Linda was back at the castle, looking up at it. I don’t know what she was thinking but she looked sad. When we greeted her, she did seem happy to see us. She had a lot to do now that she was back and all, but was happy we were able to meet with her before we got caught up in all the little adventures that happened around Jorvik.
That, diary, was the biggest understatement I’d heard in a while.
She had a few messages for us. One of Carney’s brothers needed our help with a new show jumping track. Linda gave us his location and then mentioned that Thomas Moorland had texted her. He wanted to talk to us.
Misty and I agreed that we owed Thomas because of Justin. So, we trotted over to Moorland first. Thomas looked happy to see us, even though we were partially the cause of his son being kidnapped. He seemed to know all about our adventures. But if his mother was the Baroness I guess it made sense. There wasn’t any word of Justin yet and they didn’t have any clues.
But, that wasn’t why he’d called us there. James in Fort Pinta was having tourist trouble, the little punk. Thomas wanted us to go check in on him. I think with Justin gone, Thomas was being a bit more fatherly than necessary.
When we got there, James was fretting, taking his hat on and off, running his hands through his hair, playing with his fingers. Three of his tourists had disappeared. He was frantic. Could we track them down for him? He swore up and down that he’d given them the sweetest tempered horses he had. His face looked like curdled milk. I almost felt sorry for him.
Apparently today was the day of riding in a big circle, because the tourists had been headed towards the castle by way of Doyle’s Abbey and Steve’s Farm.
Well, since they hadn’t been at the castle when we talked to Linda, and we hadn’t been dilly dallying like tourists looking at the scenery would, my bet is that they were somewhere between Doyle’s Abbey and Steve’s Farm. Misty agreed with me and we told James we’d send his tourists back when we found them.
His face regained some color.
The first tourist was by Doyle’s Abbey. He was German, by the name of Gunther, bald, a bit portly, and also missing his horse and the rest of his party, Helga and Gretchen. He told us his tale of woe, bumblebees and horses do not make good friends. He figured his family had gone on without him and could we find his horse. He thought he’d heard it by the Abbey ruins.
Misty and I rode around the stone fence until we found him. He was fine, settled down and munching on some grass. Misty got a hold of his reins and began talking to him. I got off and making soothing noises myself checked him over, including his feet. He seemed okay. We led him back to Gunther and he promised to go straight back to the Fort and inform James that we were on mission.
The fort was within sight range, so I figured it was safe enough to let him go. He trotted off and we continued onwards.
They weren’t along the road. In fact, we didn’t have any sign of them until we were headed towards Steve’s and Misty happened to look over and saw them in the field. We picked up the pace. It was Helga and Gretchen all right. Gretchen looked in near tears and Helga was patting her back. I introduced ourselves and Helga looked relieved to hear that Gunther was fine. They’d had their own troubles. Gretchen’s horse got his leg stuck in a hole.
Misty and I got off our horses. There was more than one deep hole. And this was near Steve’s race. Misty reassured Gretchen that we’d get her horse out of the nasty hole. We both went around to check it and it was really stuck. Helga wondered if the farmer had a shovel we could borrow. So, we led our horses around the hole and down the little hill to talk to Steve.
Steve was really alarmed. There were big holes in his field and there was a horse stuck in one! Of course we could have a shovel. A person getting their foot stuck in a hole was bad, they might get a twisted ankle, but a horse was worse. If the horse’s leg broke, we’d have to put them down. He gave us a shovel and told us to go get that horse out.
Misty showed Gretchen how to talk to the horse, as Helga and I carefully worked the dirt away from the horse’s leg. When we were done, Misty came around and put her hands on the horse’s leg. The horse seemed to perk up and we led him away from the hole. He wasn’t even limping. It felt like a major miracle to me. I wiped my forehead with the back of my palm and told Helga how very lucky she and Gretchen were.
They decided to head back to Fort Pinta and we returned the shovel to Steve and told him what had happened. The holes were everywhere. Of course, Steve was upset. He grew wheat in that field! And horses were a big deal in Jorvik. He asked us to go scout the field. We left Heart and Evening in the barn and tried to sneak up to the feeding station. I swore something had their heads poked out of those holes, way too big to be mice or moles but as soon as we got close, down they went.
We went back to Steve. We were just too visible. They would hear us or sense us or see us before we could get close to them.
Steve had an idea. There was an observatory up in the mountains run by a guy named Mario. We should go there and see if he’d let us borrow his telescope to see what was in the holes. Well, we didn’t have any better ideas.
Misty suggested that since we were nearby, we better go find Carney’s brother before we made a trek north to the mountains. That sounded like a good idea to me. Who knew where they’d send us next!
I waved at Derek as we trotted past. He seemed a bit put out that we didn’t stop to talk, but there just wasn’t time.
Carney’s brother had a farm just a bit North of the village. It was set down a hill. We took it easily but before we could see Marley, we had to check out the horses. Misty squealed. They had Tinkers! There was a white one and a black one with a blaze down her nose. They were so pretty. It was tempting to buy one right there and then, but I decided to put it on my wish list. He also had a bunch of paint horses, some appaloosas and a black American Quarter Horse. One of the appaloosas reminded me of Star! My wish list has three new horses on it and I don’t even have names.
We couldn’t coo at the horses forever. Misty was eyeing one of the paints and the white tinker with raw longing. We went over and introduced ourselves to the owner. His name was Marley. And he’d bought the paddock we saw on J-Buy and hadn’t looked into the necessary permissions until after he set it up! He wanted to make a beautiful show jumping track but didn’t dare until he had the paperwork in order. He needed us to go to Gilbert and get it for him.
Well, that didn’t sound too hard and the village was on the way north to the Observatory Mountain anyways. We told him we’d get on it. He thanked us profusely.
I made Misty stop at the store I saw before we left though. I wanted to squeal. There was a perfect purple, black and white plaid skirt that would go perfectly with Heart’s new gear. And it had a matching coat for when winter came. I didn’t have enough money to buy it, but I took a picture and noted the price. This was definitely on the to buy list. I think there was a purple crop top at the mall that would look great with it. I wasn’t wearing pink. Heart could have the pink hearts, but I would wear purple.
I think I was boring Misty.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.