The message had been clear… Come to Langley , need help, come alone…

“They are never going to sneak up on anyone making that racket!” says Gunther
“Aye laddie you’ll no be wrong there!” sighs Sir Walter.

“How does that song go? ” asks Percy
“Which one? ” questions Erik
“The one about wandering”

“Oh ” says Erik ” You mean” and he starts to sing ” I love to go a wandering along the mountain track!”
“No that’s not the one ” cuts in Percy ” and we’re in the woods not the mountains !”

Sir Walter shakes his head in disbelief ” I don’t know why they did not just bring a picnic and the girls ! with the amount of noise they are making!”
Gunther nods in agreement

“We’d best catch up with them before they get in trouble” Sir Walter starts to climb off the fallen tree .

Finally the boys go quiet and start paying attention to what’s around them.

Meanwhile up ahead they are being watched .

The boys stop ” I think we’re meant to turn here and head towards that second tree ”

“Youre sure it was the second tree? ” asks Erik
“Yes, second right look for the fallen tree, wait and I’ll come ” confirms Percy ” That’s what the message said”

It’s like a herd of elephants ! thinks the watching boy

“Maybe we should have brought more of our brothers! What if it’s a trap!” says Erik quietly
“He said to come alone and there’s two of us, four if you count Gunther and Sir Walter ”
“Well if he wants to be saved , he’s got to take what’s on offer !” says Erik getting irritated

x

“Second tree on the right ” says Erik ” Can you see anyone? ”

Gunther calls down softly from the branch he’s on ” No but I feel like we are being watched!”

“I’l have a look round the back ” says Erik moving carefully to the tree trunk.

“Can you see anyone? ” whispers Percy, Sir Walter stand ready to combat any trouble.

“No ” says Erik sounding disappointed ” No one !”

Silently someone appears up in the tree.

“Could you not have made more noise!” a voice suddenly demands

Erik jumps back from the tree trunk and looks up

“Said only for ONE person to come get me, not a circus! ” said the boy angrily

“You should perhaps not bite the hands that save you ” says Gunther softly from his place on the branch near the stranger.

“Yes ” calls out Erik ” you asked us to come save you, we did not have to come!”

The boy turns his head and Gunther catches the slight sheen of tears in his tired eyes.
“Be calm lad ” he says softly ” you are safe now or will be soon. I can see the journey’s taken it’s toll on you, lets get down and start the way home ”
The boy shudders and nods , taking a deep steadying breath and starts down the tree.

Part way out of the woods the boys have to stop so their new friend can rest, he’s very tired from being on the run for so long and he’s also hungry.The rescue party feel bad as they did not bring any food.

“What happened to your hair? ” asks Erik

The boy shudders slightly ” I was tortured ” Erik and the others gasp in shock ” They gave a child some sharp scissors and left me with her ”
Everyone sits shocked at his barely heard words, his voice so quiet ” But I did not talk…. no I did not ”

Gunther comes and sits by the boy ” Youre safe now , Mrs Mum will take care of you and never let anyone hurt you again”
The boy almost smiles but not quite ” I heard tell of Mrs Mum and the Sasha village which is why I headed this way then sent the message when I realised we’d not make it without some help ”
“We? ” asks Gunther
” We? ” says the boy ” I meant me…I’m so tired  and so hungry !”

Gunther nods and smiles but he’s heard something out in the woods following behind them as they’ve headed back towards the road. He decides not to say anything , he’ll come back later and check it out but first they need to get the lad home, so he can eat and rest.

Soon the woods are once again empty and quiet  … save for the soft sound of some one sobbing………” Jamie…..” a small voice sobs

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