Missing the last few comments by virtue of being a few steps away and distracted by the women, Oswald catches back up with those that ka
put on the path before him. "Gambling? There's an idea. I could go for some bowling soon. Think I got plans for the evening tonight, though..." By this time, Florent and Susan have reached the castle, met with great applause and activity. The exact words of the conversations are not audible over the distance but their general character is clear.
Within minutes, the ka-tet
and their allies reach the castle. Susan is walking out of the building with a look of grim determination on her face. "They'll still be out there somewhere. Someone's got to watch the walls," is her explanation. "Enjoy your evening," she concludes as she tips her hat forward as an acknowledgement of her battle mates.
The gunslinger Susan:
Inside, the mood is much lighter. King John looks relieved at the course of events, as if he had spent a great deal of thought worrying over the fate of his people. Florent reclines in one of the chairs, his boots up on the table. A sprig of wheat sticks out from his mouth and he spins a coin around on the arm of his chair lazily with one hand. He seems as content as a fox who just spent his night in the hen house. Across the room, "Speedy" Parkus speaks with a number of bondsmen who served the gunslingers in the battle. Something one of them says strikes him as amusing and he laughs openly, dramatically slapping the shoulder of the youth in a manner which clearly caused no pain to the receiver. Sai Parsifal, the gunslinger who led his irregulars through the hinterlands on the eve of the battle, proudly discusses the battle with his men.
"Men who were outsiders, now our neighbors," King John greets. "Come and take of our table, seat yourselves and be one with us tonight." The conversations in the room quiet a little as everyone makes note of the ka-tet
which shares credit with Susan's for the death of the warlord Medraut.
The charred sword and battered helm rest in the center of the round table, on display for all.