Ned peered up at the full moon and then through the instrument. The moonlit path illuminated across the swamp. But the pathway faltered and faded into darkness. He stared up at the night sky again and narrowed his eyes. Dark clouds edged over the moon. Without its light, he was stuck on this side of the swamp. Harsh shouts cut through the biting wind. He looked back at the farmhouse and a contingent of soldiers gathered at the front door. Ned could almost feel the fear of Gundred and Krea.
He turned to face the swamp, deep in thought. It was pitch black out there. All was lost if he could not make his escape. He looked through the instrument, but the path had disappeared. Lowering it, the foggy swamp vanished into the darkness. Dejected, Ned pulled his coat against his neck. A cold was setting in. The frosty night was heavy and black. If escape was impossible, he knew this was it.
Raised voices rose from behind, but Ned could not make out the words. Some glass smashed inside the farmhouse. A fire smouldered and silhouetted the soldiers. Then an eery quiet descended as the soldiers panned out toward his old outhouse. He could not see anything, but heard the pigs and chickens inside. Ned held his breath. Everything was coming to an end.
Then a faint light came from above. A bit brighter, it pierced the fog. The rain clouds cleared and moonlight shone down. Part of the starry sky was back again. Ned looked through the instrument and there it was. With relief, he saw the path illuminated. Ned took one last look behind. White mist hovered above frosty fields. Soldiers stood outside the farmhouse. He saw Krea’s face in an upstairs window. A pang of regret gripped his chest.
“FIND HIM!!!” Kroll shouted. It disturbed some birds, which flapped away into the gloom.