“Erm … I’ll help if you like, … but is it safe for me to come in with you?” Nomis was quite reluctant to openly venture inside the Hunters’ Tower, but at the same time, he was more than a little curious.
“It’ll be all right, if you enter and leave in my company; especially since we are both supposed to be student physicians!” Gludog grinned reassuringly.
They made a litter from ivy vines and a larger piece of cotton-grass linen from Gludog’s stock, firmly strapping the baby shrew in place. They then hauled her out, and carried her between them, with Gludog in the lead. They looked a strange sight, Gludog slightly smaller in height than Nomis but thicker in build, carrying a stretcher with a furry animal bandaged and strapped on like a Tylwyth Teg casualty.
“It’s a good job that she looks as though she’s been weaned, otherwise she would have no chance for survival,” Gludog observed cheerfully as she suddenly began to retch, bringing up pieces of chewed worm and worse! Nomis was used to Elfins vomiting, but somehow the sight of an animal retching, made him feel a little nauseous himself.
They came at last, to the entrance hidden underneath one of the great foundation stones. They went inside and at the first, dimly lit alcove, they encountered a rather surly looking guard.
“Password?” he said without looking up, continuing to whittle away at an intricate carving.
“Bullfinch,” Gludog promptly said, reaching for a firebrand. However, the guard, glancing up, promptly rose and stood menacingly, barring their way.
“What dost thou think thou art doing Master Gludog, bringing a stranger into our tower and letting him know the day’s password?” he asked incredulously. “Thou knowest it is against the law of the tower to let a stranger pass without notifying the correct authorities first.” Nomis began to feel his fears about those from this tower had been justified, and looked round, speculating if he could outdistance this burly, high-spoken guard.
“Oh, don’t be so stuffy, Lawnslod. You know full well that as long as someone is ‘vouched for’ it’s all right to let them pass. Well, I vouch for Nomis here; I’ve known him … simply ages now!” Gludog lied glibly. “He’s a fellow physician, like me, but from the Great Tower, studying under the foremost herb-master physician, Master Hiral,” he finished grandly.