Chapter Six - Dreams and Nightmares

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It was dusk by the time they arrived at the camp of Major General Lewis. The weary caravan trudged slowly through the outer reaches of the camp prompting every solider they came across to immediately cease whatever they were doing and gaze with silent sympathy on the downcast faces of the travelers. As they passed, the heads of each horse were sunk as low with exhaustion as the dirt-caked and sweat-drenched faces of their masters. The clothes of both servant and employer alike looked virtually the same, regardless of how rich or plain the colors and patterns might have been before the journey. Each face, too exhausted to return the silent looks of the soldiers, held looks of utter defeat and fatigue. The only features which seemed altogether unaffected by the troubles that day had wrought and actually drew some strength from it were those belonging to two young souls mounted atop a beautiful black horse.

They were beyond fatigued, like the rest, but the sparks of determination and courage would not cease to cling to the fair face of the young woman as the soothing balm of love and honor softened the face of the young man who sat behind. She rested her head on his shoulder, struggling valiantly against the enticing sweetness of a restful sleep, while he gazed thoughtfully towards the horizon as he gently sacrificed what little comfort he had for the sake of her own.

"If I were a man," she began weakly after not having spoken for nearly two hours, "I should have become a politician." Her words were quiet and laden with the weariness she felt, however, they sounded as strong and resolute as if she were full of energy.

"Why so, my love?" Asked he tenderly, called from his thoughts to the cryptic musings of his friend.

"If I were a politician," she continued, now finding herself going in and out of the unconsciousness which sleep provides, "I would have traversed the continent and all of Europe speaking and debating passionately until I became mute for overuse of my vocal chords. Words would have been my weapons, as you know I despise the way men ruthlessly tear each other apart on the battlefield. I would have spoken with all the eloquence of Cicero and his teacher even if it killed me, resolved never to rest until every government on Earth turned with compassion on our little niche of the world and taken up the cause of true liberty and freedom as their very own. I should have never rested until all people were free and no man or woman thought themselves inferior to anyone else."

Her friend was stunned with admiration for the words she spoke, regardless of how out-of-nowhere they seemed to come.

"Than you would have doubtless been one of the most honorable politicians who ever lived."

"Mmm." she murmured, nearly asleep, "Though I should never have known it or wished to know it in my lifetime, as most are never as honored as they ought to be whilst they still draw breath. And even if I were, I should ignore such fame or else nothing would get done. Even still," she drew in a deep breath, "it is a thought which charms me greatly, though alas it is only a fairytale."

"Are we nearly at my father's tent?" She spoke up after a few moments, trying to keep herself from falling asleep and potenitally falling off the horse.

"Yes, it should only be a few minutes more before we happen upon it." He glanced down at his love and upon seeing her struggle to keep awake, offered, "Do not be afriad to sleep, I will make sure that you don't fall and I shan't mind carrying you down from the horse to find a proper place to rest in your father's tent when we arrive."

"Thank you, Ben." She replied in a sleepy voice that was barely autible as she promptly sliped the bonds of conciousness and slept.

As her form fell heavy in his arms, Benidict proceeded to readjust himself so that his posture and arms would bar her from accidently falling, should the horse deicide to make any sudden movements. After he had done so, he looked up to see a group of riders fast approching them in the distance. The lead rider quickly sprung off of his horse upon noticing the foremost carriage which held Mrs. Lewis and her two youngest children as his half-a-dozen followers proceeded to halt their horses.

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