---------- Dibbler's Day -----------------------
After they had tidied up and rested the Trio made there way down to the Bar, it was a lot busier than at lunch time as a most of the Farm workers had finished for the Day, the Evening had started to draw in. And Word had got round about the Trio, there was a loud round of applause as they entered the Bar. Three free pints of ale were sat on the Bar waiting for them. The Librarian and Dibbler downed them in one gulp but Leonard sniffed His......
"Ho dear....... not an alcoholic beverage, I never drink alcoholic beverages. They do terrible things to your brains don't you know!" Leonard said.
"If we insult these nice people by refusing their hospitality they may just do something terrible to you brains anyway so shut up and drink up" whispered Dibbler in His ear, as the onlookers watched them.
Leonard downed the Pint. "Emmmm.... not an unplezhant exsperance... can I have anuther one?"
"Blimmy, that went right to you head! You really don't drink do you ?" asked Dibbler.
"NAaa but I could get ta like .. it" slurred Leonard as He downed another.
"Hello" Said Jenny as She appeared in the stair way,in a low cut evening dress. Some wag in the Bar wolf whistled....
and Leonard said "Corrrr...... Hic."
"This way please" and they were shown to a Table by the Inn Keeper.
"Sorry that the Menu is a little limited but the Sheep are Lambing at the moment so all we have is Fish or Chicken, will the ........ Gentleman eat meat?" inquired the Keep as He indicated towards the Librarian.......
"I think He will eat just about anything He can subdue, you see although He looks like an orangutan He is, in fact, a Wizard" said Leonard.
"Glad to hear He is not a fussy eater, we are a little short on Fruit at the moment, plenty of Veg though.." Said the Keep as He took the order.
Dibbler sat across from Jenny, Two Wine glasses of red wine between them, Leonard and the Librarian sat at the other and of the table, Four empty pint glasses between them, and Four more full ones..........all on Dibbler's tab.
"Mr Dibbler, I told you my name and now I would be nice to know yours, I can't go on calling you Mr Dibbler all Night!" She said.
"Oh how ungentlemanly of me, my first name is Claude or may be Max if you must call me by my Second name" He said, grinning at Her.
"Max , that's a nice name. Tell Me Max why did you go on this trip of yours? By the sound of it you had it make in the city got your own business and all"
He thought about making up a tale of dare and bravery but decided to try a new approach, telling the truth. He explained how He had managed to poison quite a few important Guild members and how He had ended up on this Trek. She laughed ......... this was something new to Dibbler as usually all He had got from Women was a slap in the face or the cold shoulder. Maybe being honest had its good points.........
Half a glass later the food arrived piping hot, trays of fresh Veg and a Whole Chicken golden roasted was placed between them.
"Are you as Leg or Breast man Max?" asked Jenny.
Dibbler reddened "Pardon ?" He replied..... She gave Him a coy look and giggled. "The Chicken....." She said.
"Ah, may I ..... " He responded and cut the Meat.
They ate.... the World went on about them, but they were oblivious to it in their own little world. The food, the Wine and the company were all they needed....
At the other end of the table the Librarian consumed Two whole Chickens, a platter of Fish Three trays of Potatoes and Two boats of rich thick gravy. Leonard lay with His head in His plate dead drunk to the world....
The Night went on, Jenny paid a visit to the ladies room so Dibbler had half of an hour to speak to the others. Leonard
had awoke, and was ravenously hungry having missed out on the food. He went to the Bar and returned with Five bags of salty nuts and Pork by products.........
"Here are the Keys to the room, I have made other arrangements tonight so don't wait up" He said.
Jenny eventually returned, and said Her good nights to the other two, then She and Dibbler went up the stairs.
"My head hurts, and I am starving... this this normal after an drink?" asked Leonard.
"Well I don't know why people do this to them self, I fancy another though......." He had scoffed the packaged Bar food and had a mouth drier then the Dehydrated Desert mid summer. He found half a glass of Wine left by Dibbler and downed it.
"Plans for tomorrow, we can go on but it means converting the flying Ship. I have an idea. I have a pair skids that we can attach to the Hull, in case of having to land on ice,and I think that if we can get the Engine running again, and that is if we can get some swamp Dragons, we cad drive the Ship across the straight to Klatch, the skids will lift the hull off the surface of the waves and our speed should be sufficient enough to allow us to make up for lost time. Or we can turn back like Mr Dibbler has ......."
The librarian listened but said nothing, he looked downcast.
"Nothing We can do for now so lets retire to our room and in the Morning make your decisions..."
The went to the room, the Librarian then Leonard made use of the on suit Bathroom and then settled into the beds, the Librarian in the double. Leonard turned the gas tap on the light and the room settled into darkness.........
"Good Night Librarian" said Leonard.
"Ooook oook oook" said the Librarian.
Then there was a rhythmic knocking sound on the wall,as if a headboard were being bumped against the it.......... Leonard and the Librarian bust in to fits of laughter, good Night Mr Dibbler they both thought................
------------ Back in the Vessel ----------------------
The morning arrived, Five thirty and the Cockerel sung out, setting off all the other Birds in the Village. no one could possibly sleep past sun up here.
Leonard and the Librarian freshened up and made their way down to the breakfast table. Dibbler was not there to their surprise.
"I expect He has gone to see about a ticket Home........ what do you want to do?"
The Librarian was chewing a slice of buttered toast, He put down the Mug of Tea that looked quite small in His hand and replied "Ooook oooook oooook. Ooook ook!" He speared a sausage with His fork and continued to eat.
"Good that's settled then, on we go. I will pop up to the our room and get what little we have together, must not forget the Box! Mr Dibbler said He will settle up with the Keep..... when you are ready we should make our way to the Ship and start the conversion."
They said farewell to the Keep and made their way down to the shore. As they approached they found a number of young lads, the foreman and Dibbler at work on the Ship........ the wings had been resurfaced, Leonard's modifications fitted as per His drawings and Dibbler having painted over the ad on the side of the Hull was writing the name "The Jenny" in bright gold paint.
"Uhhhh......... gentlemen.......... what's happened? Have we won the local lottery or some thing... ?" asked Leonard perplexed.
"Na, but I was chatting to Jenny last night and the cook at the Inn is the Wife of our Foreman here. Their Twenty Fifth Wedding party is in a few months and She is Klatchian. As a surprise the Foreman wants to give Her some special spices that you can't get this side of the Sea, well not at a reasonable price." said Dibbler.
"And you cut a deal?" asked Leonard.
"Right, He will do the work free if we collect the Spices for Him. I can get them in the open Market in Gebra" said Dibbler.
"Swamp Dragon's! We need Dragons..." Leonard spoke.
"All sorted, in the box in the Hull. You put them in the Booster tubes and let me get on with this......." said Dibbler as He turned back to His painting.
The modifications looked fine, a length of thin copper tube with small holes drilled ever inch or so was fastened to the leading edge of each wing. The tubes lead back to a cowling over the Engine that channeled Heat to the wings, no more chance of Ice forming on the Wings again.
Also driven by another length of chain from the Engine was a small fan that would force Air into trunking to which three rubberised lengths of hose led. At the end of the hoses small tin bowls that fitted over the mouths of Dibbler and Leonard and over the nose of the Librarian were fixed.Each had a rubber band fixed to it so to keep the masks in place..... Compressed Air should fix the problem of dizziness at altitudes.
They worked until midday, by then the repairs were completed. A large crowd had gathered at the shore to see if the Ship could indeed get into the air or would crash and burn............
"Gentlemen please insert you ear plugs" Leonard said and then "But before you do Mr Dibbler may I ask why you have had a change of Heart? I would have thought you were either going back to anhk or were going to remain here with Jenny........"
"I'll be back soon enough, don't you worry about that.Now if I were to return to the city I before the voyage is over I will have to face Vetinari, I think I would be interned for quite some time at best and the idea of not being able to see my new Love would drive me insane. Before I met Her I could face the idea of imprisonment but not now.... my choices have been made for my..........." Dibbler replied.
"Ho yes... obvious when you think about it......... now ear plugs in, we know the routine, so off we jolly well go!"
Dibbler opened the tap on the Tank, flipped the Dragon pods over the sides and Leonard pushed the little mirror lever. Whoooosh........... as they cleared the wave tops Dibbler looked back and saw Jenny stood at the end of the jetty waving a white damp handkerchief at Him..........
As the Vessel gained height the sound of Dibbler rummaging in the locker under the Engineering seat could be heard, the a few Minutes later the sound of frying Bacon, Eggs and Sausages........
"Hungry Mr Dibbler?" Leonard asked.
"Starving, I missed out on the Breakfast as I was busy chasing around organising things.... any one else want some?"
He inquired as the pan cooked away.
"Ooooook!" responded the librarian as He made His way to the rear of the Ship.
The sound of Two chaps squabbling over the last drippings in the pan made Leonard chuckle to Him self. Yesterday they were all doom and gloom but now they were a team again. He felt elated.........
As Dibbler sat consuming the dripping with a small loaf He happened to glance to the left side of the Ship. There appeared to be a slightly darker patch of Sea just inside the two peninsula that nearly enclosed the Circle Sea.......
"Have you seen Leshp, look you can make the outline of it from up here!" Leonard and the Librarian both looked over the side, and there it was a shadow in the waters.
"I have a theory about that land, have you ever noticed how the circle Sea is......... well circular, in Nature the Ank should have carved a ravine or delta at the shore, the roundness of the Sea is an enigma. I think that a long time ago, even before the original Wizard tower that the city was built around was constructed a large lump of frozen ice crashed at the shore line and excavated a crater in the manor that the craters on the moon were made. The Sea then rushed into the hollow left and thus the circle Sea was formed"
"Whaw.... that's some deep thinking for sure........ makes some kind of sense too" interjected Dibbler.
"What's more I think at the centre of the ice was the pumice rock, it survived the impact intact, safe inside the ice block. And I also theorise that the strange creatures that are found down there were brought here frozen inside the ice block........ no where else on the Disc are things like the Curious Squid found.. I truly believe that they are Alien to this world!"
"Corr, that may explain why they taste so foul...... ya sound about right..." Dibbler said.
The Librarian was furiously making notes in the margins of the map He was in the process of drawing.......... this was going to be one special book!
The ship continued the assent, Dibbler stowed the cooking utensil away and they donned the breathing masks, and because it was getting chilly they wrapped up in some blankets that Jenny had been kind enough to donate for the trip. The wings remained ice free and their speed seamed to increase with altitude.
"The thinner Air is easier for the Ship to push trough, I got the idea that it may be better to fly high from watching migrating Birds......... I try to copy nature as She has already worked out most of the problems already... but I don't understand how the Ducks fly so high without freezing or choking from lack of Air... maybe the Feathers have an insulatory nature to them........ I may try stuffing some feathers in a sack and using it as a blanket on cold Nights when we return home."
Dibbler took up the seat at the co-pilots station and the Librarian went to the Engineers seat.
The view was spectacular at the front, the panorama of the Disc spread before them like a model of the world, this is how the Gods must feel...........
Dibbler looked back to the Librarian, from one of the many storage lockers the Librarian had found a Kettle and some water and some Tea.........
"Lovely, plenty of Sugar in mine and not to Milky"
"No sugar in mine" said Leonard.
The librarian brewed up. It did not take long for the water to come to the boil in the red hot exhaust and he added the Tea to the pot let it stew then poured the Tea to the requested formulas ......
Moving with exaggerated care the Librarian carried the Mugs forward.
"Aggh, it is Luke warm" Said Dibbler as He sipped the Tea...
"Yes mine too"
"Ooook?" said the Ape, He made his way back and looked at the remaining dregs simmering away in the pot... He then poked a finger in the boiling fluid........ it was Luke warm.......
"How strange, it appears the higher we get the lower the boiling point of water.... better not get to high or the tears in our eyeballs may erupt in a frenzy of gasses!" said Leonard as He leveled off.