“Well, actually … no, it wasn’t.” A horrible thought crossed Nomis’ mind … that Clogfryn had really guessed the truth! He dismissed the thought gratefully when Clogfryn began to laugh even more seeing his young friend’s stricken face! They both laughed together.
“Clogfryn, can I ask you something?”
“Yes, Nomis. You just did, but you can ask another question too!” Clogfryn was still amused, but tried unsuccessfully to be serious.
“Is there really such an orchid?” This just seemed to make his friend laugh all the more!
“Come. We must be making our way,” Clogfryn said finally through his chuckles. “Those guards will return if we carry on making such a racket!”
After walking along yet more tunnels, passages and corridors, they finally ascended the small flight of stairs to where the Sanatorium and herbalists’ rooms were situated. Clogfryn escorted Nomis up the sloping passage towards his small, but private chamber.
“Clogfryn? … Who or rather what was that strange intruder I heard? What was he doing prowling around our tower?” Nomis was still rather shaken by the incident.
“I’m afraid I don’t know, but what I can say is that he was first discovered not very far away from these very passages. It was by one of the junior herbalists returning late from treating a newly arrived casualty in the Sanatorium. When I heard that he was about I rushed up here to check … you know … that everything was all right,” Clogfryn admitted reluctantly.
Understanding dawned on Nomis.
“On finding your room empty,” Clogfryn continued, “I joined in the search for the Intruder fearing for your safety. … So don’t go wandering off unexpectedly, … and do that to me again, young scallywag!” Clogfryn clapped him good-naturedly on the shoulder.
“I’m sorry Clogfryn … I didn’t mean to worry anyone. I just wanted to have a little time to myself and found myself wandering down to the eastern entrance. It felt like a lovely evening so I walked outside by the moat in the moonlight before finding a quiet dry place to sit and enjoy the moonlight; I must have fallen asleep, that’s all.”