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Griffin clambered onto Connor’s shoulders and strained towards the next rung, but his hand was slippery with blood.

‘Griffin? You’ll not get good grip with that hand. Here!’

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From below him Connor held up the leathern gauntlet, and the boy reached down and drove his hand inside it, and straight- ened, looked out across the world, and reached up and gripped the ladder, and began to climb.

Griffin saw now his own hands upon the rungs, and deep inside himself his soul shivered, for one hand was gloved and the other bare.