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that buzz in the air. But Merry, with her limited vision, didn’t see the tiny patches of damp on the hall rug that stood by the front door, the melted flakes of snow that had blown through in that quick second while the door had opened and closed again. Last, she checked the boot room. Clear. She bit her lip, glanced around, peered through the window into the snow-strewn darkness outside. She thought she saw something moving, a large shape. She pulled on her boots, her hat, her long down coat.
fine,’ the housekeeper said. ‘Hasn’t come home once.’ Her eyes misted over. ‘Don’t think he will neither.’ Merry gave a sad smile. ‘He’s following his dreams. That has to be a good thing.’ Mrs Baskerville turned on her with a hard look. ‘That’s what you think at sixteen. Let me tell you, not at sixty.’ ‘But he is sixteen, or almost!’ protested Merry. ‘And is that what you were doing too, chasing your dreams when you got hypothermia out on the mountains?’ demanded Mrs Baskerville, hands on
different. The bushes lining the banks of the stream looked thicker, more impenetrable. She’d be scratched to bits getting through in her swimming costume. She shivered. She needed the fleece in her backpack, a cup of her sugary tea. She pushed through the thicket, exclaiming sharply as the thorns raked her skin. Why had it been so much easier coming through in the other direction? And where was her backpack? It was gone. Jacintha was gone. The trees were different. There were more of them. The
would be OK, that she shouldn’t in any case interfere with history more than she already had. It was time to escape. Wearing her Tudor treasure, Merry crept out of the wardrobe and listened at the door. She heard footsteps and chatter and a swishing of silk as lords and ladies and maybe even the king passed by and headed downstairs to the Great Hall, to their dinner. Merry still had no idea who had followed her or if they were still attempting to follow her, but she couldn’t hide any longer.
only pray the tourney would focus on shorter range, higher accuracy shooting. She picked up the unfamiliar bow, weighed it in her hands, tried to get a feel for it. Thicker, heavier, darker wood. It was an old bow, well used, well made. She remembered Ivan Evans words: ‘Bit of a history . . . from before my grandfather’s time’ . . . She had the strongest sense that it had gone to war. Maybe even Agincourt . . . just over a hundred years ago. She gripped it tight. She would use its history, use