NaNoWriMo Day 19 Part 1
posted at: 11/20/2014

Herman walked tenatively over to Matilda. "Beg your pardon Your Grace, but would it be alright if I tied your hands? Doesn't have to be behind the back and I'll tie them real loose for you. I'm not going to gag you." He glared over at the prince, who was seething.

Matilda considered the Captain for a moment. He had been placed in an awkward position. "If you must, Herman."

Captain Herman bowed his head slightly. "Thank you, Your Grace."

Once his mother had been lightly tied with a soft strip of linen, the prince said, through clenched teeth. "Take her and put her with the other prisoners."

Matilda turned to the Guard Captain. "Ah yes. Could you take me to see the Weisgarbers and Amaranth?" She gestured to the guard holding the now conscious wizard. "They might want to bring Herford along, too." The Queen Mother and the Captain of the Guard made their way over to a large cart near the middle of the camp. Iron bars rose up out of a sturdy base and met a metal roof overhead. There was a locked gate on one side of this rolling prison. Outside were two guards carrying spears and inside sat the trio that Matilda had hoped to see. They were huddled dejectedly in the middle of the cell, back-to-back. Amaranth looked up as they approached, then nudged the Weisgarbers. All three rose when they saw the company approaching them.

Cindy was the first to speak. "Oh no, Amy! They caught you too? Are you alright? What happened?"

Captain Herman opened the cell door and helped Matilda into the prison cart that had been intended for the mythical Qilin. He gestured for the guard holding Herford to place him inside as well, even though he could have easily slipped through the bars. Reginald perched on the roof. Captain Herman shut and locked the door. "If you need anything, Your Grace, you just let me know. I'll be driving this cart myself." He walked up to the seat of the cart and sat down, taking up the reins. He was no more than a few feet from his prisoners and would be able to see and hear them perfectly well.

Matilda nodded to Herman. "Thank you very much."

While the rest of the hunting camp was packed away into carts and the train of vehicles began its trek back to the castle, the conspirators each recounted their versions of the stories of how they had ended up in the prison cart. When they finished, Captain Herman, who had been listening in, turned to his prisoners and joined in the conversation. His horse knew the way home and docilely followed the other horses in the procession. He looked at Amaranth. "Now, Devon, tell me where you've been and what you've been up to that's gotten you into so much mischief."

His companions looked at Amaranth with surprise, but the boy just said, "But Pa, you know where I've been. I've been with Her Majesty. Helping."

Captain Herman chuckled at the faces of Amaranth's companions. "Ah yes. And I see you've not told them who you are."

The boy looked around proudly and nodded with satisfaction. "I never said anything. You should have seen me. I was amazing." He pointed at Matilda. "I saved her life!" His sword had been taken away and set in the front of the wagon. He pointed to it. "And she gave me that sword for being a knight."

The Captain rubbed his beard and looked at his son fondly. "Well, I'm proud of you son. Now, while we're still on the way and before prince Charles comes over here to gloat, which he'll probably do in a short while, you all should go ahead and tell me how you got into this mess."

Matilda began her story from the beginning and the others joined in as they had their own pieces to add. When they had finished, Captain Herman hummed thoughtfully. "Well. That certainly is a tale." He turned to Amaranth and smiled. "And you got to meet a wizard! I know you've always wanted to be a wizard." Herford's ears stood up straight in surprise, then drooped. The Captain whispered loudly to his son. "Have you asked if you can be his apprentice yet?"

Amaranth frowned darkly and crossed his arms. "No. I don't know if I want to be a wizard."

Herman raised both eyebrows in surprise. Herford hopped over to the boy and looked up at him. Reginald had joined the group inside the cart and

Herford's voice emanated from him. "You know, it really is a lot of fun."

The boy softened slightly. "Really?"

The rabbit nodded. "It really is. I can show you some spells once I'm not a rabbit anymore. Which hopefully won't be too long."

Amaranth was suddenly full of excitement. "Ok! And can I come and explore your weird house?"