Chapter Fourteen

Morn's mother, too, was joyous at her son's happiness. "Will father let you accompany me to Academy?" Morn asked. "Being a Cadet Officer, I'll have an apartment, not just a room."
2 "I'm SURE he will," agreed Morn's mother. "we'll begin the preparations immediately."
3 They began packing. One afternoon as Morn returned home from one of his errands, sending the last of his female slaves off to a good marriage, he felt a strange vibration as he neared the door of his mother's apartment.  His guard saw him hesitate and stagger. "Is there something wrong, my lord?" he asked.
4 "Yes," answered Morn, "there is something TERRIBLY wrong!"
5 For the first time in his life, Morn felt fear; not just fear, but he was consumed with a burning dread. He unlocked the door, and ordered the guard to stand just inside. He called for his mother. He knew she was home, her cloak hung on the rack and she never went out without it. The door to her bedroom was ajar. Morn made his way to it, and looked inside.
6 The bureau drawers were pulled out, their contents dumped on the floor. His mother's jewelry box lay empty on its top. As Morn's eyes scanned the room, he saw his mother's body lying at the foot of the bed, the carpet soaked with her blood. He could not move, but after several moments spoke for the guard to come to him. When the guard saw what he stared at, he said "Oh, my God!" and went to Morn's mother.
7 There was little he could do but take the cover off the bed and put it over her. As he returned to Morn, he was headed for the balcony, still dazed. The guard grabbed his shoulder, and as if half asleep Morn spoke to him. "Where's her guard? He should have been with her. He's usually on the balcony where he can watch both doors."

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