“No, Gordon, you don’t understand.” Robert’s low voice interrupted ominously. “The messenger I sent would have just gotten to Dagonmoor. There must have been a false messenger though I don’t understand who or why,” he continued, turning his pale face to Shanny. “Who was he, girl? Did you see him?”
“No, sir, no one saw the mon,” Shanny answered and shifted uncomfortably on her feet. “Sir Stephen brought the news und a note fra ye ta Mistress Leigha. He said tha’ he had met the mon on the road, und aftar havin’ taken the message, the mon went on his way.”
“It was a trick!” Robert screamed in outrage and frustration, unable to contain his emotions any longer. “Sir Stephen has taken Leigha! The scoundrel has stolen my wife!”
Stomping about, Robert struck out in helpless rage and slammed his fist into the wall of the coach, making the horses rear in fright. His knuckles were bloody and already swelling as he sank slowly to the ground, cradling his hand to his heaving chest, tears of grief staining his handsome face as his heart broke.
“Leigha!” His voiced strained in a high-pitched wail. “Leigha!”
Dark clouds scudded across the sky to block out the warming sun, leaving the day cold and gray as Jesep and Gordon rushed to Robert’s side only to stand helplessly over their friend as his grief forced rivers of tears to spill hopelessly on the frosted winter’s ground.