that he must take me on eventually.” Nomis smiled at the memory of the day before his apprenticeship had been due to begin and all the fuss over the situation. Even Clogfryn had become involved. Hiral seemed forced by something to take him after all, but no one discovered what had changed his mind so suddenly. The whole matter became an intense subject for debate for a few weeks, but the underlying reasons for Hiral’s sudden and inexplicable capitulation never came out. The old gold from the pouch was duly paid from the Orphanage safe box, and Nomis had become Hiral’s apprentice, much to everyone’s amazement.
“Hrmph … not what I heard but we’ll let it pass, let it pass. Anyway, what are you doing here in my animal infirmary? Has he sent you to spy on my methods then?” Garan demanded abruptly.
“No, sir, … not at all. Gludog here, asked me to help him carry this baby shrew, so that you could tend her with your superior skills.” Nomis’ attempt to pacify the edgy ‘old bird’ seemed to work.
“Didn’t do a bad job, did I … hey, did I?” Master Garan preened himself; Nomis just thought how ridiculous he was. It was only little stitches that he, or for that matter, Gludog, was quite capable of doing!
Gludog and Robyn came to his rescue by suggesting that they had taken enough of their Master’s valuable time so might they all be excused?
“Yes … Yes … Be off with you. Be off with you all!”
“Do all the people in charge in this hotheaded tower say that, to dismiss people?” … Nomis thought to himself.
They hastily took their leave of Master Garan, picking up the litter with Cecren Bach, as she was now apparently known. They made their way along the passages to the apprentice quarters where Gludog shared a room with Robyn.
“Welcome to our ‘hovel’. … It’s not much … but it is close to where we live! Robyn, do we live here somewhere in this?” Gludog said with a flourish as they entered their chamber.
“It’s great to see that you’re both the same as me! My room is invariably just as much of a tip as this!” Nomis delightedly remarked, pointing to the mess all around the room. They both looked at each other and grinned a bit sheepishly.
“Yes, I suppose it is a bit untidy, but it’s not until it’s pointed out that you really begin to see it. When you live amongst it all, it tends