Previous parts of the story:
Nadalia heard a noise and felt the wagon jerk to start. Master Grenlins must have returned. She heard his raspy voice, “Hault! Hold up I say!” The horses must have started without him. She couldn’t blame them, cruel man that he was. The wagon stopped moving, and she felt it shake as he pulled his rather large body into the seat.
They were off. Nadalia could taste it already. Freedom! She was almost there.
The wagon moved down the street towards the gates, and came to a stop. Nadalia could hear Master Grenlins talking and laughing with the soliders. She wished that they would hurry up. Too much longer, and someone would realize she was missing. She heard Master Grenlins bid them goodbye, but one of them stopped him. “Now wait just a minute. You aren’t carrying any stowaway in that there cart, you are?” There was a moment of silence and Nadalia held her breath. So close, and yet so far.
Master Grenlins broke into laughter. “Thomlins, do you really think of these foolish children would be smart enough to stowaway with me? Cattle they are, really, stupid and easily led to slaughter.”
The solider left, and Nadalia felt her blood boil. Cattle, were they? Hardly! She was almost relieved when she heard the sound of the whip. She felt sorry for the horses and could only imagine the marks it was leaving on their backs, but at least they were moving again. She felt the wagon sway back and forth as they moved through the gates and on to the dirt path that would take them to the next village. She was safe now.
They rode on for a ways, twisting and turning, the wagon bouncing up and down and side to side over the bumpy road. A low dip came, and was followed by the sound of the whip. Grenlins shouted. “Fast you stupid animals! Faster!” The horses began to slow down. For their sake, she wished they would move faster. With every beat of the whip, the horses moved slower and slower until one of them seemed to fall. Nadalia’s heart began to beat faster. She should have been safe by now, but perhaps it was wishful thinking.
The wagon lurched to a halt leaning forward. Nadalia felt as though the trunk was sliding towards Grenlins! Nadalia put her hand over her mouth and bit her fist to keep from screaming. She heard the whip again and Grenlin yelling, felt the trunk slide back, and heard the horses neighing. Something jerked the wagon up, and she felt the trunk slide towards the back of the wagon. Suddenly, she lost all sense of direction. Everything seemed slow motion, the turning of the wagon, the feel of the trunk rolling. Nadalia couldn’t see what was happening from inside the trunk, only sensed it. She felt the trunk roll over and over, felt her own body hit the sides as she was tossed around inside of the trunk. What was really only a matter of minutes seemed like an eternity until finally the trunk was still.