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Old 01-23-2008, 09:21 PM   #38
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"Something?" Gaffer Hugo asked Peony, but including Mira in his question, "what something might that be?" He tried to light his corncob pipe and failed.

Mira felt herself blushing. She knew she couldn't lie, but she hadn't been given permission from Peony to say anything about the adventure. She desperately hoped that Peony would be able to answer the question.

Peony had to think quickly. She was a terrible liar, but she couldn't tell her mother about Bunny and Tansy's plans. "Tansy had dropped her new brooch. She hadn't even realized it was gone yet."

"Oh," Her mother said, "I'm surprised Tansy didn't realize she'd lost it." Good, she had bought Peony's story.

Gaffer Hugo, however, had caught the flushed faces and hesitation of his two granddaughters, and knew that Melilot was too busy with kitchen work to pay attention to such signs. He put his flint to his pipe again. So they need to keep it secret from somebody, but who? He wagered a gamble that it was he. The pipe failed to light. He pocketed it.

"I'm feelin' like a touch of fresh air. Mira, would you give your ol' gaffer a hand to make sure he don't stumble on nothin' that might try and trip him up? Here Snatch! C'mon pup!" Snatch happily followed after his master, tongue lolling in a big grin.

Rudy's eyes darted at first to Peony, and then to Mira, there's something those two aren't saying, he thought to himself. "This should be interesting," he chuckled under his breath.

Mira felt what was coming, but couldn't disobey. She followed him out, sending a pleading look to Peony as she did so. She noticed with a sigh that Rudy also followed, apparently curious as well about her behaveor.

"Well, I guess here it goes," she thought to herself, as she waited for Hugo to begin.

"Ahh!" Gaffer Hugo sighed when they had gotten out of doors, "smell that fresh air!" Rudy closed the green round door behind him, leaving Peony inside with Melilot. "Ain't it wunnerful, Mira? Here Snatch!" Snatch had gone chasing after a butterfly that was leading him away down the road. He trotted back to Hugo.

"Yes, it's nice," she said absently, looking at him warily.

Hugo patted her hand. "Now you jus' tell your Gaffer what secret you're really keeping from Rudy an' me, because I can see it all over your face that you're holdin' somethin' back."

Mira resolved to get it all out in a flash, after all, there was no help for the situation.

"Peony and Tansy are going on an adventure," she blurted out, and added with a tone of defiance unusual for her, "and no matter what you say, I'm going with them!"

Hugo raised his brow and gave Rudy a sidelong look. Rudy was keeping his mouth shut for the moment, which Hugo thought was odd, but oh well.

"And where might you be going, and what for, my dear? Here, let me sit down on this rock over here by the path, my legs are feelin' a bit weary." Snatch came to his master and sat plop down, his tongue hanging, expecting a scritch between his ears. But Hugo was already busy with his pipe and flint again.

Rudy had had enough. He raised his finger, as if he was going to start scolding Mira and demand that they return home immediately, this has gone too far. But, to Rudy's own surprise, he stopped; no words came out. Mira didn't look as if she was going to give in easily and if they started arguing Melilot would come out for sure. He was still a little angry at Mira, but he didn't want to get Peony into any trouble. He sighed, his hand came down, "Well, we're waiting Mira." Rudy couldn't stop himself from letting out a small smile.

Amusement hit Mira like a wave.

"Oh, how funny. I don't have a clue where we're going!" She burst into a laugh, but then sobered up a bit. "Really, I don't know. I guess I never thought of it."

Peony had to get outside. There was no telling what Mira would say. Melilot was clearing the dishes and with her back turned it was the perfect time to get outside. Peony hurried to the door and opened it softly so she did not raise her mother's suspicions.

It was too late. She heard Mira blurt out what plans she knew for the adventure. Now it was only a matter of time until Rudy and Gaffer Hugo alerted Melilot to the goings on. Peony turned quickly to get back inside before anyone saw her.

Gaffer Hugo noticed the door open and Peony sticking her head out with a worried look on her face. He stopped trying to light his pipe. She was just about to go back inside. "Oh Peony, dear! Come out and help your cousin tell Rudy an' me about this little adventure you're takin' an' don't know where you're going. Or do you?" Snatch nudged at Gaffer Hugo's free hand with his nose.

Wonderful, Peony thought. We've not even started and we're already in trouble. Taking a deep breath, Peony turned to face Gaffer Hugo. This was not going to be fun.

"About this adventure..." He asked again.

"It was Bunny and Tansy's idea to go." Peony could never and would never dare lie to her gaffer. The plans tumbled from her lips from all gathered to hear. "They're going to look for the Entwives around the North Moors. I agreed to give them supplies and accompany them. Mira overheard our plans and wanted to come along." Peony sighed with relief when she finished talking. This probably meant the end of their adventure, but she hadn't been able to keep quiet forever.

Mira's eyes opened wide. Entwives? Even better then she had hoped!

"Entwives!" Gaffer Hugo retorted. "There ain't no such thing! If that's what you're really after, you'll be sadly disappointed."

"How do you know?" Peony crossed her arms over her chest. "There could be Entwives, all those stories I've heard since childhood could be true. And Bunny and Tansy are giving me the chance to find out." She stepped toward Mira. "And I'm taking Mira with us."
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