Rigby stared at the Young Vixen, then at the young cub snuggled against her. His eyes lowered to the floor.
‘It is all so went wrong,’ he said, ‘Si set this up.’
‘What do you mean, racoon,’ said Brach.
‘The Bray hounds wanted some fox cubs and a vixen for a hunt lodge. Reynard sold him Vanda and her cubs .’
‘You liar,’ shouted the Young Vixen, ‘my brother would never do that.’
‘If I am lying, then why is it me who brought the cub here.’
The vixen turned to the cub. ‘Have you seen Daddy?’
‘Yes, yesterday. He told mummy he could get us to safety’ whispered the cub. ‘I couldn’t keep up and got left behind. I was trying to find my way home and he found me.’
The Young Vixen slumped forward and hugged her nephew closer. ‘I’m not sure I believe you, but I want the truth. I don’t believe Vanda would have abandoned Skid, even Reynard wouldn’t have been able to convince her of that.’
‘No mother would abandon her cubs’ said Achak in agreement, ‘not willingly at least.’
‘Continue, raccoon,’ demanded Brach.
‘He doesn’t have to’ said Zuzu. ‘I knew that rogue was up to something vile, and he had spies watching Reynard and Vanda. We thought we were getting them to safety.’
‘He had you followed, Zuzu. You were another victim of his plan. Now I will be too.’
‘Where are Vanda and the cubs, racoon, do you know?’
‘They left for Bray yesterday afternoon; it is a good three-day travel’ said Rigby.
‘Then there is still hope, Old Fox can you, Bel and Zuzu help Achak keep the lair safe and I will take the pack to look for our travellers.’ Brach turned to the Young Vixen ‘I can’t promise no harm will come to your brother, Vanda and the cubs must come first.’
‘Do what you need to, Brach, I have no brother.’
‘Raccoon, you will come with us, you will ride on my back.’
‘Yes, Sir’ said Rigby.
Brach addressed his wolves. ‘We must move fast and keep in contact. Keep your eyes open for that slime ball Si and any of his hangers on.’ Brach howled and the pack echoed his call.
‘We will be back as quick as we can, stay safe’ he said to Achak.
Rigby climbed on to Brach’s back and held on for his life as the wolves sped out of the lair, their mission had begun.
©JG Farmer 2019