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He and the infant spent something less than a week in the ruins of the farmhouse, while the City Guard combed the countryside, and the old man made plans. While there were often signs the Guard had been in their vicinity, the Wards he had set were more than adequate to confuse the searchers. While intelligence was prized in the Guard, it was fortunately rare.
There finally came the morning the old man felt it was safe for them to be on their way. He carefully packed their gear, collected the child in a chest sling, and took one last look about the place. This was not an action taken lightly. He wanted this scene to be etched indelibly in his mind so , in years soon to come when the boy began asking questions, the old man would have something to fuel his anger again. It would be of tremendous importance the boy knew a sense of outrage, when he was told the simple facts.
The telling of this tale would need inflame the boy, to make him sure of the Path he'd follow.
So, the man's eyes caressed every stick of smashed furniture, shard of shattered crockery, page of torn and trampled books and pictures; his gaze rested on everything as it lay. Then he turned to leave.
As he pushed his way through the snow which had drifted in through the shattered doorway, he turned and once again looked at the table he had set upright when he first arrived.
It stood, virtually untouched, amid the chaos.

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