Thursday, August 25, 2005

Meeting Mrs. Claus, part 4: Planning a trip

The elves spent the night in Rhundveld.

Elves have a wonderful way of finding out secrets and mysteries – always without being seen.

They came back the next day and joined Peter and me at breakfast.

“There is a sickness,” said Eloham, one of the elves. “Not like the Black Death.”

The Black Death was a terrible plague that swept through parts of Europe, killing many of the people. It was spread by fleas on rats. But people blamed it on cats, killing many of the cats. That meant that the number of rats grew, and the plague spread even more.

“Do you know what causes it?” I asked.

“It seems to be in the water,” Dahrima answered. “We think that the people are nort careful to keep used water away from drinking water.”

“Sanitation is the problem,” I remarked, nodding my head sadly. “So if we could get them to boil their water, it would help.”

“Yes,” Eloham said. “We also have some medicines that help to clean the water when added to it.”

“Do we have some of this medicine?”

“We can make it,” Dahrima said. “But it might take too long to help.”

“Boiling, then. And being careful not to mix the water. Thank you.”

When Anna Kristina came to my house later, I was ready.

“I will travel with you, with your father’s permission, of course,” I said. “And At least one of your brothers should go with us.”

She flashed that beautiful smile.

“Thank you. I knew you were kind hearted,” she said. “Father has already said yes. He says he could tell you were a good man. And my brother Nicholas will go with us. We will be back in an hour with a wagon.”

Then, unexpectedly, she gave me a had and hurried away.

I turned as saw Peter grinning.

“You are as red as her scarf,” he said.

He was right.


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