She’d been up in the clock, which meant leaving her front stoop. She must have gone in the dead of night not to be seen. Anyways, the clock was fixable. BUT. There always seems to be a but with Big Bonnie. When she’d left, she thrown her tools in the fountain. She didn’t dare leave her front porch again (just in case someone recognized her) so we got to go down and wade in the fountain.
Really, Big Bonnie was missing the best part. Even Star put his feet in to splash a bit. We found all her tools too, rusty of course. I’m surprised no one had taken them earlier. I mean, they were sort of hidden under a carpet of jorvik shillings of varying shininess. Still! Valuable tools, in a fountain, for five years! We took them back to Bonnie and she started to wail again over something that was her own fault. If she hadn’t thrown the tools into the fountain they wouldn’t be rusty in the first place! Well, I had to hit her on the back again to keep her from putting up too much of a ruckus. After she finished sniffling over the tools, she admitted we need oil to lubricate the clock.
Didn’t Steve have oil? He had this big green thing next to the stable anyways. We said we’d go over and ask him. Sure enough, he had diesel, which he claimed was just as good as oil. As long as no one lights a match, I guess we’ll be okay.
When we got back she was whining about her tools again. I wanted to snatch them out of her hands. We’d just take them to Conrad and he’d fix them. Easy peasy. She is such a wet blanket. Oye vie. Diary. I just want this done.
So we trotted over to Conrad’s near Moorland. First, he had us get him some wood for his forge. When we came back and told him about the tools. At first he was all, “this is going to take a long time and I need special metal and you shall have to undertake a perilous journey.” Misty looked frightened. I was getting annoyed. They were just tools! Well, he had us rummage around in a box for a tent and I was not happy because the tent was at the bottom. And then he made it sound like we were going to have to leave our horses behind and I was about to put my foot down and tell him to stop mocking us and scaring Misty when he burst into laughter and went on about his joke. Old people. Seriously! I was not amused. He’d been fixing the tools while we rummaged in the box. I thought it sounded funny behind us. Misty looked like she wanted to cry. Next time, I’m thumping him with whatever needs fixing and telling him no funny business. No one hurts my friend’s feelings. I hate these type of jokes anyways. They’re mean and cruel and just, not funny. They aren’t jokes at all. That’s what It is!
Well, Bonny of course didn’t think we were successful. So the tools were fixed, she upgraded us to apprentices and told us how to fix the clock. She wouldn’t do it because of ‘trauma.’ Uh huh. I’m sure mother would have something to say about that. So, she told us the steps and in order to not forget them, I typed them furiously into my phone, making her repeat them twice.
Wrench the wheel, oil into the funnel, key to the spring and pull the lever. That didn’t seem too hard.
We went back inside, and Misty moaned something about rats and maybe wasps. She hid in my back and held onto the oil really tight. So, I used the wrench, had her pour the oil in, we turned the key together (the thing was stuck) and then it took both of us to pull down on the lever (either it was also stuck or Bonny is stronger than she looks.) Well, I heard the clock start up again.
What a relief. It was almost over.
We went back to Bonny and she instantly took credit for our work. See if I ever help her again. She of course, tore off the mask and ran to Councilman Gilbert. At first he wasn’t enthused. Misty pulled him aside and explained in whispers as I tried to soothe Bonny. Councilman Gilbert was much more enthusiastic after that. He made up a big pack of lies to make her feel better. That’s a politician for you. But Bonny was appeased. She even gave us a smaller version of her waistcoat. What is it with these people and giving us their cast offs that are absolutely identical to what they are wearing? I don’t get it. Are we supposed to like and admire them so much that we’d want to be copy cats? Because not happening!
After all of that, I insisted on calling Judy. I know the winery wasn’t that far away, but I’d had enough. Misty teased me about needing a hug. Yes, if Derek would volunteer, I’d be happy.
I took out my ire on the stalls. Misty was a slave driver! She made sure every stall was spotless. She even pulled Judy in to show her Bright’s feet. Judy agreed. It looked like Bright was getting thrush. She didn’t look happy about it. They discussed treatment options and Judy came and checked Star’s feet. We couldn’t tell if he’d gotten it off the pony barge or if it’d been here. But the stables were clean enough to eat off the floor when we were done.
Over lunch, Alex wanted to pow-wow. We sat out at the picnic table next to Carney and plotted our next move, going over what we knew and what we didn’t. At the end, Alex thought as she finished her chips and then suddenly decided that we needed to go back to Valedale and meet her Supervisor, Elizabeth Sunbeam. Alex had been keeping her up to date, but she wanted us to talk to her in detail and tell her our impressions. We’d been doing the hands on investigative work and there might have been something we noticed that we hadn’t told her and would come out while we talked to Elizabeth.
We finished eating, washed up and at last saddled the horses. I love Star. I do, but he can be so slow. Evening was so eager to go that he took off before Misty was even in the saddle. I had to laugh. Heart snorted and waited because she was a lady (or that was the impression I got from her) so I could mount properly.
Of course, we couldn’t go from point A to point B on the road without someone needing our help. We were riding and I was listening to the birds but Heart must have understood more than I did because she dragged her head to the side and pulled us off the road to a bird perched on a rock singing her heart out. She sang to us and I looked at Misty. I looked at Heart’s head. “Please tell me you’re joking?”
Heart shook her head and started walking about ignoring my signals. I dropped the reins. “Horse!”
Behind me, it sounded like Misty was having her own problems with Evening.
Heart stopped next to a baby bird bouncing on the ground.
I stared at it. It looked like the bird on the rock but much smaller. “You want us to find the baby birds? They’re lost?”
Heart snorted like I was stupid. I flushed and looked at Misty. “Um, Heart is kind of motherly?” I said and hoped that would explain it. We rode gently around the woods, but the baby birds were far too excited to be scared away. We cradled them in our arms and when we couldn’t find any more of them, went back to the big bird on the rock. There was a birdhouse up in the tree and they must have fallen out. It was really high up though. Even though we were on horses we couldn’t reach it. Well, then Misty about gave me a heart attack. First, she gave me all the birds to hold onto. She told Evening to stay still and not move (miraculously he listened, but I’ve noticed that about the two of them.) and she stood up on his back! She was crazy! She held out her hand to me and I didn’t want her to be doing that less than a second than she had to so I gave her the birds as fast as she held her hand out for them. Then she very carefully crouched down and returned to sitting in the saddle. It felt like I could breathe again. She has balls. I wouldn’t dare do anything like that, at least, not without a mat or straps or something. With the birds in the birdhouse and saved, we went back to riding up the road to Valedale.
Misty kept giving me strange looks. I prayed for a distraction.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.