“Well, I am apprenticed to the town physician Idris, and so someone must collect the herbs in season that we use for our skills. I am younger by far than Master Idris, so I go.” Clasping one hand on the basket’s handle, Summer beckoned to Arthur. “He trusts me full well to take care of myself, and today is the first time I have been bothered by any.”
He nodded in acknowledgement. ”Make sense.” He said to himself. Arthur had a questioning look on his face. “I wonder what made today different.” He looked around and saw Merlin in the distance.
His face beet red and his breath coming in quick pants, Merlin ran up to and stopped in front of Arthur and Summer. He nodded to the unknown girl in greeting, shoved a crumpled paper that read ‘Where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you!’ towards Arthur, and rested his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath.
“It’s a good question. I expect it was a band just starting out, or possibly lost. Banditry this close to Camelot is one of the less intelligent ideas I’ve heard.” Summer raised her eyebrows in bemusement as the dark-haired … no, not boy, definitely a man, ran up to Arthur and unceremoniously shoved a scrap at him. “Needed back at the citadel, sire?”
Arthur looked over at Merlin and sighed. “Well, as you can see Merlin, I’ve been here.” He said crossing his arms. He turned to Summer. “Pardon him, he’s my manservant. An annoying one at that.”
Merlin shot Arthur a pointed look before straightening up, taking his leather-bound journal out of his pocket, and writing, ‘Sorry, I wasn’t expecting him to have company with him. My name is Merlin.’ He held his hand out to Summer for a handshake and mouthed to Arthur, “Your father threatened to throw me in the stocks if I didn’t find you immediately.”
Summer couldn’t help laughing at the byplay. She clasped Merlin’s hand quickly, bowing over it a little bit. “You have a mute manservant. I would say, is that so he can’t talk back to you, but I see he has managed that anyway.” She folded her arms. “Do you,” a quick shake of head, and she looked at Merlin, “does he need to go back to the citadel?”