NaNoWriMo Day 14 Part 1
posted at: 11/15/2014

Shortly afterwards, Pete and Jack returned from their morning labors. They had both worked hard that morning so that they'd be able to help with whatever plan had been hatched in their absence. When the plan had been explained to them, Pete quietly nodded and Jack rubbed his chin thoughtfully before asking "It all sounds pretty all right to me, except that you didn't explain how you're goin' to capture him. He's pretty good with a sword isn't he?"

Amaranth held up his own sword. "I can fight him. If you want."

Matilda looked at the boy and raised an eyebrow. "That isn't a good idea. Charlie has always been good with a sword. And strong, too."

"But I'm good with a sword!" Amaranth insisted.

"Have you ever fought with a real sword?" the Queen Mother asked.

The lad looked at the ground. "Not really. But I've used practice swords a lot."

Mrs. Weisgarber turned to her husband. "Any ideas, Jack?"

"Well, I'm probably a whole lot worse with weapons than Amaranth there. I certainly wouldn't volunteer to fight the prince." The boy smiled proudly. Jack continued. "If we're goin' to capture him, I don't think it can be by fightin' him." Mr. Weisgarber turned to Herford. "How about you? Can you do anything to help?"

The rabbit sat on his tail and twirled his whiskers with one of his paws. "If we had a net or a cage, I could trap him in it. Of course, if he yells I could cast a silencing spell on him. Hmm...maybe I could enchant some ropes to tie themselves around him. But the question really is: where are we going to put him once we have him?"

There was a thoughtful silence, during which Pete looked around nervously. Finally, he coughed--clearing his throat--and whispered, "there's that cave."

Jack looked over at him. "What was that, son?"

"It's just, there's that cave where Therin, Jo, and me used to hide out." Pete went on.

"What cave? I never heard of a cave. What were you and your brothers doin' there?" Jack asked.

Pete looked around frantically, like a cornered deer. "Nothing."

Mr. Weisgarber raised an eyebrow and would have questioned his son further, but Mrs. Weisgarber intervened. "It doesn't really matter now. They probably haven't been there in years. What were you going to say about the cave, Pete?"

Relieved, Pete returned to his topic. "It's hard to find, but it's big on the inside. It might be a good place to, well, you know, hide a thing. Or something." He shuffled his feet and looked at the ground until everyone had stopped looking at him.
 
"That might work. We could just leave him there for a few days, under guard. It's warm enough out and he won't come to any harm." Jack said. "Does that sound alright, Amy?"

"It sounds fine. Maybe it'll be good for him." Matilda responded.

Jack rubbed his hands together. "Well good. I guess we'll be needin' a net or somethin' to catch him in and then we should be all set. We have any nets, Cindy?"

"Oh, I keep nets in the hayloft above the stable. You should find a good pile of them up there behind the bridge supports and the trap door springs." His wife answered.

"Good. Good. We'd better get to work, then. I'll go spread the word that a Qilin or whatever it is has been seen." Jack turned to his son. "Where has it been seen? I don't know where this cave of yours is at."

"It's up near where that twister touched down last year." Pete whispered.

Mr. Weisgarber scratched his chin. "So it'll be over there by Old Man Gingham's back pasture then?" Pete nodded. His father said. "Poor man. He's had enough trouble lately without Prince Charlie pokin' around on his land. Ah well, can't be helped I suppose." Then he clapped his hands. "All right. I'll go spread the word that a Qilin has been spotted up by Old Man Gingham's back pasture and make a hint that if Prince Charlie's got any sort of royal blood in him, he'll go after it. You folks can prepare the net and the cave." With that, he strode out of the room and headed for the stables.

The rest of the party looked at each other, several of their faces expressed varying degrees of panic (Herford's expressed the least, but that's not to say that he didn't feel panic, just that it was difficult for him to express it as well. He twitched his rabbit nose and flopped his ears around a bit). The plan had seemed a wonderful thought, but now it was becoming a frightening reality.