"I need time to think it all over! I'll get in touch as soon as I can." - the General strode out of the hut where we talked, called his son and drove away. Sawanni and the children came into the room, and we talked for a while, discussing, what could be our next move.
Everyone else, whom Sawanni contacted, declined to meet with him. They all waited to see, if there would be someone of higher rank to make the first move. We had to rely on The General's integrity or find some other way to influence the military.
Over the next couple of days I noticed how Dular and Amur kept engaging the mercenaries in conversations. They threw conspiratorial looks in mine and Sawanni's direction, so I knew: they were cooking up one of their schemes.
Midori disappeared in the forest again. She'd come back time to time to play with the boys or have a meal, but we heard other wolves out there, which meant that her family came with her.
I took a Jeep into town to do some shopping. The marketplace was noisy and rowdy. I bargained my way through a couple of stalls, when I noticed a man from our camp going into one of the tents with a few soldiers standing in line, waiting for something. Curious, I peeked inside.
A man was lying face down on a mattress, and one of my sons, Dular, was walking on his back! Amur stood by the entrance and was the first one to see me. "Mom!"- he squawked.
Dular wobbled on his precarious perch and fell off. Both of the kids looked panicked and guilty, but I had no words to describe my astonishment.
The man from the camp shooed Dular's "client" away.
-"Well?!" - I asked. Boys began to stutter and talk at the same time.
- "We thought and thought, how to get to the soldiers!"
- "The higher-ups take too much time; maybe, we can start from the other end!"
- "Don't worry, no one knows, what we are doing. We even made some money for massaging the soldier's backs!"
I thought, Sawanni would swallow his subordinate, who helped the boys, whole. In the end, he had to admit not only that the man couldn't withstand my sons' wishes, but that it was also a good idea. He grudgingly gave permission for one of his soldiers or another to drive the boys into town each day and watch over them there.
To Be Continued