A rider in a herald’s coat approached the party as they continued north out of the village of Wolsey, just a few days past Hunningdon. William smiled when he recognized the livery – a white bull’s head on a brown field.
“Your Grace, Lord William, I bring greetings from your faithful friend Lord Bullwythe! I have been set to watch for your passing these past several days as his lordship has information that bears directly upon your quest. As you are so close, he hopes you will take time to hear him, rest your mounts and re-provision before you continue.”
“We would be most honored. You may lead if you like, but I know the way well, sir.” William turned to the group and said, “Lord Bullwythe is a friend of long standing and a short rest for our mounts may aid us far more than continuing forward at our current pace. Besides, we stole a march with the aid of the Fey.” Everyone turned their mounts to follow a well-travelled track across well-maintained fields and headed towards Bulldon.
Arriving back at the castle, William Marshall was led off for a private meeting and dinner to catch up with Lord Bullwythe in preparation for tomorrow’s meeting. The Lord’s Advisor, Master Lew welcomed everyone to the castle, and apologized that he would not be with them as he must attend to Lord Bullwythe, but he did place them in the capable hands of Sir Eglund. Sir Eglund, Steward of Bulldon Tor led the rest of the party to their guest quarters, and announced that they would not be left sitting idly as the lords met. Instead, they would all be taken on a hunt in the early morning to pass the day, and guest of note would have a fine dinner that evening, if not a proper feast. Tristan was shown to a commoner’s quarters near the stables. Aranphir and Madoc were led to comfortable quarters where they could prepare for that evening’s dinner. Sir Owain was given fine quarters in which to prepare.
Troubled over some astronomical signs, Aranphir sought out the butler and asked that Sir Owain be given only watered wine that evening, claiming stomach troubles for the knight.
Madoc, meanwhile, took a wrong turn, but ended up hearing part of an interesting conversation. “It is vital that they all attend the hunt tomorrow. Do what you must. I don’t expect much trouble out of Sir Owain as he’ll probably be thoroughly hung over.” Madoc could identify the speaker as Master Lew, Sage Advisor to Lord Bullwythe, but couldn’t see or make out who he spoke to.
It’ll come…give me some time.