To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I shall have to have words with young Patrolman Wren, on the matter of conduct unbecoming.  I told Aoibheann about the cinnamon and sugar incident and she became somewhat agitated.  Upon investigation of the cupboards, it seems that young Wren actually took half a jar of powdered valerian root.  Now there is an herb I know well.  Mother swore by it for those occasions she had difficulty sleeping.  Personally, I think it stank like a mouldy sock, but it seemed to do what was asked of it.  What was the tea she would have me make for her?  Skullcap, valerian and chamomile, sweetened with a little honey.  The chamomile and honey ameliorated the stink of the valerian somewhat, but it was still not the most pleasant of potions.  I have to admit though, it did work, and I even used it myself on occasions.

Aoibheann, however, was getting in her usual kerfuffle and predicting a long stay in the dungeons for herself. Even so, we could not fathom quite what the children might do with the herb.  As I pointed out, even if they intend some mischief by putting their maids or guards to sleep, it seemed an unlikely choice.  It wasn’t as if valerian was going to knock somebody out quickly, like chloroform or ether might.  She took my point, but was still worried in case Wren had taken something else as well.  Personally, I could not see how we might have anything particularly dangerous in the kitchen, at least, not since the incident with the nightshade berries, which Aoibheann assured me had all been destroyed, but she was worried nevertheless.  She asked if I could look into putting a lock on one of the kitchen cupboards, just in case, and then headed up to the palace to see if she could intercept the planned prank before any damage was done.  I did offer to take the blame for letting Wren have the herbs, but, I have to give her her due, she would not have that, as I was unaware of the child’s intent.

The evening was otherwise quiet.  Cristof, whom I have not seen for many weeks, came in, along with un-named gentleman he referred to as tall-boy; even though he did not resemble any item of furniture I could think of.  The most remarkable feature of said gentleman was the enormous scythe he was carrying around on his shoulder.  One would have thought that he was personifying the traditional image of the grim reaper, save that his clothing was otherwise ordinary, and that the scythe seemed to be more designed for carrying a large banner, which it did on a cross-bar projecting from the handle opposite the blade.  It was black with red markings that looked like wolf paw-prints.  They shared Cristof’s bottle of peach schnapps, though only Cristof partook of the “cherry” flavouring he liked to add.  We had a brief conversation about the Huntsman and the remarkable variety of beings that might be found in Jasper Cove, but after that, things fell to a companionable silence.  Neelam arrived to take over, so I left them to it, returning to the apartment.  After all the revelations of the past couple of days, from Sophia, I needed some time alone to think.

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