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eagerness Taran had glimpsed in this strange individual. "I only give you this
advice for your own good. I'm glad, very glad, you've seen fit to follow it.
Now, of course," he added, almost brightly, "you'll want to be on your way.
Very wise of you. I, unhappily, have to stay here. I envy you, I really do.
But--- that's the way of it, and there's little anyone can do. A pleasure
meeting you all. Goodbye."
"Goodbye?" cried Eilonwy. "If we put our noses above ground and the
Huntsmen are waiting for us--- yes, it will be goodbye indeed! Doli says it's
your duty to help us. And with that, you haven't done a thing. Except sigh and
moan! If this is the best the Fair Folk can manage, why, I'd rather be up a
tree with my toes tied together!"
Gwystyl clutched his head again. "Please, please, don't shout. I'm
not up to shouting today. Not after the horses. One of you can go and see if
the Huntsmen are still there. Not that it will really do any good, for they
might have just stepped away for a moment."
"I wonder who'll do that?" muttered the dwarf. "Good old Doli, of
course. I thought I'd done with making myself invisible."
"I could give all of you a little something," Gwystyl went on, "not
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that it will do much good. It's a kind of powder I've put by in case of need.
I was saving it for emergencies."
"What do you call this, you clot!" Doli growled.
"Yes, well, I meant, ah, more for personal emergencies," Gwystyl
explained, paling. "But it doesn't matter about me. You can have it. Take all
of it, go ahead.
"You put it on your feet, or whatever you walk on--- I mean hooves
and so forth," Gwystyl added. "It doesn't work too well, hardly much sense in
bothering. Because it wears off. Naturally, if you're walking on it, it would
do that. However, it will hide your tracks for a while."
"That's what we need," said Taran. "Once we throw the Huntsmen off
our trail, I think we can outrun them."
"I'll get some," Gwystyl said with eagerness. "It won't take a
moment."
As he made to leave the chamber, however, Doli took him by the arm.
"Gwystyl," said the dwarf severely, "you have a skulking, sneaking look in
your eyes. You might hoodwink my friends. But don't forget you're also dealing
with one of the Fair Folk. I have a feeling," Doli added, tightening his grip,
"you're far too anxious to see us gone. I'm beginning to wonder, if I squeezed
you a little, what more might come out."
At this, Gwystyl rolled up his eyes and fainted away. The dwarf had
to haul him upright, while Taran and the others fanned him.
At length Gwystyl opened one eye. "Sorry," he gasped. "Not myself
today. Too bad about the cauldron. One of those unfortunate things."
The crow, who had been watching all this activity, turned a beady
glance on his owner and flapped his wings with such vigor that Gurgi roused
himself in alarm.
"Orddu!" Kaw croaked.
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Fflewddur turned in surprise. "Well, can you imagine that! He didn't
say 'kaw' at all. At least it didn't seem that way to me. I could have sworn
he said something like 'or-do.' "
"Orwen!" croaked Kaw. "Orgoch!"
"There," said Fflewddur, looking at the bird with fascination. "He
did it again."
"It's strange," agreed Taran. "It sounded like ordorwenorgoch! And
look at him, running back and forth on his perch. Do you think we've upset
him?"
"He acts as if he wants to tell us something," began Eilonwy.
Gwystyl's face, meanwhile, had turned the color of ancient cheese.
"You may not want us to know," said Doli, roughly seizing the
terrified Gwystyl, "but he does. This time, Gwystyl, I really mean to squeeze
you."
"No, no, Doli, please don't do that," wailed Gwystyl. "Don't give
him another thought. He does odd things; I've tried to teach him better
habits, but it doesn't do any good."
A flood of Gwystyl's pleading and moaning followed, but the dwarf
paid it no heed, and began to carry out his threat.
"No," squealed Gwystyl. "No squeezing. Not today. Listen to me,
Doli," he added, his eyes crossing and uncrossing frantically, "if I tell you,
will you promise to go away?"
Doli nodded and relaxed his grip.
"All Kaw meant to say," Gwystyl went on hurriedly, "is that the
cauldron is in the hands of Orddu, Orwen, and Orgoch. That's all. It's a
shame, but there's certainly nothing to be done about it. It hardly seemed
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worth mentioning."
"Who are Orddu, Orwen, and Orgoch?" Taran asked. His excitement and
impatience were getting the better of him, too, and he was sorely tempted to
aid Doli in squeezing Gwystyl.
"Who are they?" murmured Gwystyl. "You had better ask what are
they?"
"Very well," cried Taran, "what are they?"
"I don't know," replied Gwystyl. "It's hard to say. It doesn't
matter; they've got the cauldron and you might as well let it rest there." He
shuddered violently. "Don't meddle with them; there's no earthly use in it."
"Whoever they are, or whatever they are," cried Taran, turning to
the rest of the company, "I say find them and take the cauldron. That's what
we set out to do, and we should not turn back now. Where do they live?" he
asked Gwystyl.
"Live?" asked Gwystyl with a frown. "They don't live. Not exactly.
It's all very vague. I really don't know."
Kaw flapped his wings again. "Morva!" he croaked.
"I mean," Gwystyl moaned, as the angry Doli reached for him again,
"they stay in the Marshes of Morva. Exactly where, I have no idea, no idea at
all. That's the trouble. You'll never find them. And if you do, which you [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]