On Wednesday I finally travel back to Canada! Pray for safe travels! 🙂
Recap: Polly, while impersonating the princess, has been kidnapped by an enchanter and his trainee, and taken far, far away from her home… where she meets the very princess she was impersonating. It is revealed they all are being threatened by a malevolent magical being known as a jadess. Can she get along with the arrogant enchanter long enough to figure out how to survive with a jadess after them? And … why does the jadess want Polly? Chapter 1 is here
Chapter 11A: Search for Magic
Paulina and I decided to search the whole house from top to bottom, in the hopes of running across Casper and Stefan’s items of magic. We searched a three whole days, but without much success because we had no idea what we were looking for. The enchanters didn’t get in our way, because Stefan was out, trying to gather news about what the jadess was up to since they no longer had the aid of the silver screen, and Casper was busy trying to fix the screen itself. He would come out of his workshop every once in awhile, streaked with sooty dirty and with an irritated expression on his face.
“I really think this is useless,” Paulina said to me as we searched through one of the dusty rooms on the second floor, sending out clouds of dust. “I don’t think Casper uses these rooms for anything but storage.”
“You never know, we might find a clue,” I replied. I thought of the black flagstone in the middle of the entrance hall. Maybe it was something like that, something we’d already seen but hadn’t realised what it was. I brushed dust off my hair and skirt and sneezed.
We both had our plainest dresses on, me in my modest dark blue, and Paulina in her lavender. Even though we had covered them in voluminous aprons they would probably need to be washed by the time we finished. To keep dirt out of our hair we’d tied it back with large handkerchiefs.
“What in the world are you two doing?” Casper asked us at lunch. We looked at each a little bit guiltily.
“Exploring,” Paulina said finally. Casper gave a long-suffering sigh.
At least he didn’t stop us, and we continued looking. Some of the things we found were interesting. There was a tall, wooden clock with a pendulum that rang through the house on the hour once we’d wound it up. And also there were spare drapes, tablecloths, and furniture galore, including old desks filled with useless paper, their outsides embossed with gold. Most seemed to be gifts from the Rajah and other Chaldeans in exchange for Casper’s work, and none dated back farther than the time Casper had built the Magician’s Peak. I decided the Enchanter hadn’t taken much with him when he travelled, before coming to Chaldea.
“If we find something that doesn’t look Chaldean that should be a clue,” I said to Paulina. “He had magic before he came here, hadn’t he?”
I found a book on the Chaldean League of Enchanters and read it in the evenings when we weren’t searching. It was rather interesting, and some of the things they had done astounded me. Like the famous Falls of Araba, I had never known they’d been made by magic before. I could almost see why the Rajah would want to keep an Enchanter here, at all costs.
Because we were busy we had less time for cooking, and the amount of time we spent preparing meals went down. Casper noticed, and remarked on it one evening.
“Been busy?” he asked, smiling rakishly.
“So that’s why you were so eager to rescue us from the jadess,” I retorted. “So you’d have two little slaves to do all your cooking for you?”
He only smiled wider in reply.
I could see why my room had been put on the top floor. None of the rooms on the second floor were fit to live in; they were so crammed with furniture and dust, except Paulina’s room. Slowly we worked our way down all the halls. We even took down all the gold drapes and shook them outside, to see if anything was hidden behind them. There wasn’t, nothing but plaster.
That was rather a big job, but afterwards the halls did look less dusty. I lit al the incense sconces on the wall as we worked because I liked the smell so much, and after that the whole second floor smelt duskily mystical. Some of the furniture we found we liked so much we dragged it out and displayed it in the entrance hall. Most of the furniture we examined for secret drawers, and though we did find a few there was nothing in them.
“I can’t call this house my own anymore!” Casper complained when he saw what we’d done. I ignored him and kept grimly searching on, though Paulina looked worried.
“This is his house,” she said. “And he did rescue me.”
“Blast it, I’m just trying to help,” I told her, leaning back tiredly and waving one of the dusty fans we’d found in a closet in front of my face. Paulina laughed when I sneezed.
So we continued our inspection. Paulina even found more jewellery, extremely ornate and Chaldean. Looking at the earrings I realised none of them, or any earring I had ever seen, looked like the ones Casper and Stefan had dangling in their left ears. They must be their own design.
The dark upstairs kitchen across from my room we tried to clean up as we searched it, but we couldn’t do much about it, it was so caked on dirty. Magic seemed to resist being cleaned up. But it didn’t looked like much of a hiding place, so we only scrubbed what we could off the walls, then left it. As I pointed out to Paulina, we weren’t Casper’s maids, and we weren’t trying to clean up the Peak. Thank goodness!
After a week or two of fruitless searching we decided to give up. I had been hoping we’d stumble on what we were looking for by accident and somehow know what it was, and now I realised how idiotic that was. But actually I had been curious about all those dusty rooms. I told Paulina if the object was anywhere, Casper probably had it in his workshop. She agreed with me, looking dejected.
“Cheer up,” I said. “If that dratted legend is going to come true, you’ll find your magic somehow.”
She smiled a little at me. So I dragged her and Radagast outside to play ball. That seemed to cheer her up.
Go to Chapter 11B