Doomwyte

Doomwyte by Brian Jacques Read Free Book Online

Book: Doomwyte by Brian Jacques Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brian Jacques
Samolus. “I’m glad they won’t go hungry. So, my old friend, what’ll we do with the rest of our day?”
    Samolus scratched his tail, as if it were a weighty decision. “Hmm, let me see. Ah yes, I thought we might join our young friends, Bisky, Dwink and Umfry, just to sort out Prince Gonff’s journal, and find where he hid those precious jewels.”
    They gathered in the cellars to begin their research. Apart from the sounds of Corksnout and Gullub Gurrpaw working amongst the barrels, it was relatively peaceful. Using a barrelhead as a table, they sat near a forge, where the Cellarkeepers burnt old cask staves to make charcoal. It was pleasantly warm amidst the fragrant aromas of charred oak, October Ale, maturing wines and fruit cordials.
    Abbot Glisam tossed Gonff’s journal to Bisky. It was an ordinary, green-covered volume, with an elaborate letter G written on it to denote its owner. The Abbot shook his head.
    “I glanced through that during lunch. One thing’s certain: Gonff might have been the Prince of Mousethieves, but he was nowhere near as neat and concise as Lady Columbine. The whole thing is a frog’s dinner, just look at it!”
    With Dwink and Umfry leaning over both his shoulders, Bisky did. At first he tried to study the notes carefully, but he ended up merely riffling through the worn and dog-eared pages.
    “I see what you mean, Father, how is anybeast supposed to make tail or snout of this? It’s a mess, a jumble of scribbles and silly little sketches.”
    Dwink took the book, opening it at the centre pages. “Aye, it’s a hotchpotch alright, but listen to this:
    ‘Red’n’green green’n’red
    gouged out of an idol’s head
    spurned by flower red’n’green
    for the evil ye have seen
    where are they, four magic lights
    seek for them in vain, ye Wytes.’”
    Samolus took the book. “I’ve read this bit a few times over the seasons, ’tis one of the few bits that makes sense. At least it confirms that Prince Gonff stole the stones and hid them. It also verifies Columbine’s version of the story.”
    Umfry stared hard at the words, rubbed his eyes and enquired, “How d’ye make that h’out, Sam’lus?”
    It was Bisky who explained it to Umfry. “Look at the line, ‘spurned by flower red’n’green.’ Columbine is the flower, red and green are the jewels. Remember what she said in her diary. Lady Columbine refused to take the stones from Gonff, so he hid them.”
    Samolus glanced over at Bisky. “Well spotted, young un, do ye see anything else there? Take your time, go on, study the book.”
    The Abbot interrupted, “While you’re searching, keep this in mind. It would be excellent if we stumbled immediately on where the stones are buried, or hidden, but I don’t think that will be the case. We know Gonff’s book is a mess of scribbles and sketches, none of them have much connection with the other. So, I think the exact location of the four stones will come out in due course. However, first we must establish which area they would be in.”
    Dwink was frankly baffled. “What are you sayin’, Father?”
    “He’s sayin’, young sir, that ye’ve got t’find the rough location. In the Abbey, or in its grounds, maybe out in the woodlands, or on the west flatlands. Find the approximate area, d’ye see now?”
    They all turned to see Umfry’s grandfather, Corksnout, leaning on some kegs behind them. The giant Cellarhog had been listening, as had his assistant, Gullub Gurrpaw.
    Abbot Glisam bowed slightly. “Thank you, friend, maybe you’d like to help out here. That’s if you and Gullub aren’t too busy with your cellarwork.”
    The mole produced a tray, setting it down in front of them. On it were a few cheese wedges and a knife, three jugs and enough small sampling beakers to go around. He tugged his snout respectfully, as moles do. “Us’ns wudd be durlighted to join ee, zurr h’Abbot. May’aps you uns cudd ’elp uz, too.”
    Corksnout explained, “We’ve

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