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Stories by Laura Lagana
Hamish McWallace and the Leprechaun Treasure - Chapter 15

Hamish ducked into the darkened interior and waited for his eyes to adjust. He balled up both fists when he caught sight of Grams furiously knitting in the far corner, and ignoring King Rogan as he belittled her use of the knitting needles. A nudge from Alpin, made Hamish stumble. He narrowly avoided crushing Gobban underfoot.

Gobban coughed several times to draw his Kings notice. “Your Highness, we have an unexpected guest.”

“Does he have the treasure?”

Alpin eyed Hamish. “Doesn’t seem to.”

King Rogan stomped his foot. “Then why is he here?”

Hamish drew up to his full height before approaching the king, towering over the leprechaun. “You’ve taken something quite valuable from me, and I want her back.”

The king pulled a corn pipe from his jacket, lit the tobacco with the gold dust from his fingertip and puffed several times on the cherry flavored tobacco. “Now what perchance might you be talking about?” He rocked back and forth on his heels. “If you’re here for Grams, she’s staying put until I have Finnegan’s treasure laid out at my feet.”

Hamish said, with sarcasm dripping from every word, “Uh…no. Not going to happen.” Movements coming from the back door behind Grams, made Hamish grow bolder with his next words. “And now you’re going to let Grams and I leave this place.” He narrowed his gaze on the king, “and you will never darken my country again with your presence.”

King Rogan’s eyes turned a darker shade of black, the only sign of his impending rage. Inhaling several more puffs from the pipe, King Rogan said, “I don’t believe you are in any position to make demands of a king.”

“You are not my king.” Hamish yanked the pipe out of King Rogan’s mouth and stomped on the burning tobacco. “In case you haven’t heard, smoking is bad for your health.”

King Rogan’s nostrils flared. “A leprechaun is known by his pipe.”

Hamish curled his upper lip into a snarl. “It may be fine for you to smoke, but Grams isn’t well and shouldn’t be exposed to your fumes. Now, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll take a step back once Grams is untied and let us leave here.” He looked down his nose at the king. “Do we understand each other?”

King Rogan stiffened at the demand before snapping his fingers at Donal, who handed his own pipe to the king. “I just told you that you can’t make demands of a king. The only reason you and Grams still live is because the treasure is not yet in my hands.”

The blood left Hamish’s face, leaving his skin a ghostly pale color. Beads of sweat popped out on his upper lip. He wiped his clammy hands on his oily pants. Hamish glanced at Grams from the corner of his eye, but kept his gaze on King Rogan. He stepped closer to Grams, and hesitated before taking another one. The only sound in the pub came from Grams’ clicking knitting needles as she finished the last stitches of a sweater. Hamish wrinkled his brows at her unusual behavior, but guessed that she might be nervous. King Rogan glanced past Hamish and gave a slight nod.

From behind the bar, a handful of shrieking leprechauns leapt onto Hamish, pinning him to the floor. “You little sneaks! That’s not fair,” shouted Hamish, struggling against the weight pressing down on his body.

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