Journey Into Mossflower
- Page: 5
Redwall Part 1 Chapters 9-11
- “Eat heartily, Matthias. No point in facing trouble on an empty stomach. Feed the body, nourish the mind.”
- “It is written in the great chronicle of Redwall that Martin was very young to be such a warrior. He could have been the same age as yourself, Matthias. Like you, he was impulsive and had a great quality of youthful innocence about him when he first came to our Abbey.”
- “Why do you tell all this to me, Brother Methuselah?”
- “Because, Matthias … because he was very like you!”
- Before the young mouse could question the old one further, the Joseph Bell tolled out a warning.
- Sandals flapping,
- Matthias dashed out into the grounds, nearly colliding with the Abbot and Constance, who, like everyone else, were heading for the gatehouse.
- “Oh, a couple of hundred,” came the glib reply.
- "Spike’ll come to no harm. Once he curls up, there’s nothing can touch him.”
- Despite the heat, Matthias had ordered all the mice to put on their hoods. It served a double purpose, to shield their eyes from the sun and create a camouflage effect.
- The first mice had built the Abbey of red sandstone....
- dark greeny-brown of the order....
- lighter green of a novice....
- camouflage effect.
- John Churchmouse shouted from his position high in the belfry, “They’re coming, down the road! I can see them. I can see them!”
- His long ragged black cloak was made of batwings, fastened at the throat with a mole skull. The immense war helmet he wore had the plumes of a blackbird and the horns of a stag beetle adorning it. From beneath the slanted visor his one eye glared viciously out at the Abbey before him.
- Cluny answered quietly out of the side of his mouth, “Don’t worry, I’ve been watching her. A real big country bumpkin."
- Cluny could sense hostility emanating from the young mouse who flip-flopped behind him in overlarge sandals.
- Strange for one so young to be counted as a captain, he thought.
- He allowed himself a peek at the future. One day this would be called Cluny’s Castle. He liked the sound of that. Secure from attack, living off the fat of the land, in his mind’s eye he saw it all: those mice and the woodland creatures enslaved, living just to serve him. He would hold sway as far as the eye could see; power; an end to his rovings; a dream come true; King Cluny!
- Redtooth nudged Cluny. “Cornflower, eh. Satan’s nose, she’s a pretty little one for you!”
- Cluny remained silent. He stood insolently watching Cornflower set the table in Cavern Hole. A pretty one indeed!
- “These are the articles of surrender to be obeyed by all creatures who come under the claw of Cluny the Scourge or any of his commanders.
- One: surrender will be total and unconditional.
- Two: Cluny will execute the leaders of all who choose to oppose him.
- Three: all property conquered will belong solely to Cluny the Scourge. This includes homes, food, crops, land and additionally all creatures dwelling on said property: they shall be owned by Cluny—”
- “I will not need until tomorrow, rat. You can have my answer now. How dare you come here with your robber band to read articles of death and slavery to me? I tell you that neither you nor your army will ever set paw or claw inside Redwall, not while I or any of my creatures have breath in our bodies to fight and resist you. That is my solemn word.”
- Cluny sneered and turned on his heel. Followed by Redtooth, he stamped out. On the stairs between Cavern Hole and Great Hall he stopped and turned, his cold voice echoing between both chambers, “Then die, all of you: every male, female, and young one. You have refused my terms. Now you will suffer the punishment of Cluny. You will beg on your knees for death to come swiftly, but I shall make your torment loud and long before you die!”
- Exerting the full strength of a female badger, she lifted the massive Cavern Hole dining table. It was a huge solid oaken thing that no dozen mice could even move. Dishes clattered and food spilled as Constance heaved the table above her head. Her voice was a roar.
- “Get out, rats! Leave this Abbey! I’m weary of your voices. Hurry before I break the laws of hospitality and ask the Abbot’s pardon later. Go, while you still have skulls.”
- “This is Martin the Warrior. He founded our Order, and I’ll tell you something else, rat. Martin was the bravest mouse that ever lived. If he were here today he’d just take up his big sword and send you and all your bullies packing. Those of you he didn’t chop up into crow meat.”
- Brother Alf watched the little figure flip-flopping off.
- Their leader glanced out at the hedgehog. He scratched some hasty calculations on the wall with his claw.
- “Oi I think we can get yon ’edgepig back, sur. You’m get us outen the gate and stan’ watch.”
- Turning to his team, the Foremole (for that was his official title) began discussing tunnel width, coupled with reverse prickle drag, forward traction and all the other specialist details that are routine to the average qualified tunnel-mole.
- “Harr, he’m be noice an’ soft, sur. Baint no rock nor root to stop us’ns, straight furrer we’m a-thinking.”
- “Oi’ll dig ahead, you’m woiden workin’s. Gaffer and Marge, foller up a-shorin.” He tugged his snout respectfully to Matthias and Constance. “You’m gennelbeast bide by ’ere ’til us back.”
- They watched the ground humping...
- “Nay, nay, you uns on’y get yer paws durted.”
- A hasty diagnosis revealed that the hedgehog was suffering from a long jagged wound that ran from the back of his ear to the tip of his paw.
- “D’you think he’ll live, Father Abbot?”
- The Abbot chuckled quietly. He cleaned the long ugly wound and applied a poultice of herbs.
- “No cause for alarm, Brother Alf. Ambrose Spike is made of leather and needles. Tough as a boulder, this old ruffian is. Look, he’s beginning to come around already.”
- “It must have been near noon when I stopped at Vole Bank. I told the Voles the bad news, and blow me if that little ninny Colin Vole didn’t go to shrieking and screaming all over the place as to how they’d all be murdered in their beds."
- "Er, is there any more left in that jug? This wound’s giving me jip. I need ale for medicinal purposes, Father Abbot.”
- “Oh Martin, what would you have done in my place? I know that I’m only a young mouse, a novice, not even a proper Redwall member yet, but once you were young too. I know what you would have done. You’d have buckled on your armor, picked up your mighty sword, gone down to that church and battled with the rats until they released the Voles or perished beneath your blade. But alas, those days are gone. I have no magic sword to aid me, only the advice of my elders and betters, to which I must listen.”
- Looking back down to himself in his baggy green robes and oversized sandals,
- Matthias felt hot tears of shame and frustration spilling from his eyes and dripping on his young whiskers. Unable to stop himself, he wept freely. The soft touch of a gentle paw on his back caused him to look around. It was Cornflower.
- “Matthias, don’t be ashamed, I know why you cry and grieve. It is because you are kind and good, not a hard-hearted pitiless rat like Cluny. Please listen to me. Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others. You are brave, Matthias. Already you have done great things for one so young. I am only a simple country-bred fieldmouse, but even I can see the courage and leadership in you. A burning brand shows the way, and each day your flame grows brighter. There is none like you, Matthias. You have the sign of greatness upon you. One day Redwall and all the land will be indebted to you. Matthias, you are a true Warrior.”
What point are you trying to make by counting the mentions of Hell?
Just a humorous noting of this trope in action.
Eh, I always found this last segment with Cornflower to be incredibly cheesy. She falls for Matthias too quickly, and doesn't gain much of a personality until her next book, Mattimeo. Right now she's just filling the obligatory love interest gap. Cornflower in Mattimeo = great and leader. Cornflower in Redwall = boring.
- Page: 5