Ch. 46.2 – Miss Pringle walked between the four enormous guards. Her heart was full of misery. She expected to be thrown in prison, or even executed. All her life’s work would be for naught. The night was dark, lit only by the stars and the street lamps. The air was heavy, the silence oppressive.
Suddenly, everything changed. Something grabbed her and yanked her up into the sky. She was held tight in what felt like an enormous hand. But whose? Miss Pringle looked up, but could only see blackness. Then a stream of fire shot down and incinerated the four guards. Small beings rushed out from the trees and dragged the bodies away. Abruptly she was turned around, and rushed through the air back to her print shop. It appeared to be raining, but the water only fell on her shop. The fire went out.
She stared open-mouthed. Damp smoke curled upwards. The scent of fire and wet ash filled her nostrils, along with another strong scent that she couldn’t quite identify.
Whatever it was that had grabbed her set her gently back on the ground. A fierce wind blew around her and then stopped. She almost collapsed. Miss Pringle looked up but could only see the stars. How? Who? Why?
“Miss Pringle?” said a voice.
A gnome stood beside her. He bowed.
“The fire is out now. My men have checked inside to make sure everything is undamaged. Your press, ink, and supply of paper are fine. We’ll be back tomorrow to repair your roof.”
Miss Pringle gasped. “You saved my life.”
The gnome shook his head. “Not me.” He handed her a letter.
With shaking hands she took the envelope and opened the letter. The handwriting was as familiar as her own. It was from Prince Ezra! Miss Pringle looked at the gnome. “But how?”
He put a finger to his lips. “Follow the instructions. He will be in contact with you.”
Dazed, Miss Pringle clutched the letter to her chest. Ezra was alive! He had given her an assignment – an advertisement for the newspaper that needed to be sent out in the morning edition. Her heart filled with happiness. At last, their plans would be realized.
There was no time to lose. It would take most of the night to set up and print as many ads as Ezra wanted. Filled with determination, Miss Pringle took a deep breath and started for her front door.