Cecren Bach interrupted Gludog’s musings on the shortcomings of their room, with her insistent pleas for assistance. She had clearly had enough of being strapped down on the litter.
“What does she say?” Robyn asked, apparently taking for granted Gludog’s extraordinary skill.
“Well, she says please can she have a drink of water and can we look for a soft safe place for her to curl up and go to sleep,” Gludog repeated as he removed his hands from the sides of her head. “I think if you wouldn’t mind, Nomis, just pour her some water from that pitcher over there, into the wash bowl, whilst I make her a ‘nest’. Robyn, here, you look after her and stroke her gently. She’ll have to get to know you as well, if she’s going to share our room with us now. Oh, I am sorry, I forgot to ask … I hope you don’t mind; do you?”
“No, of course I don’t mind, after all you’ve done for me over the years!” Robyn replied with a conspiratorial grin.
Nomis wondered what Robyn meant but could see there was a long-standing friendship between the amiable pair. Once they had settled Cecren Bach into her new nest of old man’s beard, in the clothes chest at the foot of Gludog’s bed, they tidied up the larger mess. This was using the usual apprentice method of shoving everything under the bed and draping the coverlet over, to hide the untidiness from a cursory inspection from someone in authority!
When they left, Cecren Bach let out a sleepy squeak that Gludog translated as a simple ‘thank you’ and seemed to smile, as they closed the door quietly after them.
As they returned past the infirmary, again their voices dropped to whispers and Nomis suddenly realised that Robyn had not uttered a single word whilst they had actually been inside the animal infirmary, and that he had been quite subdued ever since. When they were out of earshot, he remarked as much to Gludog with a sly grin towards Robyn.
Gludog joined in the good-natured teasing of his friend. “What was the matter with you then, Robyn? What had you done this time to upset Master Garan? Was it yet another unfortunate accident?”
“Well … not exactly. … If you call bringing a cockroach, with a damaged wing for him to instruct me how to mend, an accident! … And