Shaman of Stonewylde

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Book: Read Shaman of Stonewylde for Free Online
Authors: Kit Berry
and—’
    ‘Oh, don’t worry about that!’ she laughed again, tossing her tangle of hair. ‘I’m quite capable of dealing with any opposition.’
    Sylvie was talking to someone across the table but all the time trying to hear what was being said.
    ‘What are you intending to work on first?’ asked David eagerly. ‘Have you brought materials?’
    ‘Only sketch pads and pencils,’ Rainbow replied. ‘When I’m ready I’ll have canvases and my paints and brushes sent down. I’m planning on spending the first week just roaming about and catching up with everything. There’s so much to see!’
    ‘You’ll find it all very different now,’ Sylvie said stiffly, leaning across Yul.
    ‘Yes, I can see that,’ said Rainbow. ‘And it’s been so long – over thirteen years. I keep expecting to bump into Magus around every corner.’
    Sylvie was tight-lipped at this.
    ‘You’ll find that my husband is magus now and you won’t bump into
him
at every corner,’ she said.
    ‘We’d really like you to do some work with the children,’ said Dawn quickly. ‘As I said in my e-mails, David’s hoping to start a new project with—’
    ‘Good grief, I’m useless with children!’ Rainbow said with a throaty chuckle. ‘Don’t let me anywhere near kids – I can’t stand ’em.’
    Dawn frowned at this but David smiled encouragingly.
    ‘You’ll be great with them, Rainbow. And there’s one I especially want you to meet. I think the boy is destined to be a great artist and I’d like your opinion.’
    ‘Sure,’ said Rainbow. ‘But my real hope for this visit is to get a lot of sketching done and to start work on a series. I want to do an entire exhibition with the elements as the theme, and that’s just for starters. And I also want to catch ordinary Villagers going about their business, dressed in their quaint clothes and practising their crafts.’
    ‘We don’t call anyone “Villager” any more,’ said Yul sharply. ‘That’s all finished now.’
    ‘So what are they called then, all these people?’ She looked around artlessly. ‘Have you promoted everyone to Hallfolk?’
    ‘We’re all the folk of Stonewylde,’ said Sylvie, her heart thumping with annoyance. ‘As I said, I think you’ll find many things very different now. And you’d better be on your best behaviour too, because if there’s any trouble you’ll be asked to leave immediately.’
    Rainbow leaned over and her blue gaze raked Sylvie’s flushed face. Her eyes were wide with innocence but her lip curled derisively.
    ‘Well, I’d be very grateful if you’d take me under your wing, Sylvie, and make sure I stay on the straight and narrow path. You know I always was a bad girl and trouble is what I do best.’
    She scanned their affronted faces and threw back her head, roaring with laughter.
    ‘Oh come on – I’m only joking! This is the festival of spring – when are we going to start having some fun? Since when did Stonewylde become so deadly serious?’
    ‘Where’s our little Harebrain today?’ asked Gefrin later on, as he stood out on the Village Green with a tankard of cider in his hand. ‘I thought Mother said she’d be coming down to the Village today?’
    Sweyn shrugged. ‘She were at the Stone Circle this morning but I ain’t seen her since. Clip’s got her well and truly guarded.’
    ‘At least we don’t have to put up with her any more,’ said Gefrin, ‘and she’s not upsetting Mother.’ He was busy watching a group of girls hanging around by the duck pond.
    ‘Yeah, but she never did get her comeuppance after what she did at Imbolc,’ growled Sweyn, his red face as belligerent as ever. ‘We ain’t letting her off the hook just ‘cos Clip’s keeping her under lock and key. We told her we’d get her and we will. Imbolc was just the start of it. And where’s Jay today?’
    ‘He went off to get the crones,’ said Gefrin. ‘He’s got to help ’em down the lane. They want to join in the feast again

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