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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snip Part 6

The sun shone fiercely that afternoon, baking the sweat on Arabella's face, making Clara's sides grimy with sweat and dust. Clara was making slight groaning noises, and Bella, with her limited knowledge of the care of horses, felt that it was time for both the horse and herself to have a break.
The dirt track that led across the hills and into the plains lay ahead of them still. On either side grew baby pine trees (planted a few years ago by some ambitious environmentalists) and some prickly underbrush (quite possibly a close relative to our native gorse bushes) that the AE's had been remiss in not removing.

Clara and Arabella were tired of this pleasant scenery. As Arabella wiped her grubby hand over her dust and sweat lined face, she decided that running away was not all that it was cracked up to be. In all the proper stories that Bella had ever read, the heroine (or hero, for our masculine readers) always managed to sneak away in the dead of night, find a suitable and seaworthy ship, climb on board (all, of course, without raising suspicion) be discovered, impress the sailors with his/her good looks and incredibly adept social life, work his/her way on board, be taken captive by pirates, manage to alert the British Navy to the pirate's stash of gold on the desert island, become a hero, go back to admiring relatives with pockets bursting with gold, many good stories of derring-do to tell, and fame and glory in their wake. But, reflected Arabella sadly, there was no large body of water anywhere around the kingdom, which meant no pirates, no glorified British Navy, no stashes of stolen treasure on mythical desert islands.
"There's only this dusty old track, dusty old pine trees, a dusty old horse." Soliloquised Arabella.
As is often the case in these matters, when our heroine/hero dramatically despairs of ever finding adventure/romance and soliloquises on the subject, Something happens. (But do not be alarmed, O my male readers. A dashing prince is NOT about to fly up that dusty road on a gleamingly black stallion and save the heroine from her piteously boring fate)
And although the authors of this story like to think that this particular story is set apart from the somewhat cliche fairy stories of yester-year, Something definitely happened to Arabella at this juncture.

At the top of the pine tree covered hill, Arabella turned off into a little clearing to her right. With a sigh, Bella jumped down off her horse, and lay down on the long grass. There was a little slope in the land, so Arabella had a deliciously lovely view of plains and plains of pine trees and hills. (King Henry had a one-track mind. He knew a lot about plants and trees, enough to know that a pine tree is something very useful to fill up spare land. Also, you can burn the wood if you cut down the trees first. His Lordship was fond of a good blaze. That is how far his extensive wisdom, in this respect, went.) As Arabella scanned the perfect countryside, Something caught her eye. Billowing smoke, issuing from a little hill to her left, about 500 meters away.
This was suprising to Arabella. But even this was not all. Something white, like a flag in the wind, also caught her eye. Miss Fink was too exhausted to think "Adventure!" when she saw these tell-tale signs, but as she stared at the smoke and the mysterious white object, she grew increasingly curious.


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