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. Isn t that just like a man?Cimorene dear, I ve found just the thing for you.I knew there would be something upstairs, no matterwhat Dobbilan said.Are you quite certain you have enough porridge? Quite certain, Cimorene said. What  Ballimore! Ballimore, where s the inkwell? Dobbilan s voice echoed down the corridor, interruptingCimorene in mid-sentence. Where are you? Why can t I find anything around here when I want it? Because you never look in the right place, dear, Ballimore called. The inkwell is in the kitchen next tothe grocery list, where it s been for the past six months, and I m in the dining room.Which is where youd be if you d done what I asked you to, instead of wandering off in all directions. I didn t wander off, Dobbilan objected, sticking his head into the room. I went to get some paper andink so I could write a letter.Oh, good morning, Princess, King.I didn t see you. You were supposed to see them, Ballimore said, exasperated. You were supposed to be here when oh, never mind. Well, if you re done scolding, could you find me that inkwell?Ballimore shook her head, set her bundle down on a chair, and went off to deal with her erring husband.Mendanbar looked at Cimorene, and they both burst out laughing at the same time. Oh, dear, said Cimorene when she got her breath back. I hope they didn t hear. Are they always like this? Mendanbar asked. I don t know, Cimorene admitted. This is the firsttime I ve been here.Kazul has always been the one who comes to talk or borrow things. The thoughtwiped the smile from her face. I hope she s safe. You d know if she wasn t, Mendanbar said, hoping he was right. Being King of the Dragons is a littlelike being King of the Enchanted Forest; if anything really drastic happens toyou, everybodyknows. I suppose so, Cimorene said. And I know perfectly well that she can take care of herself, but I llstillfeel a lot better when we find out where she is.There wasn t much Mendanbar could say to that.They ate in silence for a few minutes and were justfinishing up when Ballimore and Dobbilan returned.Dobbilan was carrying several sheets of white paperand a pen made of a feather as long as Mendanbar s arm.Ballimore held an inkwell the size of a sink.The giantess cleared the dishes away from the far end of the table and set the inkwell gently in place,then steered her husband to the chair.When she had him settled, she picked up the bundle she hadbrought in earlier. I ll just take this outside and shake the dust out, she told Cimorene. You and your young man cancome along as soon as you ve finished eating.Don t rush. How do you spell  resignation ? Dobbilan asked, nibbling on the end of his feather pen.Mendanbar spelled it for him as Ballimore bustled out the door.He and Cimorene finished theirbreakfasts with only an occasional interruption from Dobbilan.Leaving the giant mumbling over his letterand chewing on the tattered end of his pen, they went out to see what Ballimore had found. There you are, Ballimore said as they came into the courtyard. I ve gotten most of the dust out, and it s ready to go.What do you think?She stepped back and Mendanbar got his first good look at the carpet.It was enormous, with athree-foot fringe on all four sides.In places it looked rather worn, and there was a hole the size of ateacup in one corner.The background was a rich cream color, dotted with teddy bears a foot long.Pinkteddy bears.Bright pink. It s certainly large enough, Mendanbar said at last. Are you sure it will fly? Cimorene asked, looking dubiously at the hole. Oh, yes, Ballimore reassured her. It s the very best quality, but we haven t used it in years because ofthe pattern. She gestured at the teddy bears. Dobbilan thought they just didn t look right in a giant scastle. I think I agree with him, Mendanbar said under his breath, eyeing the pink teddy bears with dislike. No wonder that Jack fellow didn t take it. As long as it flies, I don t care what it looks like, Cimorene declared. Thank you so much, Ballimore.I ll make sure you get it back as soon as we re through with it. There s no rush, Ballimore said. It ll just go back in the attic. How does it work? Mendanbar asked. I couldn t find the instruction manual, but it s perfectly simple, Ballimore told him. All magic carpets-are the same.You sit in the middle and say,  Up, up, up and away to make it take off, and you steer byleaning in the direction you want to go. What about stopping?Ballimore frowned in concentration. I believe you re supposed to say  Whoa, but  Cut it out, carpetworks just as well.I m sorry I can t be more definite.It s been a long time. Right. Mendanbar looked at Cimorene. Are you sure you want to do this?Cimorene hesitated, then nodded firmly. We ll manage.If I could think of some other way of getting tothe north end of the mountains quickly, I would.Come on. She stepped onto the carpet, and ploppeddown in the center.With some misgiving, Mendanbar sat next to her. Oh, heavens, I nearly forgot! Ballimore said suddenly. Stay right there, Cimorene dear.I ll be back ina flash. Now what? Mendanbar asked as the giantess hurried into the castle. Maybe she remembered where the instruction manual is, Cimorene said. Somehow I doubt it, Mendanbar said.A moment later, Ballimore came hurrying out again, carrying a large bag. I packed you a bit of lunch,she explained, handing Cimorene the package. Goodness knows what you ll find out there in themountains [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]