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.Something nuzzled her ankle, and she half tripped on, half sidestepped a border collie trying to snuffle its way nearer her crotch.'No.Get away.Bad dog,' she said, then hurried to her point.'It must be three in the afternoon by now, and it took us, what, over two hours getting here from the TARDIS? By the time we've found someone to help us and got back there it'll be too late to - Oh.' Her brain caught up and stopped her tongue.To her annoyance, the dog decided her little dance away from its persistent nose was an invitation to play and leapt up, planting both paws on her chest.'Get down!''Exactly,' the Doctor replied.He had found a tiny brush from somewhere and was making fine, almost Japanese strokes of black across the paper.Luckily most of the stains were on the back.'So if we're going to be staying here overnight, and freeing the TARDIS tomorrow, based on the need to cut down at least ten trees, then we need to find somewhere to stay, and to get that we need to have a grasp of the local coinage and mores.''How is - down - how are you going to - knock it off, mutt!' She turned her face from the big black tongue and shoved the beast hard.It immediately leapt up again, nearly toppling her backwards.'Robert? a woman screeched.The dog was grabbed by the collar and jerked, with a strangled yelp, off Anji.'Foul beast!' the woman cried.'Up to your tricks again, are you? I turn my back for five minutes -' She began to beat the dog mercilessly with a piece of knotted rope.The animal yelped louder and scuttled around in a circle still held by the scruff in the woman's other fist.Stop it,' Fitz cried, trying to get between the woman and the dog.'Stop it! Ow!' The clout came down on his shoulder and he dodged another blow.As her arm drew back, the Doctor caught it.'Stop this, right now.' The force of his grip caused her to drop the rope.He kept his fingers locked tight around her forearm, but she was too worked up to feel it.He shook her a little.'Enough.That's enough.The animal's done nothing to warrant this behaviour.''Really,' Anji said breathless with shock, 'nothing happened.He was only being playful -'The woman turned a sudden, suspicious gaze at Anji.'Oh, being playful, was he? I suppose the two of you have plans to meet up for more fun and games tonight? Leave off!' she cried at the Doctor, trying to shake loose from his grasp.Which proved not' too difficult as her statement had caused his grip to loosen considerably.'Now, Bella,' came a soothing voice from behind them.It was the fellow who'd been shovelling dung from a cart on to a mountain of it - not so very far away from them, unfortunately.He thrust his shovel into the mass and strolled towards them, wiping his hands on the front of his smock."These folks have only just arrived.Don't believe the girl knew Robbie at all from what I seen.'The woman released her hold on the dog and gave it a hard kick for good measure.'Back to the sheep, Robert.' The collie took a few slinking steps keeping his tail tucked well between his legs.He gave a fearful glance over his shoulder before spotting a path through the crowd and racing away.Bella tucked in the wisps that had escaped her kerchief in an effort to recover her dignity, but the colour was still high in her cheeks as she gave Anji a menacing glower.'Robert won't be leaving the house this night or any other to meet up with the likes of you, miss.'Anji gave a startled laugh.'What?''We've got two children, you know.Another on the way.None of you tarts care a whit about that, do you?'With that, she spun on her heel and marched off after Robert the dog.The three of them stared after her before Fitz ventured a tentative,'Did she say what I thought she said?''You mustn't mind Bella,' the dung-spreader said.'Poor woman had some trouble meeting her final task to break the spell upon Robert.Mind you, she's got herself a fine sheepdog by day, but as a husband he tends to stray when night comes.Some folks'll tell you it's his way of punishing her for failing, but… well, let's just say I knew Robbie before he was cursed [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]