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The Foundling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3

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Stan stopped short, hissing through his teeth. The dogs responded immediately, stopping in their tracks, though they looked back at him reproachfully, seeming to ask why they were stopping now with the journey so close to an end. Stan paid them no mind, looking carefully through the shadows. After a moment of careful looking and listening, he murmured to the dogs and they ran forward again. He ran, too, but more cautiously this time. He felt certain, absolutely certain, that he’d seen something. Or heard something. Or smelled something? Could he smell anything other than warm dog through the winter cold? He stopped at a sudden silence. A quick glance over his shoulder showed that Ranger had also stopped, the others paused behind him, obeying some signal Stan hadn’t sent. All the dogs’ ears were back, though Ranger’s lips curled back in a snarl Stan almost couldn’t hear.

Stan crept back to the dogs, but didn’t urge them on. These weren’t normal dogs – he suspected some Elfhound blood in them.

They were smarter, faster than other dogs. Stronger. Any of them could pick a fight with a wolverine and walk away. If they were afraid of something, there was reason to fear.



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