On Ladd’s family’s first night at their hut after he left for London to apprenticeship with the small man, there was a sense of emptiness, but a lot of activity. Archer and Knowledge knew Mercy would be inconsolable without her brother. Archer arranged, with Lord Percival, to provide Mercy with a small spaniel dog to be her companion. He brought home the puppy that night. Mercy was wild with pleasure but only after she had talked with Knowledge who reassured her that Ladd would be home and would still be her brother. Mercy didn’t mention her encounter with her betrothed, Smith, to her mother.
While Mercy played with her new puppy, Knowledge took Archer aside since they needed to have a conversation. About that time, Smith, Mercy’s betrothed, walked up and asked to speak with Archer. Archer agreed and Knowledge withdrew to the hut, feeling as if she and her husband never had a moment to speak in private.
“Archer, I would like to speak to you about Mercy,” Smith began.
“What about her, Smith?”
“I know she is dreadfully upset that Ladd has gone off to make his way. I would like to help her. I would like to go ahead and seal our union, marry Mercy,” Smith said.
Archer stared at the younger man for a few seconds and then said, “Smith, I know you are from a different land, but our custom in Farnsworth is for our young girls to remain betrothed for a year or even two. Mercy is too young and inexperienced to marry. You’ve only been betrothed a few months.”
There was something about Archer that made Smith not question him.
Archer went on, “I’m still raising Mercy. She’s only a child. I think I can comfort her quite well. Now, good evening.”
Archer turned and walked toward the hut and Smith had no choice but to leave. He was very unhappy. Archer told Mercy to bring her new puppy and come in with him since it was her bedtime. He had prepared a bed for the puppy by Mercy’s bed, much to her delight.
After Mercy went to bed, Knowledge told Archer she had to speak with him and he agreed. They went outside the hut and sat down in two chairs Knowledge always kept there for the family or guests.
“Archer, our family is about to expand.”
Archer looked at Knowledge quizzically.
“What do you mean?”
“I am with child, probably about three or four months along, Archer.”
“Knowledge,” Archer cried out. “How wonderful! I had thought our family was probably complete.”
“I’m so glad you’re happy about it. I was afraid you’d be upset,” Knowledge said.
“I am overcome with happiness, my love,” Archer said.
Knowledge, being very relieved, told Archer there was something else she needed to discuss.
“It’s been years since we’ve discussed this, Archer. There has been no reason until now…..and Ladd. Do you remember my grandmama? You met her and we talked about her.”
Archer laughed and said, “You mean one of the most famous witches ever to live in England? How could I possibly forget your Grandmama? You also got your beauty from her.”
“Thank you, Archer. I don’t think you’re quite making the connection.”
Before Archer could speak, there was a roll of thunder and the air shimmered in front of them. There, in the shimmer, was a beautiful old woman smiling at the couple.
“Hello my darling granddaughter.”
“Grandmama, you’ve come to visit,” Knowledge cried.
“Only for a moment. My powers are not what they used to be. I have to make things clear to your young man.”
“Hello, Archer. Is your head made of wood, my son? Ladd has just felt the calling to be a sorcerer. What, pray tell, am I?”
Archer said, “Because you were a witch…..is that why……I see…..that’s why Ladd was chosen?”
“It’s in his heritage, in his genes,” the old woman replied. “Of course it’s why he was chosen. He already has the power. He just doesn’t know it.”
Her image was fading and she quickly said goodbye and was gone.
Knowledge remarked, laughing, “I can’t believe she can still do that. She has been dead for so long now.”
“Now I understand about Ladd,” Archer said.
Thank you, Sue!