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Chapter 4 The Freedom Fighters


Hercules and Iolaus walked together.

'We can stop for the night soon, then start again early tomorrow,' said Hercules. 'We can be in Themon by early afternoon.'

'You talked in your sleep last night,' said Iolaus.

'I had a bad dream,'said Hercules.

'About Hera?' said Iolaus.

'Yes,' said Hercules. 'About her green eyes. They watched me from the darkness. I wanted to run away, but I couldn't. And I could hear her laughing.'

'Are we going to have problems at this festival because of her?' said lolaus.

'No ... I don't know,' said Hercules. 'It was only a dream.'

And then somebody hit him on the head and everything went .

Minutes later, he opened his eyes. He turned his head and saw his friend on the floor near him. lolaus made a noise and Hercules tried to move across to him.

A voice said, 'Don't move.Your friend's OK.'

Hercules sat up. They were in a big cave, and he saw the bandits on rocks near them. He could see some of their faces now. 'They're very young,' he thought.

'Who are you?' lolaus asked them.

'TheThemon Freedom Fighters,' said one bandit.

'You're ... rebels?' said lolaus.

'We want freedom for the people of Themon,' said the bandit. 'Freedom from Councillor Titus Perical.'

'That's right!' and 'Yes!' said the rebels.

'You tell them, Rotus!' called a small voice.

Rotus said, 'The people can't ... do things! Titus stops them. He makes things . . . difficult. It's time for him to go! Twenty years is too long to be council leader.'

'Yes!' said the rebels. 'Right! Too long!'

'You're the best, Rotus!' called the small voice.

Hercules looked at lolaus.'Are you OK?' he asked.

'Not too bad,' said lolaus,'But these people —!'

'Be careful!'cried the small voice.'I can hear you!'

'Who is that?' said lolaus.

Rotus looked at Hercules and lolaus. 'Titus wants you at the Summer Festival. But we don't, you see. So you'll stay here and leave when the festival's finished.'

'You can't do that!' cried lolaus.

'You're here and the festival starts in the morning,' called the small voice.

'Be quiet!' said lolaus.'You talk too much!'

Somebody ran across and stopped in front of lolaus. 'You be quiet!' It was a young woman.

Iolaus's mouth fell open. 'I-I'msorry. I didn't know —'

The rebel's face went red and she walked away.

'Venitia gets angry sometimes,' said Rotus.

'Listen,' Hercules said to Rotus.'We're only going to choose a Summer Queen. But perhaps we can help you.'

'We don't want your help,' said Venitia.

'Why don't the people of Themon choose a different leader?' Hercules asked Rotus.

'Because things are quite good,' said the rebel.'And people are afraid they'll get somebody worse.'

'Things aren't very good, Rotus,' said Venitia.

'No, they're not!' cried the other rebels.

lolaus moved nearer to Hercules.'We must get out of here,' he said quietly. 'I've got a plan. We take two of their horses, and go.'

'How do we get out of here?' said Hercules.

'That's your job. I thought of the horses,' said lolaus. Then he laughed and said, 'No, I've got a plan for that, too. When I tell you, run for the door.'

' OK,'said Hercules. 'When?'

'NOW!' cried lolaus. He jumped up and ran.

Hercules followed him, and the rebels suddenly saw them.

'Get them!' cried Rotus.


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