A Buried Story By Della Street
The traveler poked his head cautiously through the curtain, and
peered into the less-than-reputable establishment. He winced at the
levels of odor and noise, but this seemed to be all there was in this
town. Reluctantly, he took his wife's hand and led her into the lion's
The woman sat nervously at a small table, glad to have her husband
close by. Suddenly, her eyes widened. "Tarus," she whispered,
"isn't that . . .?"
Tarus followed her line of sight. "Why, yes it is--it's our
little Gabrielle." His eyes widened slightly at the, um, rather
revealing outfit the girl was wearing. He studied her a little more
closely. Not really a girl any more, either . . . .
"Where's the warrior woman?" Dynae asked. Her husband
shrugged. "Do you think Gabrielle's all right?"
They watched as a thick, burly man sat lowered himself onto the stool
beside the young woman.
"Hecuba would like us to see how she is," Dynae decided.
The couple rose from the table and eased through the crowd toward their
fellow Potedaian. As they drew near, they could pick up the thread of
"My wife tries . . . she's just not very good at it . . .
Gabrielle nodded sympathetically.
The man glanced around him, then leaned in closer. "How
He nodded. "I'll give it to you outside. I don't want word to
"Is there somewhere we can go?" she asked.
He jerked his head toward the door. "I'll show you," he
Gabrielle rose, and followed him outside.
The Potedaians stood motionless. "By the gods, Tarus, she's a .
. . ." Dynae shook her head silently; she couldn't say it.
At that moment, a tall, striking woman in armor stepped into the
tavern. She quickly scanned the room, then made her way toward the bar.
Looking around again, her eyes landed on the unhappy couple.
"Excuse me. I'm looking for a young blonde woman, about so
high." She touched the side of her hand against her chest.
"She left," Dynae said with some disgust.
"Hm." The stranger frowned. "Was she with
"Trying to earn some extra money before we hit the road,"
Xena guessed aloud. Probably holed up with one of those tough-guy
soldiers embarrassed to admit that he likes to hear a good romance.
"How many?" she asked.
"How many was she with?"
Dynae's jaw dropped. "One," she said.
Xena nodded. "Good. Shouldn't take her as long." She turned
back to the helpful woman. "Could you tell if it was going to be a
By the gods! "I have no idea," Dynae replied
Xena pursed her lips. "Well, it'd better be a quickie. She's
supposed to entertain the soldiers at the garrison tonight." She
slid onto a barstool to wait.
Dynae stared at her.
* * * * *
Gabrielle unrolled the scroll. "It's from my mother." She
peered down at the handwriting. "She wants me to come home at
She looked at Xena, and shrugged�.
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