The breakfast at The Rolling Barrel was certainly not the best one that I had ever been served. That would have been the breakfast brought to my bed by the princess of the monkey people. Her name was Princess Ack-Ack-Ooh-Ooh and she was lovely, as was her tail and her feet that looked exactly like her hands. But as we were in the far north of The Fallen Lands, just along the southern border of the great glacier known as The Skagarack, I had not expected banana waffles. At The Rolling Barrel, in the town of Rumplegate, we had regular waffles.
“There is no such thing as monkey people,” said Ednathorpe.
“Princesses do not talk with their mouths full of waffles,” I chided. “Neither do monkey people, which do indeed exist. I suppose your mother told you that all my stories are rife with falsehood, which is to say, mostly made up.”
“She said that some of your stories were very loosely based on your perception of reality.”
“Poor child, to have been raised by such an angry and vengeful woman. All of my tales are completely and absolutely and unquestionably true, having only been edited that they might fit the occasion, the audience, the limits of time, and the point that I am trying to make at the moment of the telling. In other words, you can bet your life on the veracity of any of them, which is to say, the truth.”
Edna looked at me, her eyes wide.
“So, you really killed a werewolf with a fork?”
“You defeated the wicked Sorceress Myolaena Maetar?
“It is a fact.”
“You saved Celestria from zombies?”
“Not just the city of Celestria, but the whole country of Aerithraine.”
“And you escaped the Amazons by seducing their queen and then leaving her alone and bereft?”
“I… um, what now? I don’t recall telling that story recently.”
“I heard it from my mother.”
“Oh, you did, did you? And did she tell you who that queen of the Amazons was?”
“She said that the queen was a poor virgin, unwise to the ways of man.”
“That is not how she was and that was not how it happened,” said I, “and that is not how the story goes. I shall be happy to tell you the real story of Eaglethorpe Buxton and the Amazons just as soon as I come up with it… um, remember it.”
“I can’t wait to hear it,” said Edna, her eyes sparkling with admiration.
“You are a lovely girl,” I told her. “I wish I could take you straight from here to a civilized country so that you could be presented to royalty. I am afraid though that we have to turn around and go back to Fencemar.”
“Why ever must we do that?” she cried. Tears immediately appeared in her eyes and rushed down her cheeks. “You don’t like me! You want to take me back to trade me for Ethyl! I’m so sorry! I never meant to impugn your honesty, which is to say call you a liar!”
I stood up, rushed around the table, and pulled her to my chest.
“Do not think it, my sweet daughter!”
“That seems a little much,” said she.
“Um, I could jump over the table.”
“No. How about you just take my hand and clasp it in yours.”
I took her hand and clasped it in mine.
“Do not think it, my sweet daughter. I am so happy to finally know you, and I am looking forward to spending the next year with you. However, we must make sure that Elleena and Ethyl have not killed each other, and Elleena and I must make sure that your plan of you spending a year with me and Ethyl with her mother will work out.”
“I suppose that is the responsible thing to do,” said Edna.
“It is,” I agreed, “and we’re going to do it anyway. And let us not forget that there is unusually large pie in Fencemar.”
So it was that I, Lord Dewberry Eaglethorpe Buxton and my sweet daughter Ednathorpe turned our horses back to the east and made once again for the village of Fencemar.