Chapter 7 Holix in Danger
Next morning, Iolaus spoke to Hercules at the hotel.
'When you went out last night, I saw three women from the bandit's cave in here and talked to them,' he said. 'They're not rebels, but somebody pays them to be rebels.'
'Who?' said Hercules.
'They don't know, but perhaps Rotus does,' said Iolaus. 'He gives the money to them.'
'Perhaps it's Titus Perical,' said Hercules. 'Perhaps it's his plan to stay leader.'
'Venitia thinks that, too,' said Iolaus. 'And she says that there's a serpent. It kills people.'
'Klothon,' said Hercules.
'You know?' said Iolaus.
'Poseidon told me,' said Hercules.
'She said something more,' said Iolaus. 'What was it? I can't remember.'
'I want to go and talk to Holix again,' said Hercules. 'Come on.'
But when they arrived, Holix had some people with him -Rotus and eight of his bandits! They hit Holix and threw him out into the road. Hercules and Iolaus saw this happen.
'Now I remember,' said ,Iolaus. 'Venitia said, "Some of the bandits aren't playing games this year.'"
'Holix?' called Hercules.
'Hercules,' Holix said weakly. He could not move.
Rotus's men turned to face Hercules and lolaus, their swords ready, but stopped when they saw that Hercules and his friend did not run away Rotus cried 'Get them!' from the back. Hercules hit one of the rebels on the head, then threw him into the others. Three of them went down. A big man pushed his sword at lolaus, but lolaus moved away quickly and hit the big man on the head. The big man fell on the road. Then lolaus moved away from a smaller rebel and pushed him to the road. Then he hit him on the head.
'There's only two of them!' cried Rotus. 'Get them!'
'Why don't you help?' called one of the rebels. Then Hercules put his hands round the rebel's face and pushed and pulled — pushed and pulled. 'Stop!' cried the rebel. And Hercules said, 'OK' and hit him on the head.
lolaus laughed and took the rebel's sword. He turned to see three others run at him. With a sword in each hand, lolaus fought hard. One rebel ran away, but the other two pushed lolaus down on the road.
'Hercules!' cried lolaus.
Hercules pulled a long-haired rebel to him, then threw the rebel on to the two near lolaus. The three rebels fell together — and lolaus got up.
Hercules started to move to him — but Rotus hit him on the head with something hard — a rock, perhaps — and he went down. For a minute he couldn't hear anything. He waited for Rotus to hit him again, but nothing happened.
Then somebody put an arm round him and helped him to sit up. He looked and saw a dark-haired young woman.
'I'm Bea,' she said.
'Thank you, Bea,' he said. 'Where's lolaus?'
lolaus sat a metre or two away, and a young woman was with him. 'I'm here, Hercules,' he said. 'This is Venitia.'
'Where are the rebels?' asked Hercules.
'Some people saw the fight and called for help,' said Venitia. 'Rotus heard them and he and his men ran.'
Some minutes later, Hercules carried Holix to their hotel. 'He can sleep in my room for an hour or two,' he said.
'I'll stay with him,' said Bea. 'And I'll send somebody to tell his girlfriend.'
'OK,' said lolaus. He turned to Hercules. 'Now what?'
'Now we go to the crowning place,' said Hercules.
'I'll come with you,' said Venitia. 'I know the quickest road.'