“You…” Cerys breathed, the words hardly willing to pass her lips. “You are the son of a baron?”
“You weren’t kidding when you said that about your father the other day…”
“The best place to hide the truth is out in the open,” Himeko noted. “I had a feeling that it might turn out to be true.”
“Is that a quote from something?” Cerys asked. Her mind was a swirl of thoughts like ingredients in a stew too near to boiling over. It almost seemed to be the wrong thing to ask, but she could not help herself.
Himeko shook her head. “Whatever brought us here, I hope it did not damage your brain.”
“She’s always like that, remember?” Peter chimed in. He went over to a window and peered out through the glass. “Where is Carawick, anyway?”
“Nowhere on Earth,” James told them. “We should get walking; the manor is quite a distance from here. I can answer your questions on the way.”
Cerys was still staring at his clothes. Why her brain kept thinking about styles from the late eighteenth century instead of that fact that she was actually in a strange place, there that was an actual goblin right outside the door, and that she had supposedly cast the spell that now held it in place, she could not have explained. And then she realized it.
“I cast a spell!” she cried, running to the doorway. “I really did this, didn’t I? Do I really have magical powers while I’m here?”
“I’ll tell you on the way,” he repeated, putting an arm around her shoulders and ushering her out the door.
Outside, It was a sunny day, not to cool, not too hot, like a perfect day in late spring. James walked over the the goblin, pulled a rope from his pack, and tied the goblin’s arms behind its back.
“Goblin, you have strayed outside of your legal boundaries,” he told like, sounding like a police officer arresting someone. “By the power of my father the baron, and His Royal Majesty, King Leonars Ralland, I am taking you to Manor Carawick to see the bailiff.”
The creature snarled and jabbered at him, but he seemed to understand it, but he seemed to understand it, for he replied to it.
“No, I do not have to tell you in goblin-speak. You will most likely be transported back to your territories on the next caravan heading that direction, or perhaps even to your leader.”
The goblin snarled at him again, and wriggled in the vines holding it as though very distraught buy some part of what it had been told. It went on for several minutes, and all the while James was severing the vines that held it down using a knife that he had pulled from his belt.
“Tell all of that to the bailiff. I am sure that he will be understanding. Now,” he said, once its legs were free, “I need to to walk with us. Do not try to run away, or you will end up in vines again, and I will have to leave you where you are and send guards from the manor to fetch you. You wouldn’t want to be out here alone after nightfall, would you?”