Tuesday 19th July 2011
Night sight and flight
KEEN to glean what further information I could regarding the newcomers to the house of B-squiggle-B, I made my way to the rear of the building, there to position myself directly below the window of room 2. Although the drapes were closed, darts of shadow across the light and the murmur of speech confirmed the likelihood of earnest debate inside the room.
For the first time since my arrival in this land, I took to the air.
Hovering outside the window, however, did not afford me any clearer understanding of the activity within.
Therefore, I struck the pane lightly with a knuckle, in a bid to draw Arthur’s attention to my presence. The voices continuing unabated, I tapped again, several times and more forcefully, adding a questioning call…
… at which all conversation ceased, indicating that I had been successful.
There was a long silence.
(I should add that Arthur’s knowledge of my own tongue was minimal. Accepting it unlikely that he would ever visit Rheta, he had chosen not to seek reciprocal instruction in the language of my people. Consequently, he knew but a few common Rhetan expressions. It may, however, interest the reader to know that the urgent message he conveyed that night could best described as a ‘rolled f’, which can be produced by stammering that letter, as if unable to prevent the teeth from vibrating against the lower lip, as happens to young bathers, emerging from a cold sea or lake and seemingly immobilised, but for the chattering of their teeth. Ten such f’s, rolled together for approximately one second, make a sound that all Rhetans would recognise immediately.)
The drapes were tugged apart.
I beheld Arthur, close to the pane, and, beyond him, two serfs in dark clothing, startled of face. Also present was the fierce B-squiggle-B, staring, pointing, screeching words I could not comprehend.
My teacher did not look pleased to see me. He opened the pane and hissed:
“Go, Virgulle! Fly away, ladybird! Go! Now! Ffffffffff!”