Gremm Wants The Key
Finally, he asked me to give him the Key.
"I've been sent to get something from the Treasure," he explained.
I was unhappy to displease him, but I said, "I can't let you have it. There must be three members. You know that."
"Of course, I know it. But something came up suddenly, so they sent me alone. Now, let me have it."
I shook my head. That was the one order they had given me--never to give the Key to any one person who came alone.
Gremm became quite angry.
"You idiot," he shouted. "Why do you think I had you put out here? It was so I could get in there and help myself to the Treasure."
"But that would be dishonest. And there are no dishonest people in the State."
"For three thousand years. I know." His usually kind face had an ugly look I had never seen before. "But I'm going to get part of that Treasure. And it won't do you any good to report it, because no one is going to take the word of a fool like you, against a respected council member. They'll think you are the dishonest one. Now, give me that Key!"
It's a terrible thing to disobey a council member. But if I obeyed him, I would be disobeying all the others. And that would be worse.
"No!" I shouted.
He threw himself upon me. For his size and age, he was very strong--stronger, even, than I. I fought as hard as I could, but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep him away from the Key for very long. And if he took the Treasure, I would be blamed. The council would have to think a new punishment for dishonesty. Whatever it was, it would be terrible, indeed.
He drew back and rushed at me. Just as he hit me, my foot caught upon a root, and I fell. His rush carried him past me, and he crashed through the brush screen beside the path. I heard him scream twice, then there was silence.