She didn’t return to the house until well after dark. Baldric gave a relieved cry when his mother slipped in through the door. “Ceinwen’s been crying now for a while. I can’t get her to take the medicine,” he said. “And Ronen won’t let go of her hand but he also won’t stop crying.
Ronen was weeping in the corner as he sat next to his sister. “She’s hurting and I can’t help,” he said.
“I know, Ronen,” Adina said. She mixed a fresh batch of medicine for her daughter. “You have to drink this, Ceinwen. It’ll make you feel better.” Ceinwen drank the medicine and was soon quiet again.
“Mother, do you think Ceinwen’s going to be all right? She hasn’t spoken since we got here. I know she’s hurt but…” Baldric let his voice trail off.
Adina sighed. “I don’t know, Baldric. I won’t know until I can get a healer to see her and possibly not even then. We’ll have to wait and see.”
“What story are we supposed to tell the people who ask?” Baldric asked.
“We lost our home to a fire. Your father died trying to rescue us. Ceinwen was mauled by a dog gone mad from the smoke and heat,” Adina said. “That’s the story I gave the gold merchant and that’s the one we’re going to stick to.”
“Then you’d better tell Isabella and Grainne too,” Baldric said.
“We heard. Mama, if lying is wrong, why are we doing it now?” Isabella asked.
“Do you want to be killed?” Adina asked. “If it gets out what I did, who we are, we’ll be executed. I got the impression that magic isn’t as widely used in this time as it was in ours.”
Isabella turned pale. “What about Ceinwen? What are we going to do with her if you can’t use magic?”
“Right now I don’t have magic to use,” Adina said. “We’ll have to wait and see what the healer says.”
“Yes mother,” Isabella said.
“Here. Put these clothes on. I took what money I had left on me and bought all of you some new clothes. It’s not as fine as I’d like but it’ll do so you don’t look quite so out of place,” Adina said. She handed dresses to the girls and shirts and trousers to the boys. Isabella went back to sit next to Grainne and the two of them whispered together about the story that they needed to lock into their minds. Adina went back over next to Ronen and Ceinwen.
The next day, Adina bustled her children into cloaks and sent them out into the front yard. She quickly cleared away any sign of their being in the house before carrying Ceinwen out in her arms. The gold merchant Adina found the previous night arrived with a train of carts and horses. “Lady Winfield, forgive my lateness. There was a bit of a delay in getting some of the things you requested,” he said, bowing to her.
“It’s quite all right, Master Felweather. We were running a little behind ourselves this morning. I appreciate your efforts to get all that I asked for,” Adina said.
“It won’t take long at all to have the house fixed up. Did you and your children wish to retire to an inn while the men work?” Master Felweather asked.
“Actually, Master Felweather, I’d be very grateful if you could direct me to the healers,” Adina said. She turned slightly so he could see the bandages. “The journey was hard on my daughter and I wish to make certain she hasn’t come to any further harm.”
“I’ll escort you there myself, my lady,” Master Felweather said. “Then I’ll come back to supervise the workers.”
“Thank you, Master Felweather,” Adina said. She turned to Baldric. “Take the others into the garden. Let them play there while the men work, but keep them out of the house. We’ll go to the inn for luncheon after I’m done with the healer.”
“Yes mother,” Baldric said. He herded the other three into the house and out into the garden. Master Felweather left instructions with the men to begin to carry the heavy furniture in before escorting Adina to what he stated was the best healer in the city.