“Uphill? There's nothing up the hill," Colly said, trying desperately to work out where this conversation was going.
"As a matter of fact, there is. There's a bluff about twelve meters high, with a river running below it. The water's deep, so it'll be quite safe for you to jump." In his brief glimpse of the river, Halt had noticed that the fast-flowing water cut under the bluff in a sharp curve. That should mean that the bottom had been scoured out over the years. A thought struck him. "You can swim, I assume?"
"Yes. I can swim," Colly said. "But I'm going jumping off some bluff just because you say to!"
"No, no. Of course not. That'd be asking far too much of you. You'll jump off because if you don't, I'll shoot you. It'll be the same effect, really. If I have to shoot you, you'll fall off. But I thought I'd give you a chance to survive." Halt paused, then added, "Oh, and if you decide to run downhill, I'll also shoot you with an arrow. Uphill and off is really your only chance of survival."
"You can't be serious!" Colly said. "Do you really-"
But he got no further. Halt leaned forward, putting a hand up to stop the outburst.
"Colly, take a good, long look into my eyes and tell me if you see anything, anything at all, that says I'm not deadly serious."
His eyes were deep brown, almost black. They were steady and unwavering and there was no sign of anything there but utter determination. Colly looked at them and after a few second, his eyes dropped away. halt nodded as the other man's gaze slid away from his.
"Good. Now we've got that settled, you should try to get some sleep. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.”
The Kings of Clonmel