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“Andrew,” Robert swallowed loudly and stepped forward. “Emma.......,” he looked to Ian for help, but continued on ”....she is missing.”
“Missing,” Andrew whispered to himself, his body felt numb, like he was in a daze. How could his wife be missing? He looked up a Robert and tried to stay calm.............”One of ye were suppose to be with her.”
“Andrew,” it was Ian now that stepped forward, “twas a confusion, Grant and I thought Emma was with Robert and Elise, Robert and Elise thought Emma was with us.” Ian rubbed his face now, his face was pale, he was sweating....”We dinna think she would leave the castle walls alone.”
“She what?” Andrew shouted at them all now coming closer.
“Aye Andrew,” Robert continued on. “Twas said she was in the gardens this afternoon, I went to check, her basket was there,” he choked down another swallow.....”But the postern gate was opened. Emma was nae where to be seen.”
“She left the safety of the castle!” Angus shouted getting into the conversation. Shaking his head now....”Nae.......no Emma,” Angus was shaking his head. “Nae.....she wouldna left the castle for nae reason.”
“Did ye look around the garden Robert?” Donald asked him, his face also pale at the thought of his daughter missing once again.
“Nae....I dinna have time to.....” Robert started but before he could continue, Andrew took off towards the kitchen like a bolt of lightning. Ian and Grant hot on his heels.
Donald collapsed onto a stool, bent over his face held in the palms on his hands. Elise walked over to her father now, kneeling down before him, placing her arms around his shoulders. “We will find her Papa,” she softly told him. He nodded to her as he wiped a stray tear making its way down his weathered skin.
“We just found her Elise,” Donald croaked out, his voice thick with emotion. He needed to pull himself together, not fall apart. Taking a few deeps breaths, the overwhelming feelings were coming over him like they did not long ago. Composing himself now, he sat up in the stool. “Twas that bastard Colin.....aye twas him alright,” Donald spat out as he looked over at Angus. Angus just nodded at him, confirming that his suspicions of Colin weren’t the only ones.
“Robert,” Angus called to him angrily. “Has the entire castle been checked?”
Shaking his head..........”Nae Da, when ye all came in twas when we realized we dinna know where Emma was.”
Angus started bellowing out orders now. He wanted every available servant and clansmen to check the entire castle. Every room, every alcove, the garden, the courtyard and stables......anywhere where Emma would go, he wanted it checked. The servants ran about at their Laird’s orders and started reporting back what Angus already suspected. That still, Emma was nowhere to be found.
Andrew stormed into the Great Hall, his face full of fury, his hands balled into fists at his sides. He was dangerous right now..........murderous..........
He attacked one of the tables, picking it up and smashing it into the castles walls. Goblets of ale and wine went flying, smashing to the ground, clansmen went scurrying to their safety for Andrew had the look of the devil right now, like he was possessed.
Andrew couldn’t hear anything that anyone was saying. His mind was filled with rage. He needed to think and the only way was to calm himself down. He walked over to the hearth and rested his forearms on the mantle. His forehead resting on his hands, taking deeps breaths, he could slowly start to hear Ian and Grant relaying to the rest what they had found.
“Da.....twas two sets of horse prints, they were fresh.” Ian started to tell them all. “Also, twas two sets of fresh booted prints on the soil no far from the gate.”