny Foremole, and Gonff--the ever-mischievous Prince of Mousethieves--it is that legend Martin hopes to discover when he embarks on a perilous journey to the northland shore, where his father abandoned him as a child. There, within the carcass of a great red ship--broken in half and wedged high up between pillars of stone--he finally uncovers what he has been searching for: the true story of the evil pirate stoat, Vilu Daskar, and the valiant warrior who pursued him relentlessly over the high seas, seeking to destroy Vilu at all costs, even if it meant deserting his only son.
appeared in the ferret’s paw. He aimed another kick at the weasel. ‘Yew couldn’t chop yer way outta a daisy patch. Back off from those vittles, they’re mine!’ The weasel shrugged, as if admitting defeat. Picking up the sharpened skewer, whose end was on fire, he turned to the ferret. ‘Ah, wot’s a pile o’ squashed bugs t’me. You ’ave ’em!’ Bounding forward, he thrust the skewer hard into the ferret’s gut. A shriek of agony rang out, and the ferret fell backward dying, stabbed through his
strode off. Darkness had fallen. Luke’s tribe laughed and sang around the bonfire, unaware of the big red ship anchoring the other side of the south point. * * * 18 LUKE THREW THE first rope up into the darkness. A moment later he heard the wooden bar tied to its end clack upon some rocks. He tugged it, making sure the bar held in the rocks it had wedged itself among. Paw over paw Luke went up, whispering to Vurg, ‘Follow on with the other rope, mate, but be quiet. We don’t want
the rigging. It fell back, almost hitting him. Amid the hoots and jeers of the crew, he yelled, ‘Who said that? Come on, own up, ye lily-livered poltroon!’ Another insult rang out from below, where other crew members were baling out the water the Greenhawk was shipping. ‘Bootbrain’d ’andle the tiller better if yer fed us proper, yew ole vittle robber!’ Chopsnout could not see who made the remark. He danced and stamped in anger on the deckplanking. ‘Liar. Filthy foul-tongued liar. I get the same
attention to the slightest detail. ‘Do it proper and ’twill serve you well!’ Everybeast in the tribe became familiar with their Chieftain’s constant motto. Winter’s first icy breath was coating the northern coast with rimefrost when the new mainmast was raised. Vurg and Drunn had chosen a good tall white willow, which would bend with the wind where other wood might crack and break. Newly patched and hemmed, the wide single mainsail was hoisted, fluttered a moment, then bellied proudly out in
the Flitchaye surrounded Martin, hemming in on all sides. Swaggering forward, the big weasel thrust his ugly face close to that of Martin and sneered, ‘We d’Flitchaye, Flitchaye, Flitchaye!’ The crowd took up the chant, moving around the Warrior in a shuffling stamping dance. Martin waited patiently awhile, an expression of bored indifference on his face. Then he pointed a paw at his own chest and shouted, ‘I Martin the Warrior!’ Quiet fell over the vermin, and they stood still. The leader