Vic addressed Kobo. "We'd like to leave, but we understand the problem. You'd like to assure the Council that you killed us and you need some sort of proof."
Kobo frowned deeply. "Yes, this is true. My esteemed Mother, who is on the Council, truly wanted in your pants, Vic von Crapp."
Vic's eyebrows shot up and his eyes widened. "What?"
"Did I say that wrongly?" Kobo frowned as his son whispered in his ear, then he laughed, his entire body shaking. BA laughed right along with him. "I meant to say…" Kobo wiped tears from his large brown eyes with the back of his hand, but his smile didn't lessen. "I meant to say, she wanted your pants for her own and desired to wear them."
Vic grinned, a look of relief flooding over his face. "Well, that's easy enough." He started removing his pants.
Kobo nodded. "You would trade your pants for your lives, Vic von Crapp? That is very wise."
Vic, standing in his boxers, took his belt from the pants and handed them to Kobo. He pulled his boots back on. "No, Kobo. I trade my pants for your lives." He looked at BA, who simply stood there shaking his head. "Give me one of those hides, BA."
From one of the pockets in his vest Vic pulled a fishhook and some fishing line and quickly sewed the belt to the edge of one of the hides. He buckled it about his waist.
BA looked at him critically. "Really? A kilt?"
Vic shrugged. "Not exactly a screaming fashion statement, I'll grant you that."
"You cannot go back through the village. We will all keep your secret and let you escape, but the council cannot see you alive." Kobo frowned. "The only exit is over the crevasse but the ice bridge used in Haggard's book is truly gone."
Vic looked at the crevasse and did some quick calculations in his head. "I think we can make it, BA."
BA shook his head, still watching Kobo and his son, as well as making sure the others didn't stir. "I don't think so, Vic. That's a long jump and I don't think we can get the speed."
Vic grinned. "We use our thermal blankets as sleds. It should work."
Kobo looked at his men. "My son and I will explain that you tricked us and escaped. But you must go before my men awake."
A minute later Vic and BA were riding down the glacier on their thermal blankets, steering desperately for the most narrow part of the canyon ahead of them.
"I don't think we'll make it," yelled BA, using the spear point as a steering rudder behind him. Tears flowed from his eyes because of the cold wind.
"Adventure is always risky, brother." Vic steered with his own spear, ten feet behind BA. "But I have to say, this kilt is mighty cold!"
They hit the edge of the glacier and were suddenly airborne. BA started laughing madly. "We are so not going to make it!"
They disappeared over the edge, the sound of BA's laughter booming up the side of the mountain. Then there was only silence.
Nolo turned to his father. "The von Crapp brothers were truly magnificent, Father," he said in their own language. "They were Adventurers indeed. It is too bad they died."
"It is a shame," replied Kobo, tossing Vic's pants over his left shoulder. "We might have had two pairs of pants instead of one." He looked at his men. "Let us awaken my men and we will return to our village as victors."
Next part, next Wednesday.
Author commentary (if I have one)