"Yes. That was the work of my War Minister, Hurkkurk, who was in the pay of King Firkked of Skilk, may Jeels devour him alive! I have Hurkkurk's head here somewhere, if you want to see it, but that will not bring my loyal soldiers to Krink any sooner."
"Dead traitors' heads do not interest me, King Jonkvank," von Schlichten replied, in what he estimated that the Krinkan king would interpret as a tone of cold-blooded cruelty. "There are too many traitors' heads still on traitors' shoulders.... What regiments are loyal to you, and where are they now?"
Jonkvank began naming regiments and locating them, all at minor provincial towns at least a hundred miles from Krink.
"Hurkkurk did his work well; I'm afraid you killed him too mercifully," von Schlichten said. "Well, I'm sending the Northern Star to Krink. She can only