Jack came back later, when he knew Stephen would not wake, and carried him towards his own cot. He was nearly there when Stephen squirmed against him and muttered.

He rolled Stephen into the cot, where he tossed and mumbled, and he was terrified he would fall out. He had nothing on hand to lash him in, and going for something would leave Stephen alone, which Jack would not do.

Stephen's sleeping speech was not very comprehensible when he wasn't fevered, and Jack did not think he was. Yet when all was quiet Jack left with no small amount of relief.


Two Masters

"You love me dearly?" Diana sounded doubtful. "Stephen, if you speak truly, you are serving two masters."

Stephen looked up. "Jack." Her accusing stare pierced him hard.

He could see nothing for it but to confess everything. "I am serving two masters, but I love you both. Losing either one of you devestates me. Think me a scrub, I would not blame you, but if you could at all accept sharing my loyalty, I would be grateful beyound measure..."

She did look moved, but her hesitant nod, and then a more firm one, was more then Stephen had dared hope for.



Killick hadn't know camels were this powerful. He'd known they were big; he'd gone for this one's forelegs with his whole body the instant he'd realized what was happening, but it was all he could do to hold on, while the hind legs kicked him, and powerful muscles knocked him into the sand. He tried to pull the camel over with his weight, to no avail.

The other camels ran past, bumping into both him and this camel, which tottered. Killick held on.

"Which....the captain....ain't....losing...." Then his mouth was filled unexpectedly with sand before he could finish.