Free From The Shadows

Now free from the shadows and basking in the last of the evening sunshine Rob gentled the horse back to a walk, the feeling of being watched and followed disappeared, and Rob, like all boys of his age sometimes wanting to be a lot older than his years, determined not to mention his gallop away from a shadow and what was probably just the noise of a deer in the woods. That’s it he thought,  just a deer or maybe a boar and put his fears out of his mind.

Jenkins greeted him cheerfully as he arrived at the Three Millers and invited him to sit while they waited for Linnaeus and Jack. Then the four of them enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a good night’s sleep in comfortable four poster beds. Up again early as always with Linnaeus, they set out with Linnaeus explaining that Jack and Jenkins would travel to the hill where Linnaeus was yesterday, Wolfrick would move to the same place that Rob had been and the new squire to the tower,  Rob and Linnaeus off to the top of the last peak before Marlton. It was a good days ride to the peak that Linnaeus had chosen, and it was during this days ride that Rob mentioned the stranger to Linnaeus,

He began by asking what a heligrap was?

“A what Rob?” asked the Wizard

“Well it sounded like heligrap or something,” and then he told of the stranger and his questions. Linnaeus halted his horse and looked intently at Rob,

“Did he say Heliograph Rob?”

“Yes that was it, but he kept his back to the sun and I couldn’t make him out very well.”

“Tell me Rob, exactly what did he ask?” So Rob relayed the stranger’s questions, and, upon seeing the serious expression on the Wizard’s face, his feeling of being followed and watched in the wood before the Three Millers.

“His face Rob, can you describe him?”

“No, not at all, he had a way of keeping me squinting into the sun.”

“His voice then Rob, any accent you could recognise?”

“Well, he didn’t talk much, it was a bit like Jenkins but not so Welsh,” said Rob, “very like Lord Wessex’s groom and some of his Knights from down near Cornwall.”

“Did he now? Did he indeed!  Rob you may mention this to Jenkins and to Jack. For the moment you must swear to me that you will tell no one else. Breathe not a word of this to any other.“

It was a very shocked and slightly afraid Rob that gave his solemn vow to a stern-faced Linnaeus. Who then put the matter entirely out of his countenance and carried on pleasantly. The rest of the day was taken up with the signal mirrors; their mission accomplished, and Linnaeus very content with the experiment, they walked their mounts gently down to Marlton Village


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