Where we left off in Rakkety Tam...
When reading this story, it works best to have Rakkety Tam close by because I you'll need to read it to chapter five to understand the story. This story begins in place of chapter six of Rakkety Tam. This story begins at chapter six of Rakkety Tam so you'll have to have read the first five chapters of Rakkety Tam if you want to understand this one.
(actually chapter six of Rakkety Tam, so don't read Rakkety Tam past the end of chapter five or you'll get confused)
It was about midday after Tam and Doogy had set out from the groves of Araltum and Idga, two hares traveling along the southwest coast came upon the outskirts of the groves. They were of about the same age, both young bucks, tall and lean. Broad-shouldered and battlescarred, Rodric Terrenwolde, the elder of the two, wore a tunic of faded forest green over which he wore a woven reed swordbelt, a small lightweight rapier at his side.
Across his back was hung a quiver containing about a score of arrows, fletched with owl feathers. Slung over his shoulder was a yew longbow and in his paw was a polished oak staff. His companion, Furlorn "Lorn" Lightscut Dustpaw was of lighter build and fleeter of paw than he with fur the color of sand. He wore a tunic of pale yellow trimmed with gold thread. Wound over his shoulder, across his chest, and wrapped around his waist as a belt, was a blue sash into which were thrust two beautifully crafted, silver hilted daggers, each set with a glittering blue topaz. He carried a javelin with the air of one who knew how to use it.
They had trekked all morning with the hot sun beating down on them, and the cool shade of the groves was quite welcome. The two travelers flopped down wearily on the bank of a small stream and soon they both fell into the deep sleep of exhaustion. When they woke it was nearing late evening, nearing nightfall, the sun sinking slowly in the west.
Lorn rose from where he had been sleeping with his back leaning up against a venerable oak, and began riffling through their much depleted rations for something to make a suitable supper. Rodric sat on the bank, keeping watch and listening to the faint tinkling of the small stream. Soon, he heard the sound of a pot merrily bubbling on the fire, delicious aromas drifting from it.
- "Haha! I know just what we'll need," said Lorn dusting flour off his tunic, "Rodric, do ye think you can find a sprig or two o' parsley? Perhaps some radishes if'n ye can find any, which I don't doubt ye will in these beaut'ful groves."
Rodric left the camp with his friend's pleasant banter floating behind him as he chattered away to himself while he cooked.
- It didn't take long for Rodric to find a patch of parsley growing at the foot of a huge oak. He was just finishing putting the last of it in his pack, when he heard many pawsteps heading toward him. Soon, he could see about a score of squirrels passing by through the trees. He saw a fat squirrel fanning another fat squirrel in a dead faint, who was being carried by several of the squirrels.
- As he stepped out from behind the oak to meet the group, an older squirrel who looked like an experienced campaigner approached him.
- "Jolly good day, wot," said Rodric.
- "Who are ye an' where do ye come from?" said the squirrel.
- "Rodric, Rodric Terrenwolde at y' bally service, sah. Ye all look like ye've been in a bally skirmish, wot happened?"
- "Name's Pinetooth, an' we was attacked by vermin, white foxes an' the like. Killed more'n half of us mostly singers 'n' players. Ate em all weren't nothin' left but their heads." Pinetooth shook his head sadly.
- "Vermin y' say? Murdrin' scum! I'd like t' find th' bally blighters 'n' teach em a lesson or two!" there was anger in Rodric's voice as he spoke.
- "They're already long gone now, I'm afraid. Two of our friends, Rakkety Tam MacBurl and Wild Doogy Plumm left this morn', followin' the vermin."
- "Wait jus' a minute an' I'll get my friend, Lorn then we'll set out after th' vermin if'n ye'll be kind enough t' show me th' way they went," said the young hare.
The veteran squirrel pointed through the trees in the direction Tam and Doogy had taken earlier. Rodric thanked him and headed back to camp where Lorn was sitting by the fire stirring a savory stew.
- Lorn greeted him as he came up, "There y' are! I was wonderin' what could take a chap s' bally long. I foun' some fennel growin' by th' stream yonder so it's almos' ready. Did ye find anythin' t' add?"
Rodric pulled out the now withered parsley and radishes.
- "What? That's all y' could find? Oh well, I guess it'll have t' do," he muttered as he chopped up the parsley and radishes and tossed them into the pot.
They had just finished their repast, when, licking his lips, Rodric spoke, "This is some prime scoff, Lorn. How'd ye make it?" Lorn sat back, patting his stomach, "Oh, jus' a pawful o' this an' a pawful o' that. I call it m' Parsley 'n' Whatever's Close t' Paw Wonder. Got t' have parley, though jus' ain't th' same without it, gives it a special touch, let's say."
- "Well, I think it's quite good, but there's somethin' else I wanted t' tell ye..."
When he had related all that had happened when he was gone, Lorn jumped up, saying, "Well, what'r we sittin' here twiddlin' our paws for, let's get marchin'!"
- "That's what I was thinkin' we should do, so let's get goin'!" said Rodric, and, after putting up camp, they headed off into the night.
(read chapter six of Rakkety Tam)
(read chapter seven of Rakkety Tam)
It was dusk as Rodric and Lorn trekked on. They had been following the trail of the Savage, which wasn't very hard to find, since late at night, when they had set out, and they could now see the shoreline and two ships run up onto the shore, one belonging to Gulo and another, smaller vessel, belonging to whom, they did not know. As they looked over the beach they spotted two squirrels in highland costume, near the ships, holding lighted torches.
- Lorn waved a greeting as he and Rodric came over the rise, "What ho, chaps! You must be th' very two bally warriors we've been seekin'!"
The squirrels turned as Lorn went over to them.
- The smaller squirrel spoke, "Och, an' who might ye be?"
- Lorn introduced them, "Furlorn Lightscut Dustpaw, at y' service, jus' call me Lorn if'n ye like, chaps. This's my friend, Rodric Terrenwolde an' you must be the Wild Doogy Plumm an' Rakkety Tam MacBurl we were told about."
- "Och. aye, that we are," said Doogy, "D'ye mind joinin' us in a mite o' ship burnin'?"
- "Jolly kind of ye t' offer, chaps, sure we will!" answered Lorn
- "Then come alang, friends!" said Doogy as they headed toward the two wrecked ships.