Rosalyn struggled with the branch that had somehow poked its way through the cloth, her fingers clumsy, every fiber of her being saying “Now’s not the time to be stopping! Go! Go! Go!” Forced to pause, she realized they could never outrun a pack of trained hunting hounds. Their only chance would be to do something the dogs couldn’t do. The thorns finally released their hold on Jason’s cloak, though not before pricking Rosalyn’s fingers. She sucked on her bleeding thumb and urged Jason onward.
Robert waved to her as soon as they came in sight. He was standing beside a heap of sitting guards, their backs to the wall, heads flopped backwards or forwards, mouths gaping open in deep sleep. He put his finger to his lips and brought out a huge metal key. It rasped in the lock and he froze, waiting to see how the guards would react. Nothing. They were out cold. Slowly, Robert pushed the iron gate forward, wincing every time it groaned on its hinges. When it was open a crack, he motioned for Rosalyn and Jason to slip through behind him and led them up and over the narrow brick-paved bridge that spanned the river. There was another gate on the far side but this time he was faster unlocking and opening it. Once through, he turned and locked it. They looked at each other and smiled in relief.