So, Juliana explained how they had come to escape the walls of the city. When she was done, the actors all looked at her in amazement.

"That's amazing!" Eric exclaimed.

"Whatever happened to the monks?" John asked skeptically.

"I don't know. I suppose they went back to the monastery," Juliana said.

"They were really nice to us," George added, "They gave us these!" he pointed at the hooded cloaks that sagged on their arms.

"And you're going to look for your father?" Jacob asked.

"Yeah. I hope I find him soon. Our town's really in a bad way," Juliana said.

"I'll bet! They way you described it, it sounded like a bleedin' war zone!" Carol said.

"Do you have any idea where he might be?" Terry asked.

"No idea whatsoever. That's why I hope George and I can find him soon," Juliana said.

"That could take years!" Jacob said.

"I know, I know." Juliana had heard this before. "But what about all of you?" she asked, "I don't even know your names!"

"That might be important at some point, I suppose," Michael said, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

"We're all a bunch of failed actors," Jacob said.

"We all told you to stop blaming that on yourself!" Eric told him, "You see, we were all working for this Scotsman, Carson Fleabag. He was really greedy, and he kept cutting our wages, until finally, we were doing slave labor! One of our men, Graham, was smart enough to leave before things got too horrible. So, one day, Michael told Cob here to go and talk some sense into our boss."

"Well," Michael continued, "Old Fleabag turned us out! So, we left and this is where we are. I'm Michael, by the way," he shook Juliana's hand, and then George's. Everyone went around the fire and introduced themselves. Then, John asked,

"So, what's your name anyway, you little fugitive?" he asked Juliana, "You and that boy's name as well?" Juliana resented being called a fugitive, though she knew that was what she was.

"My name's Juliana, and that there's George," George waved.

"Have you anyplace to stay tonight?" Carol asked.

"No, we don't," Juliana said, "I suppose George and I will find some tree to sleep in, or something."

"Nonsense, child!" Connie exclaimed, "You shall stay here tonight. Come. Children like you should be in bed by this hour." she took both Juliana and George's hands and led them towards the wagon. Juliana looked reluctantly from Connie to the rest of the group. She wasn't sure if she could trust them. What if she became attached to them and they left her, like her mother and sister? What if they betrayed her? They said they were actors, so pretending came naturally to them. But, at the moment, it seemed she was powerless to do anything but go to sleep.

"Connie, don't we have some kind of say in this?" Michael asked as she led them away.

"I think not, Michael. She seems to have her mind made up." Carol said as she went off to join them.

"Well," Michael said as he sat back down.

"That's that, I suppose." Terry poked at the fire. That is how Juliana and George came to meet seven more allies, who would be very prominent in their adventures to come.

The next morning, Juliana woke to the smell of something being cooked over a fire. George was still asleep. Juliana poked her head out of the wagon and looked to see what was being cooked. She saw Terry poking at something with a stick. He looked up and saw Juliana.

"Oh! Good morning!" he said cheerfully, "Hope I didn't wake you!"

"No," Juliana said, climbing down out of the wagon. She noticed that she was feeling cold, and realized that she'd left her cloak in the wagon. Quickly she grabbed her little woolen one, the one that she'd had before the monks had found her. She looked at the fire and asked, "What's that you're cooking?"

"This? This is a little visitor I found this morning. It's a quail, I think, I'm not too familiar with birds." He pulled it out from the fire and ripped off a piece, "Do you want some?" Juliana nodded enthusiastically. Terry handed her the piece of the bird and Juliana popped it into her mouth. It was great. A little chewy, true, but still great.

"Like that, do you?" Terry smiled when he saw Juliana devour the piece of bird. She nodded again. Then George woke up and sleepily rubbed his eyes.

"Good morning," Terry greeted him warmly, "bird? I think it's quail, but I can't be too sure." George thankfully took the piece of bird, and devoured it faster than Juliana, if that was at all possible. In a few moments, the rest of the men woke up, followed shortly by Connie and Carol. Terry said good morning to all of them, and offered them all a piece of bird.

"So, what do we all want to do today?" Michael asked as soon as everyone had finished.

"If I had my way, we'd have that Fleabag's name painted out of our wagon," Terry said.

"We would, as soon as we've got a name, and some paint," Eric replied.

"What about these children?" Connie asked,

"Yes, we should help them somehow," Carol said.

"We've given them shelter for the night, what more do you want to do for the little fugitives?" John asked. Juliana got the feeling that he wasn't quite the outgoing type towards children.

"John, what is it that you have against these children, exactly?" Jacob asked.

"I just don't feel it's right, harboring fugitives. I mean, what if someone finds out about them, and they're wanted, and then we'll be arrested for harboring fugitives, or worse, executed!" John drew a finger across his neck to emphasize his point.

"Oh, don't be stupid, John!" Michael said, "They're only children!"

"He's right," Juliana said, "They'll kill us for sure now we've escaped! I don't need anyone getting killed because of me." Juliana liked the actors and didn't want to see any harm come to them.

"Nonsense," Carol said, "They wouldn't dare, not if we hide you. Besides, what would they want with a couple of children, anyway? You'll stay here, no matter what anyone else may think." she shot a quick glare at John.

"Come on, Juliana," George said, "I want to stay." "Oh, alright, we'll stay," Juliana said, resignedly. She wasn't sure about this. The actors seemed nice enough, but she still felt that at the slightest chance, they might come to desert her. Then again, that was how she felt about everything since her Mother and Sister had left her.

"That's more like it," said Terry, "Now, about that name on the wagon.."

Back at Lee Walls, General Shallonde was reprimanding Ernest and Pierre for letting the children escape.

"But General," Ernest said slimily, "They are but children."

"I don't care if they're children! It doesn't matter! Even if they were in nappies, they still matter!"

"But it's only two people." Pierre persisted.

"Once one or two get out, then the people start getting ideas! Sooner or later, everyone will start escaping, and then there goes our whole campaign! It'll be back to the beginning! Nothing but work, work, work all the time, nobody taking us seriously! That's why it's important that we get these children back! Do you see now?" he grabbed both men by the throats and pinned them to the town wall. Both the men, gagging horribly, nodded quickly. The general dropped them and they fell to the ground, gasping for breath. Then the general turned to them with a forgiving smile on his face, "Now, what did you say these delightful little children looked like?"

Inside the town walls at the monastery, Brother Vincent was interrupted from his morning prayers by Brother Antioch.

"Brother! Abbot Methuselah wishes to speak with you," he looked very nervous. Brother Vincent calmly got up and went to see Abbot Methuselah. He had known this was coming for quite some time. On his way, he passed Brother David, whose smirk that had lingered for three days since he ratted on Vincent and Antioch had quickly disappeared. Apparently, he had not been expecting this.

"Brother Vincent." the Abbot said solemnly when he entered.

"Yes, Father Abbot?" Brother Vincent said.

"I very seldom do what I am about to do now." Abbot Methuselah said.

"I understand, Father." Brother Vincent said.

"Good. I hate to have to explain things like this, it gets much too painful." he said.

"I will go and pack my things at once." Brother Vincent, or rather Vincent now, left the Abbot's office and trudged sadly and slowly up the stairs to the dormitory.

"What happened, Brother?" Brother Antioch asked when he saw Vincent.

"You needn't call me brother any longer," Vincent said solemnly. Brother Antioch's mouth slowly dropped open. He helped Vincent as he packed his things.

Finally, with his suitcase in hand, dressed in his normal clothes he had been wearing when he arrived at the monastery, Brother Vincent gave one last, sorrowful look at the Church. He waved goodbye to Brother Antioch, who he knew was watching, and turned to leave. He looked at all the hopeless people around him and sighed. Where would he go? He wondered to himself. Then it came to him. Perhaps he could escape and join the child and her young friend.

At that point, Juliana and George were helping the actors with thinking of a name for the company.

"For the last time, John, our name will have nothing to do with a circus!" Michael exclaimed.

"I think you should at least keep the name Traveling Drama Companions." Juliana said, "It says who you are."

"The Fugitive's got a point, Michael, don't you think?" John said.

"Well, that is a bit obvious, but yes." Michael admitted.

"What about 'The Wagon's Traveling Drama Companions'?" Connie suggested.

"I like that," Terry said, "What about all of you?" Everyone agreed that it was the best suggestion that anyone had come up with so far. So, that afternoon, Terry swore that at the next town they came to, they'd get paint to erase Fleabag's name from the side of the wagon. That same afternoon, they set off to, "Whichever corner of this wretched earth the wind wants to blow us." as Jacob put it.

"Is he always this serious?" George asked Eric.

"Not always this bad, but mostly, yeah," Eric replied.

"Cob, would it really hurt you to be a little lighthearted sometimes?" Carol asked jokingly. Jacob shot a glare at her that told her no. Juliana looked at all of the actors. She liked them. The Traveling Drama Companions seemed more like a sort of family instead of just a group of people. They seemed to generate a sort of warmth that she hadn't felt for a long time. She hoped she wouldn't have to leave them anytime soon. When they stopped in the middle of the day, Connie took the liberty of showing her the costumes and props they had stored in the wagon. There were two shelves, attached to either side of the wagon's wooden frame. There was a wooden dowel attached to the shelves. On the dowels were the costumes. On one side the women's costumes were hung, and on the other, the men's costumes. To say that Juliana liked them would have been an understatement. She loved them. Juliana had never seen such "Beautiful clothing," before in Lee Walls. The clothing wasn't really all that extravagant. Just some palletton dresses that were sewed together in a fancy way, or crotcheted shawls and cloaks.

"Would you like to try some on?" Connie asked. Juliana nodded vigorously. The one she immediately made a grab for was a pretty dress of green and white palletton. It was green on the skirt and chest parts, and the sleeves were green as well, with puffs of white on the shoulder and elbow. When she tried it on, it was obviously a bit big, but it looked very pretty on her. Juliana twirled around the room only to fall down on the wagon's wooden floor, in a fit of giggles. Connie, giggling a bit herself, helped her up.

"You looked really nice in that, you know," she commented.

"Thank you!" Juliana said, changing back into her dingy little slip and cloak. Connie thought that it was a shame the child was not decently clothed. Then she looked at the dress and wondered if perhaps there was any leftover white palletton, since the Players sewed all of their own costumes. She had an idea forming in her head.

When both of them had come outside, the men and Carol were sitting in front of the wagon, joking around, remembering past performances and laughing.

"Remember when," Michael said, "That woman showed up and started shouting at John?"

"Oh, yes, who could forget that?" Terry snorted, "When she took that old theatric sword and started waving it about, saying she'd run him through?"

"And then she cut that hole in the curtain about yea long." Eric sniggered, holding his hands wide apart to demonstrate just how long the hole had been. Everyone but John was laughing at this. He seemed as though he might be trying to forget about the situation.

"Remember what she said?" Jacob laughed, forgetting his seriousness for once. Terry grinned, "She said 'So this is what you call the army, eh?'" Michael nearly fell off the log he sat on, helpless with laughter. "Would you stop it?" John asked politely.

"What do you mean?" Eric asked, playfully punching him in the arm, "Too painful to remember, hmm?"

"No, I mean, would you stop it? It may be funny to you, but it was genuinely scary to me," John said.

"Oh yes, our brave soldier John, here, scared of a woman with a theatrical sword!" Carol giggled. Juliana had been listening to the entire conversation intently, and she had a question,

"Were you really in the army, John?" John took a while to answer, but finally he said,

"Yes, actually, a very long time ago, I was. I had to leave my wife just as she was going to have a baby. We'd already had one daughter. She wasn't too happy about it."

"What happened, then?" Juliana asked.

"I had to leave the army. I was wounded," John answered, solemnly.

"Do you want to know where he was wounded?" Michael said, mirthfully, "I could tell you." He grinned mischievously.

"Don't tell her, Michael," Carol said.

"Really. That's all behind him." Connie said seriously. This caused Michael, Terry, and Eric to snigger again, and made Jacob smirk.

"Thank you, ladies." John said through clenched teeth.

"Well, why didn't you go back to her, if she was going to have a baby?" Juliana asked.

"I didn't think she'd want me to come back, after I made her so mad leaving. Then, on the way back, I met up with this band of miscreants," he motioned to the men, Carol, and Connie, "And they made me forget all about what I had left behind. I had practically forgotten about my wife until the scenario that you just heard these idiots sniggering about, which happened a few months later." At this point, John whacked Michael's log.

"My father was in the army," Juliana said, curiously, "Maybe you knew him?"

"I don't know," John said uncomfortably, "What was his name?"

"Mum never told me actually. She doesn't like to talk about him." Juliana said.

"Why?" Carol asked. Juliana had told the company about why she had escaped from the city, but had said nothing about her father and why he'd left.

"Mum said that he was a dirty rotten traitor, because he left just before I was born and didn't come back. I never got to meet him," Juliana sighed. She wasn't sure, but she thought she saw John wince slightly when he heard this. Then, George, who had remained silent through the whole conversation until this point, piped up.

"That sounds a lot like what happened to John, Juliana," he said, innocently.

"Yes, it does sound somewhat similar," said John dismissively, "I'm sure that was the case with many other soldiers as well as myself,"

"Juliana," Terry asked curiously, "Where did you get your red hair? Do you know? From your Mum or your Dad?"

"From Mum. But not my height!" Juliana said proudly, "Mum's a little short for her age. Sally, that's my sister, and I, got our tallness from Dad, at least, that's what Mum's always told us." Juliana said. Terry didn't say anything in reply. He only looked suspiciously at John, who was taller than anyone else in the company.

"Hmmm. How curious." Eric said, also looking suspiciously at John.

"Why can't you just leave me alone?" John exclaimed. He got up and stalked around to the back of the wagon.

"What are you thinking?" Juliana asked, "That John's my father? My father, who I've been looking for this whole time?" she looked at them, "Because if that's what you're thinking, then you can be assured that I'm not. I couldn't be! How could I even be related to someone who got wounded in the buttocks? Besides, my mother never tried to run anyone through with any theatrical sword. She'd have told me if she did." She got up and also walked around to the back of the wagon.

When Juliana got to the back of the wagon, she found John sitting there. He was not looking too happy.

"Can you even believe that they would think that?" Juliana asked. John seemed reluctant to answer the question. "John? Are you alright?" Juliana asked, "It's not true, is it?" John had had his head turned slightly away from Juliana when she had been asking these questions. Now he turned his head towards her and said,

"Look, I'm very sorry for what I did to your poor mother. She has a right to call me a traitor, that's really what I was." but John didn't get to finish his sentence. Juliana heard what he said and was completely disbelieving.

"It can't be! I won't believe it." she said quietly. She got up and ran from the back of the wagon. The actors, who were sitting in the front, their humor gone for the moment now, watched as Juliana ran around the front and to a tree several feet away. She scrambled up the branches to the top, tears springing to her eyes. This couldn't be her father. Her father was supposed to be loving and brave. She imagined that he'd had a good reason for not coming back. That he had gotten lost or captured. Instead she found a coward who wouldn't come back for fear of his wife hating him. He hadn't been captured by an enemy, but by a group of actors and a drunk Scotsman. This couldn't be her father. It just couldn't be. A man like this, Juliana knew, could never be any kind of a hero, least of all to her. From what she had seen, he probably didn't even want her. "Nobody can make me believe it!" she said. Juliana didn't even bother coming down from the tree.

Back at the wagon John finally came back from out back and saw that everyone was looking at him.

"I was right, wasn't I?" Terry asked. John solemnly nodded.

"Where did she go?" he asked.

"She ran off that way. I think she went and climbed a tree." Michael said.

"Well, then, somebody should go and get her," John said. He sat down. The actors and George kept their gaze on him.

"You're her father, John, you go and get her." Connie said.

"Alright. But I don't expect she'll listen to me." John said. He turned and left. He walked along the forest until he saw Juliana, clinging to a tree branch near the top.

"Go away." Juliana said.

"Not until you come down, I won't." John said.

"I still won't come down." Juliana said.

"Look here, like it or not, I'm still your father, and I say come down."

"You're not my father if I don't want you to be." Juliana said, "And besides, why should you care what happens to me? You left me behind!" Juliana said angrily, "You and Mum. Neither of you ever cared about me!"

"I care about you enough to ask you to come down." John said back.

"Only because nobody else would. I'm not coming down, so you might as well go away." Juliana spat.

"I'm starting to get a really short fuse here, so I'm telling you, don't mess with me, girl." John raised his voice a bit.

"There, you see! You don't care! You won't even call me by my name!" Juliana said.

"Juliana, please come down. There. I asked you and I used your name. Are you happy now?" John asked, irritated.

"You didn't mean it. I'm still not convinced.

"For an 11 year old, Juliana, you can be very trying."

"Mum said I get that from you. Deal with it." she replied.

"Alright, I give up. Stay up there for all I care!" John started walking back to the wagon.

"Oh, forget it. I was getting tired anyway." Juliana said, climbing down. John sighed with impatience. He slowed down to let her catch up.

"I've got a question for you now." John said.

"Ask, then."

"Exactly how much does your mother hate me?" John asked. Juliana sniggered.

"I'd have thought that the incident with the theatrical sword might have given you a clue." She answered.

"Ah. I realize now that that was a pretty stupid question." John said sheepishly, "What about your sister?"

"Sally? She never really knew you, so she doesn't have much of an opinion, though she tends to side with Mum on most things, since she's taking care of her and all." Juliana replied.

"How old is Sally now?" John asked curiously.

"Sally's about 16. She was really nice, but I don't like her now.

"Why not?"

"Because she and Mum went and left me! Could you ever like someone who left you behind with nothing but a ripped up old quilt?"

"Well, now that you mention it," John said, thinking, "No. Not entirely. Maybe they had a good reason."

"Oh, yes, they had a good reason alright. I was too much to keep alive! Never mind that I was a part of their family for 11 years. They just up and left because they couldn't feed me! As though the money I got from the theater wasn't enough!" Juliana exclaimed.

"You worked in a theater?" John asked interestedly.

"Yeah. I sold playbills, and, after the attacks, I was an extra in some of the shows." she explained.

"Ah. Here's the wagon." John said.

"What took you so long?" Carol asked when they got back.

"Nothing. Just wanted to talk, that's all." Juliana said. No use in creating conflict if she wanted her father to cooperate with her plans.

"Ah," said Michael, just a bit suspiciously. But nobody said anything about it for the rest of the night.