As he lay there he realized, all of a sudden, that he wasn't cold anymore. "I have to keep going, I have to keep going," he thought, pushing himself upon all fours and scrambling to his feet. As he raced through the snow he could hear the hounds baying close enough now to give him a surge of adrenaline that propelled him even faster.
If those dogs ever caught up with him, he was dead meat and what's more, so was she. That of all things mustn't happen! He would live all the rest of his life guilt-ridden--in the most intense sense of the word--if they ever found her. These thoughts gave him a momentary burst of speed and he ran all out, his neck stretched out, his feet kicking up the snow in great flying sprays of white.
As he neared the river, his pace slowed. A feeling in his side that had been just a dull pain was now turning into a sickening, searing pain. He knew he had to stop but what then? As the soldiers came into view around the bend he leapt, using up his last bit of strength, into a nearby tree.
Copyright 2012 by Aimee W.