A Clash of Wills
- In the morning, they seem to have outdistanced the Urgals, but everyone is super-exhausted. Saphira has to go hunting to get some food.
- Murtagh and Eragon stop to let the horses drink. When they do, some armed men show up and surprise them.
- Eragon mentally lets Saphira know what's up, and some of the men come charging over.
- They have pretty rusty weapons, and they threaten Murtagh and Eragon with them. They're surrounded. The leader seems pleased: "At least we got healthy ones this time" (47.8). That doesn't sound good.
- He tells Murtagh and Eragon to drop their weapons.
- It turns out that these gentlemen are slavers. When they discover Arya, covered by a blanket, they go hog-wild. An elf will fetch a huge price on the slave market.
- Meanwhile, Eragon is mentally guiding Saphira into an attack. As he signals her, he and Murtagh make their move. Surprise surprise, a fight ensues.
- Saphira lands and Eragon shouts that they've picked the wrong farm boy to mess with. He's a Rider, and anyone who wants to live better get to steppin'.
- Most of the slavers don't have to be told twice. They take off in a panic.
- Their leader, though, a man named Torkenbrand, has been stunned and is slow to get up. Bad move. Murtagh comes over and chops the dude's head off.
- Eragon is not pleased. Why did Murtagh have to kill that man?
- Murtagh says it's not a good idea to take chances, but Eragon is not convinced.
- They ride deeper into the mountains and camp that night in silence. Eragon's not sure what to think about all of this.