The group of horses docilely accepts the harnesses, following the lead of the big roan that had once borne Captain Strakker. Caedmon and Rives lead out with Midnight, Moonlight, Domino, and Strider easily keeping pace. Marin and Alelip soon find that Bear and Whiskey, having spent much time together with the wagons, prefer to walk side-by-side--a task that takes some doing in the forest. Leo and Butch silently keep watch over the whole procession, the former barehanded but the latter with bow half-drawn and trained on the trees.
It's about an hour later, as the group is coming up toward the road, that the warriors' vigilance is rewarded. "There," Leo says quietly to Butch, nudging him and pointing to the southwest. A single gnoll had briefly come into view, a flash of furry movement behind a tree some two or three hundred feet away. It indicates it has seen the group by letting out a high-pitched howl that echoes off the tree trunks and spreads through the woods like a ripple of hoots. A few seconds later, more distant howls follow the first.
Butch shakes his head, muttering, "No shot," before glancing over to the group and speaking a little bit more loudly. "If you haven't learned to ride a horse, there's no time like the present."