Chapter 2

Log-a-log of all the Gousim woke up to a dagger at his throat. "Be still or die!" A weasely voice snarled menacingly. The shrew leader risked a quick sidelong glance, and saw that his comrades were in similar situations. Log-alog turned his face upward to see a creature that looked neither like a ferret or a polecat. "What d'ye want, ferret?" He growled, showing that he was a no-nonsense shrew. "Ah, shut up, fool. D'ye know you're in the presence of the minklord of the Skullcarvers! I've the power to slay ye-or keep ye alive!" Log-a-log snorted. "Then kill me, ferret!" Mustclaw chuckled, as if Log-alog had said something funny. "Oh, I won't kill you, rivermouse. But my son will!" He turned away, briefly nodding to his son Macrodin, who had been standing quietly beside him. He sniggered nastily, then swung his sword. The sabre flashed only once in the sunlight. The rest of the Gousim shrews bit their lips to stop from screaming out with fear. Mustclaw kicked the beheade carcass of Log-a-log scornfully, then said impassively, "Oh, and by the way, I'm a mink, not a ferret!" Macrodin laughed, then said, "D'ye know what else you are, father?" Mustclaw turned his back on his son, chuckling. "Oh, I don't know son. What am I?" "A dead mink!" There was a concerted gasp from the onlookers at Mustclaw half turned right when Macrodin swung his sword savagely. "Go to Hellgates, fool!" The head of Mustclaw thudded on the ground. Macrodin gouged the warlord's eyes out, skewered them, and hung them around his neck on a cord. Macrodin spat at his slain father, then commanded, "You shall now call me Macrodin Eyegouger, warlord of this horde. My first order as minklord is that you finish off all of the shrews except the babes and young uns. They'll do as slaves and boatrowers." After the agonized screams of Gousim shrews finally ended, Macrodin whispered to Ironfang, "What is that place you told me about?" Ironfang grinned wickedly. "It's a place where there's slaves, shelter, and food a plenty. Redwall!"

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