The Many Adventures of Lady Jane Fairfax
Jane glanced behind her at the castle walls. The walls were a dark grey stone with green ivy climbing up the sides. The tower Jane had just escaped from was 1 of 4 ominously reaching for the blue sky. Oddly, even in the warm sunshine, this castle held no warmth or pleasant aura. It was dark, damp and grey. This cold unfriendly looking building didn't look as though anything would want to grow up it, but then as long as there is moisture, Ivy will grow anywhere.
This castle boasted of no gardens. It didn't bother itself with such frivolities or delights as that. The exterior was menacing, cold and austere.
There was a huge, very heavy drawbridge for crossing a revolting green stagnant moat.
The guards steadied themselves, in the window of the tower from which Jane had just jumped. Took their bows from their shoulders swiftly and took an arrow each from their sheaths, loaded up expertly into the quivers and fired! The arrows showered all around Tiratease and Jane. The Unicorn had anticipated and had already started to swoop into a dive. Further arrows quickly followed as Tiratease's speed and power increased. He swooped low and angled away from danger. Speed was their only weapon.
The unicorn soared effortlessly through the warm morning air. His beautiful cream feathery wings splayed, his mane blowing lightly in the breeze. Jane sat astride his back as he travelled with ease through the air. She gazed with tired eyes in wonder at the beautiful countryside beneath her.
Spread out beneath them like a huge patchwork quilt draped over the hills and lowlands were fields and meadows and various shades of green. Large and small, many square and some oblong. The fields were filled with various crops. Each field and meadow was separated by a hedgerow which in Jane's eyes looked like small thin brown lines. The meadows had cattle and sheep and horses grazing in them. Skirting part of the fields was a dark woodland. Snaking the scenery was a sparkling river. The river wide in places and then narrowing as it followed the hedgerow edges almost hidden by trees and hedgerows. It's position however was given away by the sun shining down. It's rays sparkling on the waters surface glistening tiny diamonds through the hedgerows.
Lovely thought Jane, she adored the countryside. 'Ok chaps' she murmured 'home again, home again, Fairfax Hall here we come!' 'I'm afraid not my lady' replied Tiratease. 'You father has heard of your capture and has insisted that we return you to Beaufort Hall immediately'.
'Excuse me?' cried Jane, her sapphire eyes flashing angrily. 'I will not be summonded by anyone!' Morty flew down and alighted by Jane's side. 'Jane,' he said, lookiing kindly at the irate figure sat beside him. 'You must understand that your Father was incredibly worried by the news of your capture and, naturally, he needs reassurance that you are safe. He loves you dearly and wishes to see you in person'. Jane calmed down immediately. She adored her Father and would do absolutely anything for him. She sighed heavily. 'Oh I suppose so! Very well. Tiratease, Beaufort Hall it is.
Beaufort Hall was many hours flight, so the 3 friends had rather a long journey ahead of them.
'My lady' added Tiretease, 'may I suggest that you get some rest now. We have a long journey ahead of us and you will do well to sleep now. Fear not, Morty will watch over you. You will not fall'. Jane had to admit, she was absolutely exhausted. Morty stood beside her. 'I will not allow anything to happen to you' he said looking down on Jane. 'I know you wouldn't darling Morty'. Jane gave the eagle an adoring smile. She adored her 2 friends will all of her heart.
Sir Mortimer stood proudly guarding Jane like a sentry. Jane felt very sleepy and the warmth of the morning sun touched her skin. Jane snuggled deep into Tiratease's soft, warm, cream feathers. The regular beat of his wings mesmerising. Jane's slender fingers and skin could feel the perfection, warmth and softness of the unicorn as she gradually closed her eyes and relaxed. The warm air played across her copper blonde hair.
The large muscular beast flew with gentle effortlessness over vast expanses of countryside. The friends passed rocky wildernesses filled with desolate rocky, jagged mountains and dark, imposing forests. They crossed deep dark inky lakes, then as they flew on, forests of a warmer nature. Lush intensely fragrant pine forests with herds of deer in the distance. They looked like ants moving slowly across stretches of green but the reality of it was herds of deer thundering across meadows.
Tiretease saw a formation of honking Canada geese to his right. 'Noisy lot!' he thought to himself as he flew passed. The beautiful V shaped formation communicating with one another as they flew.
Lady Jane looked so peaceful as she slept. He beautiful face relaxed in sleep. Jane's silky copper blonde hair fell untidily in her face, and tumbled across her slender neck and shoulders. Her eyes relaxed and closed. Jane's milky skin so beautifully smooth and soft, her mouth relaxed in a soft smile. Jane wasn't keen on her face to be honest. Her nose, she felt was fairly insignificant but the end of it tilted slightly making it rather pixie like. Jane had freckles on her nose, which incidentally she utterly hated! She wore a velvet dress of emerald green. The V shapes nack embraced Jane's shoulders following her neck. The ample bust of the dress was tightened as was the Medieaval fashion with a lace bodice. A golden belt encapsulated her tiny waist and the long green full skirts billowed down to her toes. Jane slept for hours.
Morty tirelessly and loyally kept constant watch over his beloved lady. Sir Mortimer loved Jane fiercely. They had been friends for many years and had stuck together through thick and thin through many adventures. Tiretease tirelessly flew on and on.
Jane eventually stirred in her sleep. 'ooh.... mmmm. ahh' She could feel the softness of warm downy feathers... She felt a warm breeze on her face and her hair blowing gently in the breeze was tickling her cheek. She opened her eyes. Sir Mortimer Flockhart stood like a senty beside her. Jane stretched her body. 'Ah my lady, you are awake. Did you sleep well? You have been asleep for hours'. Jane smiled. 'Oh Morty', she grinned, 'yes thank you, I slept beautifully.' 'That is splendid news my lady' said Tiretease. We are not too far from Beaufort Hall now.
Jane yawned, rubbed her eyes, stretched and sat up. The afternoon sunshine was warm on her face. Jane gazed at the countryside below her. All of the lands she explored as a child. Familiar, sparkling lakes. Jane had memories of swimming in these lakes with her Father. They had raced to see who could get in first and they would both yell with delight as the cold water splashed their legs as they ran in and plunged head first into the deep icy delicious water. The two could swim very well. Then afterwards would be a massive picnic in the nearby fields or Forests.
In the distance Jane saw a warm beautiful mountain range. Tiratease seemingly tireless for his beloved Lane Jane flew straight and true towards it. As they approached, fragrant pine forests madjestically draped the lower skirts of the moutain sides in a stunning velvety green. Tiretease flew low now and the sound of water thundering down the incredible waterfalls filled their ears. The water cascaded out of a large opening in the moutain side, dropping 150 feet to a beautiful pool below surrounded by moss covered rocks. The spray from which was a delicious icy sensation on Jane's face. Surrounding the waterfalls there were astonishly pretty mountain flowers whose delightful fragrance was intensified by the damp air. Tiratease flew up, up, up, and over the water falls. As he leveled out, another forest lay before them. The sunshine bathed the forest in a warm glow.
Just beyond the forest lay a wonderful friendly happy sight for Jane. The building alwys made her heart leap for joy. It's very walls were a warm comfort to her.
In the front were vast perfectly clipped gardens. Gardens which, as a child Jane had happily run up and down, skipping and giggling happily. Playing into the long warm summer's evenings with not a care in the world. The heavy scent of roses still strong in her memories.
Jane's favourite garden lay to the west of the Hall however. If as a child, you crept out of the house and quietly shut the front door, scampered down the sweeping stone steps and aimed to your right. Skip down the stone pathway between the pink and white fragrant rose trees. You come to a brick wall. It is a tall wall with an oak door set into it. Jane would take a hesitant grasp of the wrought iron circular handle. It always felt so adventurous to the little girl to turn the handle and open this magical door. This was her own private place. Noone else ever went in. It was Jane's. She would furtively sneak in through the narrow opening she had made and peer inside. The was no actual need for her to sneak inside, but it felt far more fun doing it as though it were forbidden. The garden inside was surrounded by a 12ft warm brick wall. Lots of lovely creeper climbed up the wall everywhere. The was a lovely big area of grass covering the main part of the garden, with shrubs and wild flowers surrounding the edges. In one corner madjestically and gracefully stood a weeping willow tree and in another corner stood a tall Oak tree. The Oak tree had a rope swing complete with wooden seat hanging from one of it's lowest boughs.
Jane shook herself. She loved to daydream. So many fabulous childhood memories of Beaufort Hall.
Tiretease was exhausted. He just hadn't mentioned it to anyone. He must reach his destination. Lady Jane must be brought safely home. Beaufort Hall stood magnificently bathed in the evening sunshine. Tiretease flew lower and lower flying level with the gardens easing down low enough for his hooves to skim the gravel drive way . He landed at a gallop and slowing down soon halted.
The front door of Beaufort Hall was thrown open and out strode Lord Beaufort to greet them. Jane slid of Tiretease's back and ran to greet him. 'Thank goodness you are home young lady' Lord Beaufort took his daughter and hugged her tight. 'Hello Daddy', Jane hugged him back.
Lord Beaufort called to Morty and Tiretease, 'You must all be tired and hungry, welcome home, come and feast. 'I cannot thank you both enough for bringing my daughter back to me safe and sound. The unicorn and eagle both bowed low and the company headed for the feast awaiting them. A perculiar looking group to an outsider, but nothing was more normal to this family.