By the next year, he found himself restless in the court, uncertain of how to fit himself into its formalities. Upon Mariposa's suggestion, they retired to an estate very near the village where he had grown up.
" Welcome home, hero!" The tavern keep slapped him on the back with a boisterous laugh. " Here I was, thinking you forgot us little guys!"
" I'd never forget you, Roderick," Henry said. " You hit harder than a mad bull."
The little old lady down the street, Mrs. Wortham, knit Mariposa a scarf, and worried endlessly about the fact that her bad back had kept her from traveling to the capital for the wedding.
" Do you remember, Henry?" she asked.
" Remember what?" he asked.
" Back when you were just a wee little thing, you and the tailor's daughter... You always used to sled down Mulbright Hill, every winter. First thing you did when it'd snow. I always thought you two would end up together. You were so cute with her."
Mariposa smiled, uncertain.
" .... The tailor's daughter?" she asked.
Mrs. Wortham nodded.
" It's a shame, that poor thing... But she really was so lovely. It's in the past now, but it was such a terrible thing that happened..."
" Mrs. Wortham..." Henry said.
She leaned in close to Mariposa.
" Demons killed her, you know. It was demons. That's where it all started."Return......Next