Master Garan soothed and reassured her as he put the stitches in with Gludog’s assistance. After praising their first-aid handiwork, he gave instructions as to where they could put ‘Cecren Bach’. Gludog and Nomis placed her gently in the pen that had been indicated. However, as Gludog turned to leave, she began making a loud series of complaining squeaks.
“It seems that you have a new little ‘friend’, Gludog!” Garan said with wry amusement. “Well? Do your ‘bit’. … Do your ‘bit’!”
Gludog moved over to the shrew and as before placed his hands on either side of Cecren Bach’s head. He allowed his mind to go blank, and Nomis noticed the same, odd flat stare again that seemed to come from inside Gludog’s being.
When he had finished his silent communication, he said: “She feels frightened that she’ll be left here and forgotten about, like she was in the old Dynol jug. She possesses good manners and has very politely asked if she might stay with me, sir?”
“What a curious young Coblyn you are … what a curious young fellow! Yes. Yes, if she does not disturb your studies you may remove the troublesome creature from my infirmary. Mind your studying, though!”
“Thank you, Master Garan, sir. I’ll look after her properly, until she’s ready for releasing into the wild again,” Gludog assured his tutor.
Nomis wondered if all senior physicians had this rather authoritarian approach with their students. Of the two, he had met: Master Hiral and Master Garan, it would appear that they had. He wondered if it was a requirement of their training, to cultivate ‘crabbiness’ to one’s underlings. He was just wondering if Pelydryn did become his tutor, would he turn out to be so sour with everyone too, when Master Garan’s attention turned to him.
“Well, Master Elfin, what did you say your name was? And what is this jest, that you are the distinguished Master Hiral’s apprentice? He hasn’t had one in years now. Can’t stand them, I heard. … Come. … Come. … Speak up, … speak up!”
“Please, sir, … whilst that’s generally thought to be true, Master Hiral was more or less expecting to have me as his apprentice for a long time in advance. I was left as a baby at the entrance to the Great Tower with a parchment insisting that he become my tutor. There was considerable bother at the time, but the Overlord of the tower decreed