Wil does not make it home in time to avoid his mother's censure. She is there when he crests the path before the door, arms folded and a look of annoyance on her face.
"Wil, this is too late! You said you were only going to be in town for an hour!"
"I'm sorry, Ma, but I had to help Aldus - there was a hurt man by the Ithien."
"Who was it?" Wil's father asks.
"Uh, I don't know. A stranger. Not wealthy." Wil follows his parents inside, loosening his cloak clasp.
"Not one of the rebels?" his mother asks.
"I don't think so. He wasn't armed."
"Then maybe they're the ones attacked him," Wil's father says. "We heard the news about Dunstan."
"You should be careful, Wil! Are you sure you don't want to go north to join Cyrward?"
Wil drops his eyes at his mother's mention of his cousin, sure his awareness of the lie must be obvious.
"I want to stay here," he says.
"Well, if you say so. But you stay away from trouble."