Chapter 8

Chapter 8

A Chapter by Havatara

Jane and Eric sat patiently while Margo and Bill talked to some important people to decide what they were going to do about the traitor.  They were debating on whether or not to imprison the traitor or to banish him or her.

“This isn’t a very fun conversation, is it, Eric?” Jane whispered to her brother.

He shook his head.  “But I think it’s important.”

A new voice said, “I think it’s boring talk.  Do you guys want to come help me build my boat?  I need more hands.”

The twins looked behind them to find a rabbit staring up at them.

Jane smiled and said, “Aw, what does a bunny need with a boat anyway?”

The rabbit cleared his throat.  “I am not a bunny, I am a rabbit,” he said.  “Please be sure to remember that.”

“I thought they were the same thing,” Eric pointed out.

The rabbit waved a paw in the air.  “That’s not the point.  Now, please tell me, are you or aren’t you going to help me build my boat?”

Jane giggled, “We’ll help you, little bunny rabbit.”

The rabbit sighed.  “Even though I’m smaller than you, I am actually much older than you, so I would really appreciate it if you didn’t call me little.”

“Okay, bunny rabbit.”

Eric decided it was time to interrupt his sister before she got herself into trouble again.  “I’m Eric, and this is Jane.  What’s your name?”

“Mr. Robert’s the name,” he replied.  “Follow me.  This way!”  He hopped off to a door in the kitchen wall that Eric and Jane hadn’t noticed before.  Bem immediately ran inside.  He loved adventuring.  Jane and Eric followed behind, going slower.

“Where does this go?” Jane asked when they closed the door and started to head down a dark tunnel with only one lantern between the four of them.  “Does it go to a secret room full of pretty jewels that someone stole from a princess?”

“A princess has never lived here before, Miss Jane,” Mr. Robert said, exasperated.

“A visiting one, then!  Well, are there jewels?” Jane asked impatiently.

Mr. Robert replied, “No, there’s not.  Why would I build a boat in a room full of jewels?  This castle is on a river, and this room has a tunnel that leads to the river.  It’s some sort of escape route.  There are some smaller boats on the side that people can use, but we didn’t feel like using those.  That would have been stealing, and that’s very bad.  Anyway, the river leads out to the Atlantic Ocean at some point, and my friend Mr. Lou and I want to take a vacation and go exploring.”

“When are you going on your vacation,” Jane asked.

“Jane, stop being such a pest,” Eric chided.

“I’m just asking questions.  What’s wrong with asking questions?” she demanded.  When he didn’t respond, she turned back to Mr. Robert.  “Well?”

“As soon as we get the boat done, Miss Jane,” Mr. Robert replied.

A new voice said slowly, “We’d be done a lot faster if you didn’t work so fast that you had to keep taking breaks.”

Mr. Robert huffed.  “Well, Mr. Lou, if you didn’t work so slow we might have been done with the boat months ago!”

A turtle walked slowly out from behind a stack of wood.  “I can’t help being slow.  It’s in my nature.”

“Woah!  A talking turtle!” Jane exclaimed.

Mr. Lou smiled at her.  “Pleased to meet you.  May I ask your name?”

“I’m Jane, and this is my brother, Eric,” she explained.  “We’re trying to look for our dragon’s mother.”

Eric elbowed her.  “We’re not supposed to talk about that, Jane, remember?”

“Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone,” Mr. Lou replied in his deep, low voice.

“Quite true,” Mr. Robert agreed.  “It would only bring us trouble, and that is not what we need right now.  Not when we’re so close to finishing our boat.”

“May we see the boat?” Jane asked shyly.

“I don’t see why not, since you’re going to be helping us work on it,” Mr. Lou said, turning to return to the boat.

They left to go see the boat, and as soon as they were out of sight, a creature with bright red eyes that looked a lot like the evil little boy that captured them came out of the shadows, smiling wickedly.


When Jane and Eric saw the boat they were amazed.  It was huge!  It was as long as a school bus and as wide as two or three school buses.  The side was painted green, and the railings and doors were painted red.  It reminded Jane of a really big Christmas present.

Bem thought that it looked like a big playground.  He ran up the ladder faster than was safe and started jumping and running all over the place.

“Careful!” Mr. Lou called.  “There are nails up there.”

“How does it even fit in here?” Jane asked in awe.

“This is a big room.  Mr. Lou and I had to do a lot of measuring to make sure that the boat would fit through the tunnel to get out of here,” Mr. Robert explained.

Mr. Lou nodded.  “We decided to give it a steam engine instead of sails, because it would fit better.  Plus, we think it’s easier to use a steam engine than sails anyway.”

“What do you need us to do?” Eric asked, anxious to help.

“We just need you to help us set up the furniture in the cabins while we finish up things on deck,” Mr. Robert explained.  “Everything you need is in the hallway, but we just haven’t gotten the stuff into the rooms yet.”

“Okay.  We’ll go do that now, then,” Jane said, towing her brother and Bem behind her.

When they got to the hallway, they saw four sets of everything, because there were four bedrooms in the middle, storage and the bathroom in the front, and a kitchen and dining room in the back.

Jane said, “We should move some of the smaller things in first so it’s easier to move the bigger things later.”

Eric said, “Uh, Jane, I don’t think we’ll have to do that.”

“Of course we will.  We’re just kids, Eric.  We have to do that if we want to move the beds and stuff by ourselves,” Jane pointed out.

“No, Jane, look.”  Jane looked to where Eric was pointing and gasped.  In the couple of minutes that she and Eric had been talking, Bem had moved one complete set into a bedroom.

The twins looked down at the little green and blue dragon that was growing bigger every day.  Jane asked him, “Bem, did you do that all by yourself?”

He nodded eagerly, showing them how by easily lifting a bed with his tail and carrying it into one of the other rooms.

“That’s . . . impressive,” Eric said quietly.

“Impressive?  That’s incredible!” Jane exclaimed.  “Bem, why didn’t you tell us that you could do that?”

“Bem,” was all the dragon said in response before running off to move the rest of the furniture.

In just ten minutes the three had moved all of the furniture into the rooms, with Bem moving the bigger things and Jane and Eric moving the smaller things.  After they finished, they went back up to the deck to go tell Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou that they were done.

“You’re done?  We thought you would take a couple of hours at least,” Mr. Lou said.

“That was faster than what I could have done, and I’m a rabbit!” Mr. Robert commented.

Jane explained, “Bem did a lot of the work.  We just helped him.”

“Do you want us to help with anything else?” Eric offered.

Mr. Lou said, “Well, we’re still building the steering room, but you guys can finish painting the side of the boat for us, so all we’ll have to paint are the walls of the steering room.”

“Okay!  Where are the paintbrushes so we can get started?” Jane asked enthusiastically.  Mr. Robert showed them where everything was, and soon enough they had finished painting the boat.

“Anything else?” Eric asked when they returned the paintbrushes to Mr. Robert.

The rabbit shook his head.  “No, you’ve been working long enough.  I think you should go back to the castle, in case people have started looking for you.”

“That’s a good idea,” Eric said.

“Plus, I’m hungry!” Jane said cheerfully.  “We’ll see you later!”  The twins and the dragon climbed back up the creepy stairs to the kitchen.

“We’re back, everybody,” Jane announced loudly.

Margo and Bill looked at them.  Bill said, “We never noticed that you had left.”

Margo asked quickly, “Do you want anything right now?  Like something to eat or drink?”

“Yes please!” Jane said, sitting down at one of the tables where one of the cooks set a steaming bowl of tomato soup.  Eric and Bem also sat at the table.  When Bem had a bowl of soup set in front of him, he lapped it up like a cat, making everyone in the room laugh.

“Have you decided anything important?” Eric asked after they were finished eating.

Bill nodded gravely.  Eric and Jane looked at each other, knowing that it wouldn’t be good news.  Bill said, “We’ve decided that when we find the spy, we will kill him.”

Jane stood up abruptly and argued, “That’s cruel!  He hasn’t hurt anyone yet.”

“But he almost did,” Margo pointed out.

“He still hasn’t hurt anyone, so you can’t kill him,” Jane huffed.

Bill shook his head.  “You’re too young.  You wouldn’t understand.  Why don’t you sit back, relax, and let us grownups do all the work?”

“I’m tired of grownups always telling me that I wouldn’t understand.  I do understand, and it’s not right for you to tell me what I do and don’t understand!” Jane shouted.  When she was done talking she stomped out of the room with Bem close behind.  After a few seconds Eric slipped out behind them.

Back in Jane’s bedroom, she was crying on her bed.  Eric closed her door and sat beside her.  “It’s okay, Jane.  They probably won’t find the spy anyway.”

“But what if they do!” Jane cried.  “That would be so terrible!”

“The spy did something wrong, and there are consequences for doing bad things,” Eric pointed out.  “But you’re right, killing him is way too harsh.”

Jane sat up quickly.  “I got an idea.”

“What is it?”

“You know how they spy is after Bem?  Maybe if we leave with Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou, then they spy would follow us and Margo and Bill wouldn’t be able to find him!  Besides, Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou can’t say no.  We helped them finish their boat, and there’s enough room for all of us,” Jane said quickly.

Eric sat and thought about it for a minute.  Then he nodded.  “Okay.  We’ll go.  We’ll escape with Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou.”



© 2010 Havatara


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Added on September 4, 2010
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Author

Havatara
Havatara

The Town That Moved, St. Louis County, MN (aka Hicksville), MN



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