Maya hurried inside the wagon while her husband continued to drive the horses. Looking around the shelves she snatched up five leather sacks each containing mandrake root and soil, then picked up a small wooden box on her way back to the front. She set down the sacks on the bench then opened the wooden box and took out a small vial with a tiny needle attached to it. Both of the horses cried out in protest as one by one she plunged a vial into each of their rumps. The liquid disappeared from the glass vessels within moments.
Suddenly she felt the wagon jolt as the horses surged forwards, running faster, much faster. Behind them, the yipping sounds of the beasts that persued them faded into the wind’s roar. “Have we escaped them?” she shouted.
“Not likely” Amadeo shouted in reply, “but we’ll get away from some of them at least. If the horses can keep up this speed then we might make it through the pass before they can make a move. Keep those mandrake bombs ready in case we need them.”
The horses sped on. Up ahead the mountain ranges closed together like pincers, leaving only a narrow path between two of the towering crags.