The True Adventures of Jay B R Wokky, Web Serials

Jay B. R. Wokky Ch. 36.1 — An Unexpected Visitor

CH 36.1  — Col and Bee had just finished dinner when someone pounded on the door, and a screechy voice called out something harsh but unintelligible.
Col looked at Bee, and a hard ball of dread formed in his stomach. Ever since the fall, the Tulgey Woods had been swarming with soldiers all asking the same question: Where were the royal princes? Matthew, Mark, Eli, and Ezra had vanished.
The soldiers had interrogated Col and Bee, and they’d searched the house and barn. They’d even thrown Col around a little, but Col hadn’t retaliated. To use his magic would reveal his identity and get him arrested. He couldn’t leave his beloved Bee out here all alone.
Bee gave a strained laugh. “I thought with winter setting in we’d be done with this nonsense.” She got up and put more water in the kettle. Her hands trembled.
Col’s heart sank. “I’ll get the door.”
For a moment he just stood there, hands and shoulders tight. Then he sighed and opened the door. To his surprise a Jubjub bird stood on the doorstep. The bird squawked and held out a long, skinny leg, whereon was tied a waterproof packet.
“What on earth?” Col untied the package. “Thank you, Jubjub. Would you like to come in and warm yourself by the fire?”
The bird squawked in disbelief. With a mighty beat of his wings, he took off into the night.
Col came in and shut the door. He sat down at the table, slowly untied the package and scanned the letter inside. “It’s from Janie.”
“Is she all right?” Bee looked over his shoulder at the familiar, neat handwriting.
Colin read the letter aloud. “Dear Col and Bee, I hope this letter finds you well and happy. I have a patient here that I don’t know how to cure, and I need your advice. He seems to be under some kind of enchantment. Fritter and I have searched through all the books, and we’ve tried everything we can think of, but we can’t wake him. Fritter says he is dying. Please come as soon as you can. Love, Janie.”
Bee beamed. “Our dear little Janie, all grown up and a healer too. And so smart! She’s going with air mail now instead of that dreadfully slow Mr. Dumfries. It will be so good to see her again. I’ll make a loaf of bread to take to her.”
Col gripped the edges of the table. “No time for that, love. Pack up your supplies and dress in your warmest clothing. We’re leaving tonight.”
Bee protested. “But the blizzard!”
Col stood and took her by the shoulders. “Remember the pony that came here in the fall? The one that looked as if he’d had a terrible fright?”
“Yes, of course. We gave him to Mr. Dumfries after he gave his donkey — I mean Bernie — back to his family. It improved our mail service by at least a week.”
The pony had arrived at their house exhausted, winded, and muddy. He had worn a saddle and bridle with no insignia or name, but the saddle bags had been full of some very unusual tools. Colin had hidden the saddlebags in the cellar.
“If what I suspect is true, then Janine’s patient was riding that pony. That was just about the time when the king got sick and the queen began to search for her missing sons.”
Bee gasped. “You mean, Janie’s patient is one of the princes?”
Col nodded. “And if I am right about which one, then no amount of potions are going to cure what he has.”

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