The night guards were startled by the sudden emerging of a disheveled man from the shadowy doorway. Their pikes snapped into battle position with well-trained precision. It took them a moment to recognize the man and retract their weapons. Lord Evan was normally well-groomed and properly dressed, but at that moment the man standing before them looked as if he had been wrestling all night.
In agitation, the lord snapped, “To the front doors for surprise inspection! Did Captain Bradley not give you the orders?”
The guards exchanged confused glances. “No, sir,” the sergeant responded. He was clearly befuddled by the appearance of the distressed lord. The confused guard involuntarily glanced at the substantial sack partly in the shadows.
The two guards blocking the massive heavily-armored door came to their collective senses, and the sergeant, speaking for both of them, said, “Yes, sir! To the front doors!” Hastily, the two men retreated down the corridor, leaving their distraught master alone.
As the bolt in the lock grated into its place, Lord Evan began to recover from the effects of the potion that had been slipped into his wine. With head pounding, he struggled to free himself from the canvas cocoon that bound him. Sweat burned in his eyes and random memories flitted across his mind. He recalled his wife's words in her delirium. “I fear for you,” was her final parting as the fever claimed her life.
In a panic, the man clumsily fumbled his way out of the sack, only to discover he was behind the door to his own dungeon. In his muddled state, he sat with his back against the great door and wept into his hands.
On the other side of the door, double treason was taking place.