NaNoWriMo Day 16 Part 1
posted at: 11/16/2014

The company made their way to the stable to pick out a suitable net for their expedition. Herford hopped slowly along behind the rest, as if the weight of what they were planning to do was dragging on him, but Reginald managed to keep up, and to voice the wizard's many worries. "But what if he doesn't come out to hunt the Qilin? Or what if we can't get him alone? What if we get caught? We could be tried for treason."

The Queen Mother, still not in a very pleasant state of mind, snapped at the pheasant. "Just be quiet, Herford! There's nothing that you can say that'll change things. You're just making everyone miserable."

She had forgotten that, if she wanted to snap, the rabbit was the one she needed to snap at. The pheasant cocked his head on one side and stared at her. Herford's voice emanated from him. "What's that? I can't hear you back here. I mean, of course you can't be charged with treason, Maddy, but the rest of us could."

She growled in frustration and stopped walking. She waited until the wizard had caught up with her so she could berate him to his face. The end result was that a grumpy rabbit and a testy Queen Mother joined their companions at the stable some minutes later.

Mrs. Weisgarber looked at the late comers with concern, but the two boys were wrapped up in a fervent conversation about ways that they could use the contents of the hay loft to build a trebuchet--which Pete claimed that he and his brothers had tried before, but not to tell his mother.

While the boys wandered around the hay loft, examining the various lengths of rope, bridge parts, bales of straw, and cooperage supplies--for the mending of the barrels the potions were placed in, their elders sifted through a large pile of nets made in various sizes and of varied materials. There was a net made of chain and several of thick rope. One of delicate crochet and one woven out of flax. Matilda grumbled as she tried to disentangle two cords and Herford hopped slowly around the pile while Reginald perched on top of it--strangely silent. Eventually, Mrs. Weisgarber was able to extricate a good sized, sturdy rope net that looked like it would work well for their task. She called the boys away from whatever experiment they had been conducting with the supplies on the other end of the hay loft, and tasked them with returning the net to the house untangled. Then she turned to her two companions and asked, "What's going on with you two? Is everything alright?"

Neither rabbit wizard or Queen Mother answered for several seconds. Matilda finally growled. "It's fine.'

Cindy said, "It better be fine. We're going to have to work together on this and we don't need you two to be fighting." She turned and left for the house. Matilda followed and Herford took up the rear.

Much of the rest of the day was spent collecting supplies for the trip to Old Man Gingham's. The cave was only a few miles away, but they weren't sure how long they would have to hold the prince there and they didn't want to have to leave once they had him in it. Bread needed to be baked, cheese and cured meat was brought up from the cellar, vegetables and fruit were gathered from the garden. Mrs. Weisgarber also prepared food to leave at home for her husband because, as she told Matilda, "If Jack were to leave off his work, even for just one day, there would be chaos and who knows how many deaths among the adventurers. But that doesn't mean that Pete and I can't come with you. He's been wanting to get out on some kind of an adventure lately and I think it'll be good for him to spend some time away from home."

Finally, as the sun was saying it's final goodbyes to the day, preparations were finished. Jack had returned a few hours before and proclaimed that Prince Charlie had been alerted to the rumors of the Qilin and was planning to start a hunt for it on the following morning. The castle was in an uproar over the last minute preparations for the hunt--a number of the servants would be working all night. The prince would not have his reputation sullied by letting such a strange creature slip away.