The Healers Gift
By Lisa Winge

Chapter 3

Eleanor watched from her chair as once again, Jacob dumped something over his sisters head and Ellie in return, hit her brother in the face. Luckily, it was only some leaves this time. She smiled as she watched the Amazons pick up the children and played with them separately.

They had rode in to Newcastle upon Tyne, 2 days ago, unannounced and under the cover of darkness. No one knew she and the children were here, except Lord Andrew Tyne, his family, and the servants. No one was allowed to say anything of Lord Tyne's guests on the penalty of death.

They kept secluded in the east wing of the castle. The place was hardly used and supported a lovely garden and pathways to walk. The high wall of the garden kept out any and all who were curious of the lords guests.

As she watched the children play, Eleanor remembered that fateful day some 28 years ago. The day her precious son, Richard, almost died and how she had made Andrew pay for it.

A child screaming, brought her out of her thoughts. Jacob, giggling, running and screaming all at the same time, was running from his so-called "attacker". Ellie, seeing her brother was having all the fun, started up her own screams and laughter. Eleanor just laughed as she watched them play.

Right now, the only thing she wanted to think about were Jacob and Ellie and how she was making a severe wrong, right.

.........................................

Andrew looked up from his desk as the door opened and in walked a very dirty Kathryn. She looked at him with a slightly perturbed look on her face.

" What was so important that you had to have us back before we were finished, Father. Getting supplies for the winter is more important then any guest you may have." she asked, slightly annoyed.

" Our guest is none other then the queen mother herself. " Andrew answered, equally annoyed with his daughter.

" What?! " she exclaimed, looking shocked. " What does she want?" asking as she sat in a chair across from her father.

" I don't quite know as of yet. She did bring two children with her tho. Maybe that has something to do with her visit." He said, " By the way, were is Nicholas and Rupert?"

" Oh, I left and came on a head. They're going to get the rest of the supplies from Tynemouth, then start home tomorrow. With the carts loaded, its going to take them a couple of days to get here."

Andrew looked at his oldest daughter. Kathryn was tall, with an olive complexion and brown hair that hung half-way down her back. The blue/gray eyes were the only thing her mother had given her.

It sometimes hurt him to look into those eyes. The memory of loosing his wife and the sweet child that had once been his daughter haunted him. He would never forget the day he came back from hunting and saw his wife and daughter, both raped and severely beaten, lying on floor near death.

Agnes, his beloved wife, had died a few days later. Kathryn, tho surviving the ordeal, was never the same. She refused to marry and be a proper lady. Instead, she started sword and bow practice with her brothers, becoming better then they. There was some jealously, but Kathryn, still loving to her family, let the boys win a game or two for their ego sakes, never letting on how good she really was.

The boys loved her dearly. She had taken up where her mother had left off, raising the boys as if they were her own. They would do anything for her and follow her orders as if she was the Lord of the manner, not their father.

" Well when do I get to meet her?" Kathryn asked, bringing him out of his revere.

" Well, she wants the whole family together, so I guess we wait for your brothers. " he said.

"All right then." she said, rubbing her temples, " I’m going to go and get a bath, eat and then get some sleep." She got up from her chair and gave him a kiss. " I love you daddy. "

" I love you too, honey." he said hugging her. " Now go and get your bath."

She smiled at him, gave him another hug and kiss, then left, leaving him to think about Eleanor and what she had in mind for him and his family.

Elizabeth looked out her window. For the last three days, they had interrogated Amazons. For three days, they had no answers. Her heart was breaking into so many pieces, she didn't know what to do. She knew Jacobi was hurting too, but could hide it better.

Elizabeth had so many questions to be answered. Where were they, her children? Where they all right? Why had she taken them? She was so lost in her despair that she didn't even feel her tears at first. That is not until her husband started to brush them away. He looked at her, tears filling his own eyes.

" We'll find them. I promise." he told her, kissing her forehead and wrapping her in his arms, gently rocking her and shedding his own tears for the loss of his children.

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" You know what we need? " asked Kemal.

Robin, Marion, and Tuck gave him a questioning look.

" That necklace. You know the one...." he said searching his memory.

All he got were blank stares. " The one that zealot used to make the queen tell him where the Staff of Moses was. It was made of bone or something like that." he said.

" The dragons teeth necklace. I remember." said Robin, " but its been a couple of years and I doubt if were going to be able to find it now. By the way, has anyone see Little John?"

They all grinned. They all knew where he was. If you couldn't find Little John, you hadn’t looked in the kitchen yet. He had taken a great liking to the cook, Diana, and could be found in her company when he had time.

As if to answer his question, the door opened up and Little John came in bearing a huge platter filled with food, Diana trailing behind him with another smaller platter of cheese's and fruits.

Diana was a pleasant woman, small in stature with brown hair and eyes. She had been in the service of the king for some time and knew the goings on of the castle. The way she looked at Little John and Little John at her, you knew that their feelings were mutual.

Little John sat the platter down in the middle of the table and sat down. Diana was right behind him and when she sat her platter down, Little John grabbed her by the waist and set her on his lap and kissed her cheek. She blushed from the obvious show of affection.

" So, " Little John started as Diana started to feed him, " What were you all talking about?"

The others laughed at him as he started to feed Diana.

" We were trying to figure out how to make the others talk and wishing we had that Dragons Tooth necklace I once told you about." Said Robin.

" Oh that old thing? Why the queen keeps it in a box on her dresser." said Diana.

" What? " Everyone said at the same time.

" I saw Robin throw it in the inlet my self." said Marion.

" Oh she had someone watch where it went and not more then fifteen minutes later went back and got it. It has become quite useful to the queen. "

Little John looked at her and asked, " Why didn't you tell us this before?"

" I honestly thought you knew and with the castle being so busy I guess I forgot till you brought it up again."

Little John took her chin in his hand and gave her a sound kiss. " Well you told us now and were grateful." She blushed even more.

Marion walked over to her, " Can you show me which box? "

" Oh sure." Diana said, a little flustered, and gave Little John a kiss, " I'll be right back. Don't go away." She told him and led Marion out the door.

Robin, Tuck and Kemal look at the gentle giant and started laughing.

" How do you do it? " asked Kemal.

" It's the eyes." said Robin, " It has to be the blue eyes."

Little John just sat there and grinned at them.

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Diana led Marion to the queens chambers and quietly opened the door. She knew that both Jacobi and Elizabeth were asleep, but went to check them anyway.

Their faces were draw and tear streaked and brought a sadness to Diana's heart. She turned back to Marion and went to the dresser and picked up an ornate wooden box. She opened it to show Marion the contents. Marion nodded, indicating that it was indeed the same necklace Robin, Kemal and her had run in to a couple of years ago.

They went out the door and shut it behind them, telling the guards that no one was to enter, no matter what the circumstances were. The guards nodded and went to their posts.

" This time we'll do the interrogating. I don’t want to put them through anymore hell if we don't have to." said Marion as they walked back to the others." Hopefully by this time tomorrow, we'll be on our way to finding Jacob and Ellie."

Virginia and Caroline watched as their captors enter the room and were shocked to see Diana, the cook, enter with steaming bows of stew for the two of them.

" Now if the two of you behave," she started, setting the tray on a table against the wall. " You may have these to eat and be moved upstairs."

Diana walked to the middle of the room as Robin and Kemal went to stand by Caroline and Tuck, Little John and Marion by Virginia. The two had been seated in chairs on opposite sides of the room, facing each other.

Diana went to the middle of the room again and turned to Caroline.

" Now, tell me." she started, " Where did the queen go with the children."

Caroline glared at her and didn't say a thing. Diana walked in front of her and asked again, " Where did she go?". Still she wouldn't say anything. Diana looked at Robin and Kemal, who took a hold of Caroline's arms and legs.

Reaching into her pocket, Diana removed the necklace. Seeing it, Caroline's eyes went big and she started to scream " NO!! ". Virginia in turn also screamed " NO!! " and grabbed Little Johns belt knife and started to lunge at Caroline.

Diana surprised them all by blocking Virginia's attack. She grabbed Virginia's arm and flipped her, making her land on her back, knocking the wind out of her. Diana calmly took the knife out of Virginia's hand and handed it back to Little John, with a smile.

Little John picked up Virginia and held her while Marion and Tuck tied her in the chair. They had been prepared for some sort of attack, but were surprised to see Diana could defend herself. She smiled at them and turned back to Caroline, placing the necklace around her neck.

" Now Caroline, where is the queen." Diana asked again.

Caroline started to fight the effects of the necklace. The strain showing on her face. A tear streaked down her face as she finally blurted " I don't know!!"

" What do you mean you don't know?" asked Robin.

" She never told me." she said in a small weak voice.

" Who did she tell?" asked Virginia.

Caroline struggled again and finally gave up and pointed to Virginia. Diana removed the necklace from around Caroline’s neck and walked over to Virginia, who was struggling against the ropes that held her. Diana placed the necklace around her neck and asked her again.

" Where is the queen? "

They could see that she started to fight it, but gave up quickly knowing she couldn't.

" She’s at New Castle upon Tyne."

" Where? I don't think I have ever herd of that place." said Robin.

" It's far up north. About 83 leagues away from London." Virginia said.

" 83 leagues!" exclaimed Little John. " It would take over a week to get there from here."

" She didn't leave from London." she said.

Everyone looked at her. " She left from Nottingham."

" No wonder we couldn't find any tracks." said Kemal.

" Why so far away, Virginia?" asked Marion.

" I really don't know. All I know is that she was going there." said Virginia.

Diana took the necklace off and put it back in her apron pocket, as Little John and the others untied Virginia and Caroline. As they left the room, Little John too Diana by the elbow and asked her, " How did you learn how to disarm someone like that?"

Looking at him and then touching his cheek she said, " Well, I wasn't always a cook you know." and left the room, leaving Little John with a smile on his face.

Little John shut the door and locked it behind him. " Well do we tell Elizabeth and Jacobi now, or wait till later?"

" They were sleeping when we were in there." said Marion, " Maybe we should wait till later?"

" I agree." said Tuck." there going to need all the sleep they can get and it would give us a day to make arrangements to leave. If what Virginia says is right, it will take us 8 or 9 days to get to New Castle."

" Well then I suggest we wait till morning, then." said Robin.

" Till morning then."

End of Chapter Three

Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four
Chapter FiveChapter Six / Chapter SevenChapter Eight

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