NaNoWriMo Day 26 Part 1
posted at: 11/27/2014

The Innkeeper frowned slightly. "Ya should know, I can' stand rabbits. If there's one thing worse 'an a wizard, it's a rabbit."

Matilda laughed. "I hope he hasn't caused too much trouble for you." The Innkeeper shrugged and Matilda went on. "But now you have to tell me what happened here."

The rest of the group looked around at each other, not sure who would start. Mr. Weisgarber stepped up. "Well, after I finished up my work that day when I left you all in Pete's cave, I came back around to check on you. When I saw that the place had been abandoned, I knew somethin' had gone wrong and I came into town to talk with Cagil to see if he'd heard anythin'."

Cagil nodded. "An' I hadn't o' course. But I tol' 'im we'd send a message if we did. Few hours af'er that, yer rabbit friend came an' tol' us ya'd been caught."

Mr. Weisgarber took up the narrative. "And I'd been callin' in old favors and talkin' with adventurers so I had a few of them with me when I went down to the Pigeon. The villagers had already been shoutin' at the huntin' party as it came in. I think they threw vegetable at 'em. I didn't see that part."

"A lot a people were real riled." Cagil said. "None of 'em liked the Prince goin' around, callin' 'imself King."

"I had sent out a warnin' to the adventurers that I'd not be workin' today so a lot of them called off their quests to come and help. I stayed at the Pigeon last night." Jack said. "And when we got that message from the valet this mornin', I was glad I did."

Matilda didn't understand that part. "What message from the valet?"

The Innkeeper pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket. On it was written: "Prince to kill prisoners. NOW."

Amaranth stood on his tiptoes and looked at the paper. "Oh! He didn't know we'd been let go." He turned to Matilda. "Pete's Pa didn't know either until we met him in one of the castle hallways during the fight."

"How did Charlie's valet get this to you?" Matilda asked.

"Shot it o'er the moat. Folks do 'at all the time a' night when the bridge is up." Cagil said.

Mr. Weisgarber continued to explain. "Anyways, it seems that a lot of people didn't want Prince Charles to be King because from last night until we got the note, the crowd at the Pigeon kept growin' and growin' until most of town had turned out. When that message came, everyone just kind of rushed in."

Amaranth had been eager to tell his piece of the adventure and now he sensed his opportunity. "And! The valet had to borrow a bow from one of the wall guards so that's how we found out about it. Probably, all of the servants and guards knew that the Prince was going to the dungeon before he even got there." He looked at the Queen Mother. "Then, people were so mad about you and about him saying he was king that they all started going crazy."

Mrs. Weisgarber clarified. "The servants and the guards started rioting and grabbing anyone who they knew was loyal to the Prince. Some of them fought a little, but they didn't stand a chance. Especially after all of the townspeople arrived. Then, everyone made their way down to the dungeon to rescue you and capture the Prince."

"It all worked out very well, I think" said Herford's voice coming from Reginald, who was walking towards them behind his rabbity master. The rabbit looked at Cagil. "Why did you leave me behind?"

The Innkeeper shrugged. "Ya said ya didn' have a wand and couldn' do magic. I though' ya'd wanna stay."

Matilda jumped as she remembered the tiny staff in her pocket. "Oh! Herford!" She pulled out the staff and gave it back to him. "Here. I forgot that I had this."

The wizard sighed with relief. "Thank goodness." He took the staff. "I'll be back in a few minutes. I finally remembered what book I need." And he disappeared. Matilda assumed he had gone to his house on the cliffside.

Before anyone had time to say anything else, a small, pale page boy came running up to them. The boy slid to a halt and bowed before beginning his message. He was breathing hard. "Your...Majesty. I...found you." He stopped for a few seconds to catch his breath. "You're presence is requested in the hospital wing. If you will come with me, I'll take you there directly."

The Queen Mother looked puzzled, but said. "Yes, of course." And left the little knot standing on the terrace to follow the page boy as quickly as she could. He was anxious and tried to get her to move faster, but she wasn't able to so he had to settle with the pace she set. They were halfway there when she finally decided to ask him why she had been sent for.

"It's the Dungeon Keeper." He said. "He asked for you and they don't know..." The boy trailed off.