MacLeod moaned as he returned to consciousness. Nightfall had come
while he was out cold. Squinting into the darkened room he called
"Back among the living, MacLeod?" Methos drawled.
"Nice of you to join us, Mac," Joe added.
"Joe?" Mac sounded surprised.
"Yes and yes," Methos quipped, "and then there were three."
MacLeod grunted in response to his friend's remark. He sat up and
leaned against the bars of the cell.
"You did not have to follow me into the lion's den to prove your
devotion, MacLeod." Methos was at his sarcastic best.
MacLeod shook his head at Methos' comment, then called out to the man
still tied to the chair, "How are you, Joe?"
"Just stiffened from being tied to this chair for hours. I think
they're putting off dealing with me until they've figured out what
to do with the two of you. Adam is the one in trouble for now."
"Duncan?" Methos said, trying to get MacLeod's attention "Don't you
listen to anything I try to teach you?"
MacLeod got to his feet and moved over to the cot where Methos sat,
legs in a yoga position. Methos unfolded his legs and started to
get up, but Mac pushed him back down on the cot. "You're rambling,
Adam. Lie down, conserve your strength."
"They've had him here for two weeks. No food. No water," Joe
MacLeod took off his coat and put it over Methos. "His body can't
repair itself as fast without sustenance."
"What do you think they'll do next, Mac?" Joe asked.
Mac busied himself by examining the cell he and Methos were inside.
"I think they're waiting for someone."
Just as he finished speaking, the door at the top of the stairs
opened, allowing a shaft of light to escape down the staircase.
Several people followed.
"I think their leader has arrived," MacLeod said.
Kevin Darby led the procession down the stairs, McCarthy right behind
him and three others trailed the pair.
"Kevin, you have to wait until Neil gets here." McCarthy pleaded
with his fellow conspirator, in a stage whisper.
"Seems I'm wrong," MacLeod whispered to Methos. "It's just the leader
Kevin Darby reached up and turned on the bare electric bulb that hung
at the foot of the stairs. He walked over to inspect the two
"Well," MacLeod taunted Darby, "if it isn't my favorite sensei."
Darby looked at MacLeod with contempt. He now held a sword in each
hand, one of them MacLeod's katana. He turned to one of the other
men, "Take MacLeod out of the cell."
McCarthy whispered to Darby, "Kevin do you think that's wise? Neil
won't like this." "He doesn't even know we have MacLeod.
Besides, we'll still have the other one," Darby argued.
Darby motioned again for the others to take MacLeod out of the cell.
They did what he asked, two of them escorting MacLeod over to him.
The Immortal appeared docile.
"I will take his head in a fair fight just as another of his kind
would," Darby explained. "This is why I train my students the way
I do MacLeod. Why I demand so much from them and from myself. If
this is the only way to beat you, we will be ready."
"You are crazy, Kevin," McCarthy said. "You can't hope to beat an
Immortal with over 400 hundred years of experience."
Darby turned to stare at McCarthy. "You can watch with your gun handy
if you are so nervous."
The sensei laid MacLeod's katana on the floor between them, stepped
back, and then pointing at the sword he instructed MacLeod, "Pick it
"Why should I fight you when he's waiting to shoot me if I win?"
Darby nodded at MacLeod. "Okay." Turning to the others, he ordered,
"Leave us. He can't get by you upstairs even if he does win."
Reluctantly, they climbed the stairs. McCarthy trailed, stopping
halfway to try again to talk some sense into Darby. "Kevin, think
"Go. I know what I'm doing."
McCarthy closed the door behind himself at the top of the stairs.
MacLeod picked up his sword. He needed to disarm Darby quickly, to
gain the time necessary for an escape. Now it was MacLeod's turn to
be aggressive, something he hadn't shown during their previous
encounter. Darby was unprepared for the Immortal's fast, furious
attack and MacLeod moved suddenly to the side, hitting his opponent's
sword at an angle, sending it spinning across the room.
MacLeod continued his move on the now unarmed man, hitting him with
the hilt of his sword. Knocking Darby out cold. MacLeod was
searching the sensei's pockets before he hit the floor.
Finding a flask, he passed it through the cell bars to Methos, then
continued his search.
"Can you find a key?" Joe asked.
"No," MacLeod said, still searching the downed fighter.
As soon as MacLeod handed the flask to Methos, the old one opened it,
smelled the contents, then took a long pull at the liquid inside.
MacLeod was still searching pockets when he noticed his fellow
prisoner was now standing beside him. Outside the cell. Taking
another drink from the flask.
MacLeod pointed to the open cell door. "And why didn't you do that
before? It would have helped."
Methos, a puzzled look on his face, replied, "It would have?"
"Never mind," MacLeod said, now in a huff. "Come on, I'll give you
a lift." He pointed to the window high in the wall.
"And what about the two of you?" Methos asked, glancing in Joe's
direction and back at MacLeod.
"I'm sure you'll think of something," MacLeod told him. "You
usually do." He then helped Methos up and out of the window.
The slender Immortal struggled through the small window then turning
around, he called back down to his friends, "Soon, amigos."
MacLeod untied Joe, then dragged the still unconscious Darby into the
vacated cell and locked him inside. He retrieved his and Darby's
swords, turned off the overhead bulb, then met Joe at the base of
"Can you use this?" Mac asked as he offered Darby's sword to Joe.
Joe shook his head. "I'm afraid I would be more of a hindrance to
you than a help with that thing," he laughed. "If I need a weapon,
I'll use my cane."
They waited together in the dark. A few minutes passed, then the
door at the top of the stairs squeaked as someone opened it slowly.
Footsteps sounded. At least two people descended the staircase as
MacLeod and Joe waited at the bottom.
Outside, the silence was broken by the sudden sound of sirens.
The footsteps on the staircase stopped.
Outside the sirens stopped. Right outside. The lights twirled
through the window Methos had escaped through, casting shadows that
jumped from wall to wall.
The stalkers on the staircase froze. From the sounds that followed,
they apparently fell over each other in their haste to get back up
the stairs and out of the house.
"I guess he thought of something." MacLeod smiled at Joe, the lights
flickering across both their faces.
They both turned toward the stairs again. More footsteps. A light
caught their faces fully and they flinched back into the shadows.
"Are you coming?" an impatient Methos inquired of the two of them.
"They have flown the coop."
"What did you tell the police?" MacLeod asked him.
"Oh, they are not the police MacLeod," Methos explained, "they are
firemen. Don't worry, I called in an alarm for the house across
MacLeod and Joe made their way up the stairs as Methos continued, "No
one lives there, I checked."
"That was gracious of you," MacLeod commented.
"You did want out?" Methos asked dryly.
MacLeod and Joe reached Methos where he stood at the cellar door.
"Let's get out of here, I'm hungry," Methos declared.
MacLeod handed Methos Darby's sword. "Of course you are."