Nell glanced at her captives, and cleared her throat. "So, how is the stew?"
"It is delicious, ma'am," said one of them, staring at the bowl with huge sad eyes. Following which, he burst out crying.
Nell blinked and rushed towards the man. "What is the matter, Soren?"
"Your stew is delicious!" said Soren, sniffling. "It's good and nourishing, and cooked just right! It... it reminds me of home!" He buried his face in a hand. "Mom always used to cook me stew just like this! It'd be right there waiting for me when I got home! And now I might never see her again!"
"There, there," said Nell gently. "I'm sure you'll see your mother again."
Soren looked up at her hopefully. "Do you really think so?"
Another captive gave a loud snort. "Oh, like you have it so bad! I have a wife--and three children! Now, they'll all be orphans, and my Nora a widow!"
"Your Nora will not be a widow, Horace!" stated Nell positively. "You will all be fine, once this war is over. We will send you all home, and you will be happy, well men. With cheerful families. I swear it!"
Horace frowned. "Oh, and who are you to make that promise, mmm?"
"The woman who makes the stew you're eating," she snapped. "I like to think that counts for something."
"It does in my books, ma'am," noted Mauritz, finishing his bowl.
"Thank you," she said with a nod. "Would you like seconds?"
Mauritz gave a cheerful laugh as he held the bowl out to her. "As if you need to ask?"