No hard feelings…
A Welshman, Scot and Englishman are walking when they come across a lantern and a genie pops out and grants them one wish each.
The Scot says: “I am a sheep herder, like my dad before me. I want my country to be full of lovely sheep farms.” Whoosh, and so it was.
The Englishman was amazed and says: “I want a wall around England to keep those damned Scots and Welsh out.” Bang, there was a wall around England.
The Welshman says: “Tell me more about this wall.”
The genie says: “It’s 200 feet high, 100 feet thick, it goes all around England, and nothing can get in or out.”
The Welshman says: “Fill it with water.”
Tragen – his long white hair and beard brushed immaculately – woke Aidan the next morning, the second morning of the storm. Stepping over Anders in the narrow berth, a very small room hidden behind a heavy curtain in the captain’s cabin, he accidentally disturbed the cabin boy.
Anders, despite lack of sleep, awoke highly animated. He never missed Aidan creating magic whether it was with or without permission. Tragen, having given up years before in his attempts to separate the boys – the two could never understand that they could not do everything together – assented to Anders accompanying them to his cabin to hear Aidan’s instructions.
Augusta, bleary-eyed, opened the door into the dark passageway and bumped into them on her way to check the condition of her lady-in-waiting. Augusta was once again wearing the same shirt and britches from the night before, although soiled and crumpled they were, nevertheless, very comfortable if a little smelly. With her shoulder length, black hair brushed and tied back at the nape in nautical fashion and barefoot, she was the very epitome of a young sailor.
‘Where are you going, Milord?’ she asked pompously.
‘Just along to my cabin, Highness.’
‘Oh, you’re going to give Aidan his instructions, aren’t you?’ Augusta asked excitedly, her pomposity vanishing instantly.
‘I am, Highness.’ Tragen sighed. He had managed to creep past her cabin without disturbing her on his way to fetch the boys, but he would have had to be very lucky indeed to evade her on the return.
‘Can you wait just a moment while I see if Lady Cornelia requires anything? I would love to see at first-hand how wizards work.’ She added as an afterthought, just to please the wizard . ‘I promise not to interfere in any way, Milord.’
The wizard raised one eyebrow disbelievingly. ‘You will have to hurry, the captain is to join us and he cannot be away from his quarterdeck for too long.’
Her incapacitated lady in waiting was still sleeping fast, her vast bosom rising and falling rhythmically as she lay on her back snoring, the high sides of the violently swinging cot keeping her safe from falling to the deck. As Aidan followed his mentor into their shared accommodation, Augusta ran from her cabin and grabbed Beatrix, who was trying to extricate Augusta’s blankets from beneath the bunk, how they had ended up under there was a mystery that Beatrix would never comprehend.
‘Come on, quickly, they are deciding on what magic they will use,’ Augusta ordered.
Beatrix, electrified, seized their still damp tunics from the previous night; donning them they reached the doorway of Aidan’s cabin, just ahead of the burly figure of Locklear.
‘If you will excuse me, Highness, I believe, in this case, that I should enter before you,’ Hugo said, rather brusquely.
Augusta turned and her eyes widened at the obvious fatigue in the man’s face. He was wet from top to toe and looked as if he had been up all night, which he had. Hugo Locklear never slept in bad weather. She immediately moved to allow the stressed man access to the small room and crowded after him into the little space left at the door.
Tragen looked up from his chair below the porthole. ‘I’m sorry, Hugo, but there will be no privacy to discuss these matters.’
‘They will know soon enough, my friend. So…you have rested?’
‘Aye, little enough I fear, I have been thrown about on my bed most of the night, I hate the top bunk, but it will have to suffice. The storm, is it any worse?’
‘Wizard, can you not feel it beneath your feet?’ his weariness making him irascible. ‘The wind has increased enormously; we are no longer hove-to we are being driven astern, it is only the sea-anchors that are holding us steady. If we do not turn about soon it will be too late—the Grim will have turned turtle.’ He rubbed the exhaustion from his eyes with his huge knuckles. ‘Whatever action you have to take, do it now. I have every available man, sailor and marine, bailing and pumping and repairing sprung boards constantly. We have to ease the strain on the hull immediately and the only possible way is to run before this wind.’
‘Very well, Hugo, as you say we have no other option,’ he turned to his apprentice. Aidan was standing there feeling very guilty; it was his accident that had deprived his master of a good night’s sleep.
‘We do not have much time to accomplish the deed, my boy, so listen carefully. I will attempt a shield enchantment to calm the seas forward of the ship and curtail the worst of the wind. The spell will of necessity be one of the most powerful I have ever conjured and it will sorely tax me.’
He paused and studied his apprentice worriedly, Aidan still seemed traumatized. The actions of the day before had exacted their toll on his slight body, and sleep had not restored his vigour. His face was drawn and his dark eyes sunk deeply beneath his eyebrows. His body, though, was a lot stronger than its lack of weight implied. Tragen sighed; he needed his apprentice’s strength this morning, for if they failed the penalties would be dire for all.
Tragen resumed, ‘I, of course, will use my staff, but great concentration and power will be required to form the shield. As such I will not be able to create the light needed for the captain to know when to turn the ship. You will have to stand with me and cast that particular spell. You must ensure the light is of sufficient strength, not only to show him the shield in front of us, he must also see the surface of the ocean. Do you understand, Aidan?’
‘I do,’ and he inhaled deeply. ‘But where will we stand so that he’ll see us? I know the obvious place is in the bows, but standing there will be too dangerous, won’t it?’
‘Alas, Aidan, we must place ourselves in grave peril—it has to be in the bows we stand. However,’ and he turned to the ship’s master, ‘we will need ropes to tether ourselves to the foremast and sailors to aid us in this. Hugo, how many men can you spare?’
Locklear stared at his friend, his face more drained than ever. ‘I am afraid, Tragen, I can spare no-one to help you. If I remove even one from their present duties the ship will founder.’
‘By the Gods, Hugo, you have four hundred men aboard this ship—we must have help! We have to be fully engrossed on the enchantments…we may need to be physically held in place.’
‘I know the Grim’s complement, Tragen; I don’t need you to tell me.’ He tugged at his beard angrily and sighed. ‘I’m sorry; I know what you are going to say. If you are unable to cast the spells necessary for us to turn, the ship will come to grief anyway. I say this, my old friend; if I take any men from pumping, bailing and patching the hull, we will sink as we turn. Tragen, you and Aidan must manage on your own.’
‘We can help,’ Anders interrupted, shocked at hearing his uncle quarrel with the wizard.
Tragen and Hugo gazed in consternation.
Anders continued. ‘I know it will be dangerous, Milord, I have been at sea long enough to know what can happen to us there. But none of us can stand to one side while Aidan and you risk your lives for us,’ he licked lips that had suddenly dried. ‘We’re all in danger, Milord, and we’re the only ones who are free to help you although you may think we’re too young. I promise you we’ll obey you in whatever way you…’
‘Please, Milord,’ urged Augusta, as Anders ran out of words. ‘We are the only help you can get. I assure you, we will follow your orders without question.’
It was Beattie’s quiet remarks though, that swung Tragen, helping him make the decision. ‘We have the right to help save the ship, Milord. We cannot stand aside and do nothing…you do not have the right to deny our aid.’
‘What say you, Hugo? I believe the young lady is correct, hey! And Aidan and I will be in desperate need; can you supply us with the necessary ropes?’
‘Aye, man,’ he said, reluctantly agreeing. ‘The bo’sun is working at the sail locker beneath the foc’s’le he’ll pass them to you. But beware Tragen, if the prince ever discovers that we intentionally placed his daughter in grave peril…’
‘Don’t worry on that score, Captain Locklear. I am in grave danger anyway,’ interrupted Augusta, ‘and that is what I will tell him if needs be. He will agree that it is my duty to help in any way I can.’
‘Very well, I will return to my post on the quarterdeck now. I wish you good fortune; you carry the prayers of us all. Aidan,’ he turned to the boy standing silently by, ‘please keep in mind—I will need the light to be as bright as possible for as long as it takes us to turn about.’ Saying that, he departed with one long and intense look at them all, it was as if he was trying to implant their images on his memory.
Before Locklear had reached his companionway, Tragen addressed the four youths in no uncertain terms. ‘I must emphasize this point although you have already promised. You have no option but to obey me instantly whatever the command, all our lives may depend on it. Do you understand?’
He put his hand on Aidan’s shoulder to reassure the haggard apprentice wizard. ‘We will tether ourselves on long lines to the foremast. Once the bows are safe you and I will move as far forward as possible. That is where the main power of the conjuration will be created. There you will stand to one side of me and conjure your light. Remember—raise the illumination high enough to enable those on the quarterdeck to see as much as possible. While you are at that endeavour, I will invoke the shield with my staff. Beware my movements, for as the ship turns I will turn the opposite way and increase the strength of the spell to cover the increasing aspect of the ship facing the storm. The greatest danger will arise when the Grim is beam on to the wind, should we fail at that point then the ship will broach.’
He smiled encouragingly at his young apprentice, whilst the others, beginning to understand now what they had let themselves in for, grew more apprehensive.
‘I do not expect to fail; we know each other too well for there to be any misunderstanding between us. But if events do not go as planned, do not attempt to mindmeld with me. It may prove fatal to distract me at that moment. Do you understand, Aidan?’
‘Aye,’ he nodded.
Tragen turned and spoke to the others. ‘It will be your tasks to ensure our safety as best you can. As there are three of you, Anders being the biggest will ward me on his own, you two ladies together, will protect Aidan. But I must stress, you are to take great care of your own safety as well. Do not under any circumstances place yourselves in a position of extreme risk just to rescue us. And in this you will obey me,’ he ordered.
They nodded silently. Augusta made to question Tragen, but seeing the steely glint in his eyes she recalled what Beatrix had said the day before. Unexpectedly afraid of him, she changed her mind and stilled her tongue.
Tragen and Aidan led the way from the cabin turning for’ard in the passage. The old wizard tucked his staff into his belt, the knuckle against his neck, and quickly climbed the ladder up to the hatch, Aidan already on the bottom rungs before he reached the top. Tragen removed the bolt and recalling that the last time he’d lifted the cover he’d nearly lost it, took especial care this time. But even then the wind caught it and almost dragged it out of his hands.
The fury of the tempest assailed them immediately. The wind no longer howled but screamed its rage and the rain stung bitingly. The waves swooped by horrendously high and frighteningly fast, a wall of iron-grey hard water. White spume formed an almost continual sheet as it was blown from crest to crest way above their heads. And the crackling of the lightning distorted their sight, the horizon, when they could see it, just feet away.
Aidan and Anders closed the hatch and then, clinging to the lifeline that stretched fore and aft, they all moved forward passing the mainsail still piled at the foot of the mainmast. Resting a moment to catch their breath they continued on past the redundant galley pipe to the foc’s’le steps either side of the foremast. They clutched desperately at the slippery line, expecting at any moment to be blown, or washed, overboard.
Trumper looked round at their arrival his face expressing his surprise at seeing the youngsters; nevertheless he reached inside the sail locker doors and retrieved ropes for them all. The bo’sun, his normally ruddy face now ashen, stared apprehensively at the party struggling slowly up the steps on to the forecastle.
Tragen, bareheaded, his beard blowing back over his shoulders, tied one end of his rope around his waist and, gauging the length as best he could, he secured the other end to the foremast, leaving enough play for him to reach the bowsprit. He waited for the others to do the same.
They were battered in mind and body when they reached the small bow deck and found the conditions there absolutely appalling. Standing in waist-high water on occasions, the bows almost continually underwater, the incessant clamour beating at their ears, they found it impossible to rest even for a moment. The wizard stood with his back pressed against the foremast his eyes closed, his legs braced on the heaving deck, and he raised his staff vertically in front of him and faced directly into the wind. Beatrix and Augusta hugged the foc’s’le rail squinting through eyes impossible to open wide while Aidan joined Anders in holding Tragen steady.
They all watched the old wizard, only his lips moving in the gloom and it was a long time before any change was detected…an easing of the pressure on their ears followed by a lessening of the wind tugging at them. Then a low rhythmic cadence rose above the gale, and as the mantra increased in strength, the beat of the rain and the wash of the waves across the bows gradually declined and amazingly ceased altogether.
The youngsters stared about them at the dream world in which they all of a sudden found themselves. All around the ship the tempest raged as before, the crests of the waves too high to see, the rain sweeping past in sheets, but none of it had any impact in the bows. They stood as if in a dry hole in the ocean, the deck at their feet, clear of waves for the first time in two days. They waited; preparing to carry out the tasks allotted them, the vista unbelievable, their senses dumbfounded.
Tragen walked forwards toward the bowsprit as Anders carefully paid out the rope tied to the wizard’s waist. Aidan accompanied his master and both stepped into the bows of the beleaguered ship. All was black before them, the enchanted shield, invisible to the naked eye, also hid the lightning flashes ahead of the ship. And then Aidan conjured his light.
The wizard’s apprentice sang out loud and clear and full of confidence. At once, a brilliant white light formed and grew ever larger in the boy’s outstretched hands. An incandescent ball of light, blindingly beautiful in its brilliance, smelling powerfully of lavender, and the bow of the ship was lit up as if it was noon in August.
Tragen glanced at his apprentice and again wondered fleetingly, as he had done many times in the past, why Aidan’s spells always gave off the aroma of the bluish-purple flowers.
Augusta gasped and blinked, blinded by the brightness of the light. Recovering quickly she and Beatrix watched with astonishment as Aidan seemingly grew larger and they gripped his line even firmer.
Anders though did not take his eyes from Tragen when the magician’s voice grew louder and deeper in tone, as Aidan’s softer tones gelled with his.
Locklear, high up on his quarterdeck, sighed when he saw the light come up, the sight of the bows and the sea just ahead, an enormous relief. Hopper immediately ordered the sea-anchors raised and as men readied a stormsail, needed to steer the ship, the Grim appeared to breathe its appreciation, its happiness, at being relieved of the tremendous pressure of the storm at the bows.
Locklear shouted to the four men now on the helm. ‘Prepare yourselves my beauties, we are about to find out if you are seamen or landlubbers.’
Talbot smiled grimly and grasped the wheel even tighter as did Nkosi and Bertram. The fourth man, Leash, his mind full of schemes to ensure the demise of the apprentice wizard, wished ill on them all, though he was very careful to hide his thoughts from his fellows. It did not seem to register with him that if Tragen and Aidan failed then his own death was assured—or maybe it wasn’t, he wasn’t sure if he’d be allowed to die.
In the bow the light increased, its brilliance reflecting off the air forward of them. Tragen’s shield became visible, a haze similar to that of a current of warm air, shimmering before them.
The wizard raised his staff and held the pointed base in his fists. Holding the stave aloft on outstretched arms, Tragen quickly glanced at Aidan alongside him and winked.
Aidan laughed, thoroughly enjoying himself; he was at ease performing magic with his “father” and he couldn’t be happier.
The wizard resumed his chant, his total concentration ensuring the growth of the shield. Gripping his staff even tighter, he sang louder still and lowered the knuckle at the top of the rod until he was pointing it directly ahead of him. The knuckle glowed a deep carmine, and the shield advanced further forward and grew ever more until it formed a barrier, dense and unyielding, across the expanse of ocean and sky before them.
The ship commenced its turn slowly as if waking from a daze, nearly toppling Anders, Augusta and Beatrix, all struggling to maintain their foothold on the sloping deck. They watched the unearthly spectacle taking place in front of the wizard, a sight so implausible that their brains refused to take it in. But they knew they’d never forget the sight – if they lived long enough.
Tragen, stood rigidly in the bow, as if he was an extension of the boards of the foc’s’le, a part of the substance of the ship. His single-minded attention focused on the enchantment, the energy he was using in holding the staff at arm’s length seeming not to worry him at all.
Aidan, in creating a spell of a vastly lower class, was far more relaxed and he took the time to look around the ship. He studied the seas below the bows, felt the lightness of the breeze, witnessed the small ripples playing on the surface of the ocean and scanned the anxious faces of his friends. He smiled at them all before returning to attend his master. Aidan’s strength was only needed to hold the light aloft and to ensure the illumination was sufficient for the captain’s needs. But, on examining his master closely, he became concerned at the exhaustion he could see building in the wizard, a fatigue that was not apparent to anyone else. This was the most powerful spell Tragen had ever conjured and, however much the wizard had prepared, there was bound to be a serious depletion in his stamina and repercussions on his health.
The ship came about slowly to larboard, and Tragen turned the other way to continue facing east directly into the wind. At the same time, he held his staff level and began waving it from side to side so that the edges of the shield widened to conceal the body of the Grim.
It seemed forever before the turn reached its most critical stage, the point at which the vessel lay broadside to the wind. Tragen was now staring directly over the starboard side of the ship, the storm gnashing at the borders of the spell. Tragen’s face was a bath of sweat although his voice remained strong and Aidan’s light remained steady and bright in the palms of his hands, his feet like his master’s, seemingly stuck to the deck.
Augusta, Beatrix and Anders were beginning to relax, their attention waning, when Tragen all of a sudden cried out and staggered back. He fell to his knees releasing the staff to fall alongside him. Immediately the shield shook and began to fade.
Aidan, although every bone in his body had warned him to expect something to go wrong, stared in disbelief for moments. He turned quickly for his helpers, and knowing his instincts to be correct, beckoned to Augusta.
‘Quick, come here.’
And Augusta accustomed now to obeying his orders walked forward and stood alongside him not knowing what to expect as she stared at Tragen on his knees.
‘Don’t be afraid, Augusta,’ using her name for the first time without either realizing it. ‘Hold up your hands like me.’
And she raised her hands in front of her. He stared deeply into her green eyes, his own conveying his trust and placed the ball of enchanted light into her hands.
‘There is no need for fear, Augusta; you have magic, just hold the light. Hold it high for the captain; it will not harm you. Tragen needs me he is in great danger.’
Augusta, shaking like a leaf, raised the light with no second thoughts all her previous misgivings about him forgotten forever. She lifted the light high and wondered—what magic? And what was the strange feeling in her chest, was it the magic or was it Aidan?
Aidan shouted at Anders and Beatrix. ‘Protect Augusta! Keep well away from Tragen and me.’
The cabin boy and the lady’s companion stared at each other, bewildered and fearful. They did not know what had happened to the wizard, or how Augusta could have the magic to hold the light, but both remembered Tragen’s admonishment not to distract him if there was trouble. They watched their friend approach the wizard, and then Aidan’s last words registered with Beatrix. She was appalled; how did he have the gall to call her mistress by her chosen name, not even she did that?
Aidan reached the old man, kneeling, holding his head in his hands his staff forgotten for the moment lying on the deck against his foot, its runes pulsating brightly. He stood behind his mentor; staring down at him intently he placed his hands over Tragen’s.
‘Master, what’s wrong?’ and receiving no answer he continued even more forcefully. ‘Come back, Master.’ Again there was no response, Aidan put his forehead to the top of the wizard’s head and repeated the mindmeld. ‘Master, come back, please’ he begged.
Ignoring the express instructions given him earlier, he searched frantically for his master’s consciousness and unintentionally spoke aloud. ‘I have to find you, Master, forgive me for my disobedience…I…I don’t know how else to help you.’
Anders started forward acutely worried, he’d never seen his friend in this much of a panic before. But Beatrix held him back, her faith in Aidan beyond question.
‘Leave him be Anders, he knows what he’s doing—trust him,’ she using similar words to those used by Anders the day before.
They stood at the rail afraid to take their eyes from the two wizards. But the storm began encroaching on the ship again as the shield weakened, small waves appearing, the wind rising blowing straight into their faces.
‘Quickly, Aidan,’ shouted Augusta, in alarm, taking her eyes from the ball of light in her hands. ‘We’re going to broach.’
Aidan glanced up at her and ceased his mindmeld. With a heavy sickness deep in the pit of his stomach, he stared around, at a complete loss; despairing, he had no idea how to contact his master.
‘Heal him, Aidan,’ shouted Beatrix intuitively.
At his wits’ end he latched on to her suggestion; he again turned to the wizard and gripped his master’s hands even tighter. Shutting out all outside influences, totally engrossed in his task, he achieved success almost immediately. Tragen, waking from the trance shook Aidan’s hands from his head.
‘What happened?’ Aidan asked shaking with relief. ‘We lost each other and I…I was so scared.’
Tragen felt the wind in his hair and swiftly realizing their predicament, grabbed his staff. ‘Later! I need your energy my boy mine is all but spent. Assist me, hold my staff with me.’
Shock pierced Aidan. He had never even touched the staff before. In fact, it had been hammered into him over the years that it was sacrosanct; he was never to as much as place a fingernail on it. He looked at his mentor, frightened witless.
‘You want me,’ and he swallowed audibly, ‘to actually touch your staff?’
Tragen stared at Aidan quickly comprehending his fear. ‘Aye, my boy, you have incredible power…you have the strength to wield this staff with me. Haven’t I just felt the immense energy in your hands? Your healing power is more than enough to sustain you; my staff cannot hurt you now.’
Tragen, with Aidan standing close, held the base of the staff horizontally in their hands and the knuckle once again faced the tempest. The shield strengthened instantly, the ocean calmed and the shimmering of the enchantment was again lit up at the bows as Augusta once more held the light aloft.
Locklear who had nearly given up hope when he saw Tragen fall, gazed on the ocean once more, a gentle swell on its surface. He at once renewed his efforts and those of his crew at the helm. The long ship came about slowly but surely, and with its stern facing the wind at last, the stormsail bellying full, the great vessel flew from its tormentor. The crew fell to the deck wherever they were stationed, gasping for breath, the tension of the last hours leaving them trembling. They had no strength for cheering.
Tragen held the shield in place until the ship was safely on its way…to where was debatable. He eventually lowered the staff and Aidan reluctantly relinquished his hold. Gradually the shield dissipated, the tempest resuming its attack on the ship, but this time at its stern. The occupants of the bows, now sheltered a little by the upper structure of the ship, collapsed exhausted to the deck, all that is except Augusta. Tragen, his head down inhaling deeply and hoarsely was drained beyond measure. Aidan, his bones trembling to their core because of the magic he’d encountered in the staff, now understood how much he didn’t know of the art. Anders and Beatrix, glad it was all over, sitting shoulder to shoulder, holding hands their backs against the rail, sodden to the skin taking comfort from each other’s nearness, neither daring to acknowledge it.
And Augusta, her long black hair sticking wildly to her face and neck, standing with the light in her hands, mesmerized by the magic and wanting more.
Aidan lifted his head and smiled up at her. His prince’s daughter, much his age and much his height…slim and very attractive, her emerald eyes reflecting the wonder he often felt when conjuring spells.
‘Augusta,’ he said quietly, disturbing her reverie. ‘I had better extinguish the light now.’
She looked down at him. ‘How come you passed this to me? I have always thought only those with magic could sustain a spell,’ she was completely enthralled. ‘I have never made magic in my whole life!’
Aidan rose to stand in front of her. ‘You are right. But then I remembered when I fell on the quarterdeck yesterday, you caught me by my belt and held me. Your strength was far greater than it should have been, no girl should have been able to halt my slide into the sea. And then I saw it in your eyes—magic! That’s why I passed the spell to you,’ he smiled wearily. ‘How you have magic now I don’t know, but I suppose we’ll find out…in time.’
‘I really have magic?’
At his nod she gave a great beaming grin and stared at the ball of light in her hands. ‘I adore magic, Aidan!’
He laughed. ‘So do I…so do I,’ and Aidan, making small intricate finger movements, extinguished the light, but only in her hands.
Her eyes continued to shine brilliantly.
‘You will show me more?’ She asked eagerly, grasping his hands and ignoring everyone else, ‘please, Aidan.’
Tragen interrupted. ‘Be careful, my boy, magic in a woman has ensnared many a wizard.’ He paused to catch his breath, raking his long white hair from his face. ‘I am confident though, that you will discover how she comes to the ability.’
He turned his head to include Augusta. ‘Wizards and Adepts are always born with their skills—always! I have never known magic precipitously appear in someone who has never been able to display such ability previously.’
Hesitating, he again spoke, solely to his apprentice. ‘When you come to teach her make sure you start with the small conjurations, and remember—no showing off! Be vigilant, and above all, show her infinite care. I do not know if her father would wish her to know our craft. No wizard has ever gained a throne so this may have untold consequences for Mantovar. Your training of her may have to cease when we return home. Until her father decides, her skill must be kept secret and yet she must be taught to control it. But the ability to pass on knowledge is another lesson an apprentice has to learn…it may as well start here.’
‘Yes! And you can carry on calling me by my chosen name,’ said Augusta, beaming at him, grinning simply for the reason that she felt absurdly happy, even though they and the Grim were still in grave danger, battered and threatened by an unearthly tempest from hell.
Say it slowly…
On a beautiful summer’s day, two English tourists were driving through Wales.
At Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch they stopped for lunch and one of the tourists asked the waitress: “Before we order, I wonder if you could settle an argument for us. Can you pronounce where we are, very, very, very slowly?”
The girl leaned over and said:
“Burrr… gurrr… King.”
Have a nice day!