Misty and I got lunch and whispered at each other about what was going on. We didn’t want the others to overhear. It would worry Tyra and Judy right out of their heads and they might blab to the Baroness. After we finished. We headed down to Silverglade. There were some errands to run for Felix and Donald. We were finishing up that, getting chores done at Steve’s and all that, and when I rode through town I noticed Gilbert just staring at the clock for some reason. Misty didn’t want to stop and ask. So, whole she went and checked her mail. I went to talk to Gilbert. I like the old fellow. So sue me. He reminds me of my grandfather.
Now, I’ve noticed that the clock is only right twice a day myself. Meaning, it’s broke. But the way Gilbert was staring at it, you’d think this was news to him. So, of course, I stopped, winking at Derek as I did to ask for the time. Startled the poor man out of his skin.
Yes, he’d just noticed the clock was broke.
I choked on my tongue.
He sent me to see the clock maker, Big Bonny. Well, I hadn’t met her before. And he suddenly frowned again and said, he hadn’t seen her in a while either.
You know what they say, the mind is the first thing to go. So, Misty and I obligingly went and knocked on the door. No one answered. Misty pointed out the note. I picked it off the door over Misty’s protests. “Be back in a week or three.” The note was beyond yellow, the writing almost gone. “A week or three?” This note could have been here for years.
I took it to Gilbert. Misty making funny noises at my back that might have been my name. Well, what else was there to do with it?
It was news to Gilbert that Big Bonny was out of town. Felix, I guess, had been good friends with her. Good thing that Misty was good friends with Felix. She looked a bit shocked at that aspersion. Derek’s window was empty of customers. I dropped by and asked if he knew anything about the clock maker. He reminded me that he was just as new to Silverglade as I was. I made a raspberry at him. He then wrinkled his nose at me and asked if I thought about keeping any of those flowers I gathered for Felix myself. That caused me to flush and hurry away. He laughed at my back.
Felix hadn’t seen Big Bonny lately either. He’d gotten a postcard years ago. He didn’t have it on him of course. It was up in the clock tower. He gave us the key so we could go get it. He mentioned rats. That was absolutely not helpful. Misty clung to my shoulders the entire way up the stairs. I didn’t see a single rat. There were spider webs though. She wasn’t happy about that either. And I heard some buzzing, probably bees, wasps or hornets. They weren’t bothering us though. We came back downstairs with the postcard. I’d tried reading it on the way down, but the writing on the door must have been a fluke because I couldn’t make heads or tails of this one.
Felix squinted his way through it. When she’d written the postcard, she’d just gone to Barney’s silo. The postcard mentioned some sort of embarrassing incident. Felix called her mad as a box of frogs. Were they chocolate like Harry Potter frogs? I was beginning to be sorry I’d asked for the time. The post mark on the card was five years old.
She’d been gone five years and no one thought this odd. This is unlike any small town I’ve ever heard of.
Felix wanted us to go visit Barney and ask if Bonny was still there. Yep. Now I was really sorry I stuck my nose into it. Misty can kick me if she wants. So we rode, leisurely, over to Barney’s Silo past Steve’s Farm. Misty hummed the entire way. I kept looking at her. It was ‘My Bonny Lies over the Ocean.’ Did she have something to say about this predicament? She just kept humming. I’m probably in for it later then.
Turns out, Barney hadn’t seen Bonny for a year. I mean. If I hadn’t seen someone for a year, I’d be going up that tower just to make sure they weren’t dead. Because, ewww. Well, he was feeding her potatoes and turnips and they were still disappearing. So, I hope that means she’s alive.
But to get to Bonny, we had to climb the pipe, and then there was a hanging rope so up we went to the top and as soon as we got there, this old woman with frizzy white hair and spectacles in some sort of red waistcoat starts screaming on the top of her lungs about how we were ghosts!
And it echoed. My ears were ringing. I wanted to slap her face, but I slapped her back instead. Seriously, I restrained myself. Anything to stop that wailing! If we were ghosts, then she was a freakin’ banshee!
And no sooner had we explained why we were here. She started wailing again! So, I slapped her back again. That got her back to her senses. Well, she wanted to listen to her tale of woe. It seems Mr. Kemball has a competitor for the dramatics department.
Long story short, she’d broken the clock on accident because she’d been so distracted by I have no idea what she was going on about that she’d turned the key the wrong way. She’d fled to live in exile in Barney’s Silo and no one had noticed.
There is a lesson in here about caring too much about what others think of you and something to be said about the value of self-importance. Because, this was ridiculous. And when we cut in to mention repairing the Clock, oh, no, she couldn’t do that. Didn’t I realize the awful thing she’d done? Well, maybe if she repaired the Clock, people would forgive her. If people even realized that it’d been broke in the first place. It’d taken five years for Gilbert to notice after all!
She leapt on that idea.
Now, if she’d just done that five years ago. She wouldn’t have wasted five years in Barney’s smelly, hot Silo.
Misty has every right to be put out with me. So, we went back down the Silo to talk to Barney. Because there was no way that Bonny was going to show her face. No. According to her, everything must be done in secret. We found a sack. It would have to do.
The look on her face was priceless. But how else did she think she was going to get back to Silverglade in secret. Oh, really, she wanted a heroes’ welcome. Those were contradictory wishes. You can’t have a cheering throng and be secretive about it. Anyways, after some speeches and her sliding down the pipe later. She wrangled herself into the sack and we headed back to the village.
Big Bonny needed a bath. My eyes watered the whole way. So, I went quickly!
She passed me the key to her house as discreetly as possible and as soon as I opened the door, she flung herself bodily into the house. I rolled my eyes. There was no one there. I hoped she took the time to take a bath and change her clothes before coming out.
When she did come out, she had this huge mask on her face and claimed to be someone named Herman. Great disguise Bonny! Sarcasm. My confusion about the need for a disguise must have shown because she thought her disguise was great. Whatever. I’ve never met Herman before in my life.
I’d had enough of that for one day. I wanted to ride around without any sort of urgent errand in mind. I think Misty felt the same. We’d barely explored the Hollow Woods. And according to my map, the village of Valedale was that way. So, we took the road north past the Mill Hill of Will and headed towards Valedale slowly.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.