Though the lads wanted the
day to go by quickly, it started too early for Hall Seven. It was their
day for kitchen duty. Dragging themselves out of bed, they stumbled down
the cold stone steps. Pots and pans clanged; gas fires burst into flame
and eggs bubbled and popped on the skillet. Leith had the unpleasant task
of separating the bacon and placing it on the pan. Fraser cracked eggs and
picked pieces of shell out of the yolks and whites. Sandy buttered toast
while others sliced tomatoes and onions. The ordeal was so exhausting to
them that not one of them paid attention in their morning classes.
Lunch consisted of cheese
sandwiches on homemade bread brought in from the bakery in Dunstan, salted
chips and baked beans. After cleaning up the lunch dishes they hurried to
Professor Wilson’s room with the peacock feathers hidden inside their
“Peacock feathers from Scone Palace? What an
interesting thought. I’m actually quite excited about this. Even though
they seem to be of no value, they are beautiful.” He picked one and put it
in the drawer with the other items. “The rest of you can keep yours.”
“Peacocks originally came from Atlantis,” Murray
“Oh? Where did you hear this? I’m not sure I believe
that,” the professor said.
“It’s true. They did. So did the quetzal bird, which
now can only be found in Central and South America.” Murray folded his
arms across his chest, unwavering in his opinion.
“Well, I will take that into consideration. That would
be marvelous if it was true.”
“We met Paisley Greer last night at Scone,” Leith
said. “She’s nice.”
The professor’s eyebrows arched with surprise. “Nice?
She is a direct descendant of Macbeth, probably the only living one on
earth. Keep that in mind. As soon as she finds out her heritage, she may
not be as nice as she is now.”
“I think I can change her mind, if that happens. She’s
meeting us at the cemetery tonight,” Leith said.
“How can that be? You just said you met her at Scone.”
“Professor, she’s staying in Dunstan with her Auntie
Bessie,” Duncan said, giggling.
“That’s the town that the goblins ransacked, in case
you forgot,” Sandy said with a smirk.
“I have not forgotten, Master Stewart. Mind your
cheek.” The professor’s face turned to a scowl.
“I apologize, Professor Wilson. I’m just tired of
nobody believing us.”
“Just because I am helping you, doesn’t mean I don’t
deserve your respect. I am a professor and your elder.” Sandy bowed his
head and refused to make eye contact. “You’re going out tonight then?”
“Yes. Paisley is meeting us in the cemetery at
midnight,” Leith said.
“I’ll see you tomorrow. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I
have work to do. Off to class with you.” The professor stood, dismissing
Murray pulled the door shut behind them. “I don’t like
him and I don’t trust him. I saw a side of him this afternoon that I
hadn’t seen before.”
“Lighten up, Murray. Sandy was rather cheeky to him.
He was only reminding us not to get smart with him,” Fraser said.
“Think what you want. I say he’s bad news. Let’s go to
class, Duncan.” Murray ran off.
Afternoon classes didn’t go much better. Leith, Fraser
and Sandy had an impromptu oral quiz, which none of them had studied for
and barely passed. Professor Morrison threatened to call their fathers if
their grades didn’t pick up soon. Leith headed for Detention and met Rory.
They played a few rounds of chess and finished their homework.
“I thought that dungeon was great,” Rory said while
Leith finished up his paper.
“It was all right,” Leith said.
“A treasure chest full of Roman coins. Rufus is a
lucky man. He should be able to sell those with no problem and make
himself a wee fortune. It’s a good thing we’re rich, or I’d be tempted to
nip a few pieces for myself.”
Rory’s words caught Leith’s attention. “We promised.
We made a blood oath. He’s an old man and he deserves to spend the last
years of his life in the lap of luxury. How would you like to have been a
school janitor since your twentieth birthday? Let the man alone and leave
the coins alone.”
“I will. I was just pulling your leg. So there are
tunnels that lead from the dungeon to all sorts of places, is there?” Rory
gathered his books.
“One leads to Dunstan; one to the loch; and I forget
where the others go. I’m too busy right now to go exploring. Ask Rufus.
He’ll tell you. He’s a good guy. Never mention this to any of the
professors. Rufus says some of them don’t know about the dungeon or
tunnels. I think it’s best if we keep it that way.” Leith slammed his book
shut. “Finished. Ready to cook supper?”
“You bet.” Rory stood and headed for the door.
“I wonder what we’re going to have to cook tonight.
Probably fish and chips again. Everyone seems to enjoy that, including
me,” Leith said. “I don’t mind making that, but I sure hate peeling
tatties. Argh. My father would die if he heard me use the word tatties.
Tatties, tatties, tatties. There! I feel better now. I had to peel a
sinkful earlier today. Who decides what we make? I wonder if Headmaster
writes the menu up. I’ll have to ask.”
When supper ended and the kitchen was left spic and
span, the lads went to their halls and studied, just incase there was
another surprise exam the next day. Bedtime came quickly, as did midnight.
They stood in the cemetery. “Where is she? Do you
think she’s coming? Why does a girl have to be involved in this?” Murray
“She’s much more important in this than we are. Sandy
and I are along for the ride. You three and Paisley Opis Greer are the
important ones. Be nice to her,” Fraser said.
A shadow moved through the cemetery. All were relieved
to see Paisley and not the caretaker. “Sorry I’m late. I had to use a
rowboat and the water was a bit rough. I pulled it up on the beach. Why am
“There’s something we have to show you.” Leith pulled
the sod back from the Pict cross.
“A hole in the ground? That’s what you have to show
me?” Paisley laughed.
“No; there’s more. I’ll tell you once we’re inside it.
Go lads.” Leith let Paisley go before him and he went last.
“Tunnels. Where do they lead?” Paisley was thankful
for Fraser’s flashlight.
Leith slid to the ground. “I’ve got, we’ve got,
something to tell you and you probably won’t believe me, us.” The other
Paisley followed their
lead. “All right. I’m sitting. Now what?”
“I’ll start at the
beginning. One night Sandy suggested we come out to the cemetery. We’ve
been forbidden to do so and if we get caught, we’ll all be dismissed from
school. We’re a defiant lot, so we ignored the warnings and came anyway.
We are all rich; our fathers are anyway. This is a special school for
boys. Only boys who are descendants of Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret
can come here.”
“I see. Go on,” Paisley
Leith continued. “We came
out here with Sandy and climbed through the fence. There’s a broken bar
over there. While we were checking out the headstones a personage appeared
“A personage? Do you mean
a ghost?” Paisley fought back laughter.
“Yes. His name is Abaris
and he is a Hyperborean. He’s one of Apollo, the Greek God’s helpers.”
Leith saw the look of amusement in Paisley’s eyes. “It’s true, isn’t it
The others nodded in agreement. “Abaris said that Duncan,
Murray, and I, had this great thing we had to accomplish. Our birthdate is
August 8th, which is important; it is the date Atlantis was
Paisley leaned her back against the dirt wall. “Go
“He told us that there was this evil wizard named
Taygetus, who was a partner with Robert, son of Macbeth. Robert is
illegitimate and not on the records. Only a few people know of his
existence and parentage. Do you know the story of Macbeth?” Leith watched
her reaction when Fraser flashed the light in her face.
“Do you mind, Fraser? I don’t want to be blind. Thank
you. I don’t know that much. Remember, I was raised in Yorkshire,
“Macbeth was the last Celtic king. There were always
battles between the Celts and the Scots. Malcolm Canmore was a Scot. His
wife, Queen Margaret, was English. During one of the battles, Malcolm
Canmore killed Macbeth. If Macbeth had won, then Scotland would have
stayed Celtic. They were a powerful bunch. There would probably be no
England today and it would have changed the world and the British Empire.
But he lost, so history played itself out the way it is now. Do you get it
so far?” Leith took a deep breath.
“Yes. What does this have to do with me?” Paisley
stomped her feet on the ground to get the blood circulating.
“Taygetus, the wizard, promised Robert, son of
Macbeth, that he would make sure that one of Macbeth’s descendants would
bring the wizard back to life. Once he was alive again, he’d go back in
time through one of these tunnels, or by some other way, and kill Malcolm
Canmore, changing history. Our assignment is to make sure this descendant
doesn’t call forth the evil wizard.”
“Am I the descendant? Me?” Paisley’s jaw dropped.
“Yes. It’s you. One more thing. We also have to go to
ten places and gather an item or two from each and once we have been to
all ten, we will put them together and learn how we can go back to
“Why do you want to go there? It seems that all you
have to do is kill me and your worries are over.” Paisley looked at all
five boys. “You’re not going to kill me, are you? I’m only eleven years
old. I don’t want to die right now.”
“No! Of course not. We’re going to go back to Atlantis
because Taygetus is a descendant of Atlantis. His ancestor, a woman, was
one of the people who escaped before the destruction was complete. She and
the others traveled here to Iona, Scotland and settled. We are to make
sure this woman doesn’t get on the boat and escape.”
“You mean you’re going to kill her,” Paisley said.
“No. We’re just going to prevent her from leaving. The
flood will kill her. It’s the only way. If you bring Taygetus back to
life, he can travel time as he pleases and find another ancestor of
Macbeth to do your job. It’s Taygetus we must stop from being born.” Leith
slapped his hands on his thighs. “That’s the end of the story.”
“This is all so weird.” The girl stood. “So what
you’re saying is that you go out through these tunnels into some sort of
transport time warp thing and travel around gathering objects? I want to
The boys looked at each other. “But you’re Macbeth’s
descendant,” Fraser said.
“I promise right now that I will not ever bring some
evil wizard back to life, no matter what. I don’t want to change the
history of the world. I’m not stupid enough to think he’ll care about me.
Taygetus and Robert just want power. No way! I’m on your side. Would it
help if I mentioned that my birthday is also on August 8th?”
“What? You too?” Leith
“Me too. Now tell me what
I can do to help?” Paisley stepped down the tunnel.
The lads grinned at each other. “All right, you can
come with us.”
“How do you know what tunnel to go in and where have
you been so far?”
“The tunnel sort of glows. I know it sounds weird, but
it really does. The first place we went to was Iona. We were supposed to
find a book, but we didn’t. If we’d found the book we wouldn’t have had to
travel to ten places. Instead we got a scroll. Then we went to
Fortingall, which isn’t far from Scone. We brought back a Roman coin from
the roots of this ancient yew and some quartz that had diamonds in them.
We also had a battle with some goblins. Yes, the same goblins that
vandalized Dunstan. I’m sure your auntie told you about it. The next place
we went to was Lindisfarne. We collected some St. Cuthbert’s beads, which
are sea shells, and some bits of an old castle ruin. Edinburgh Castle was
next. We had to find St. Margaret’s Chapel. We brought back a piece of the
building and a bit of stained glass. I’ll tell you about the spiders
later. After that we went to Central America, probably Mexico. We found
some Mayan ruins near an active volcano. We collected some amber and
turquoise and Sandy and Murray found two jugs full of ancient blood. Don’t
ask. Scone was next and here we are now.”
“Leith, this is all
unbelievable. Mayan ruins, goblins, volcanoes?” Paisley shrugged her
shoulders. “What could be worse?”
“Spiders,” Fraser said.
“They attacked us at St. Margaret’s chapel. Leith made himself invisible
and we escaped.”
“Hold on. Hold on.
“Oh. I forgot to mention
that.” Leith pulled a golden arrow out of his back pocket. “This belongs
to Apollo. He gave it to Abaris, who gave it to me. I can fly and I can
make myself invisible. I can also heal people, but haven’t tried that
“Uh huh. Right. Okay.”
Paisley shook her head back and forth.
“Come on. We’ll go and
find the tunnel.” Leith took her hand. When he realized what he’d done, he
dropped it. “Uh, sorry and all that.” Snickers came from behind them.
Leith was thankful it was dark so she couldn’t see his beet red face.
They approached the time warp. “That is cool looking.
It’s all wavy and it glows. What makes it glow? Is it some sort of rock?
It doesn’t hurt, does it?” Paisley hesitated.
“We don’t know why it glows. Never thought about it
much. It doesn’t hurt at all. I’ll go through first.” Sandy jumped
through. Murray, Duncan and Fraser went next.
“It’s just you and me now. Go on. I’ll come right
behind you,” Leith said.
“Wait. How long will we be
gone? My mum will panic if she gets up in the morning and I’m not in my
“Time is different down
here. We might be gone for a day or so, but time never passes here. We’ll
be back in a few seconds Scotland time.”
“All right then.” Paisley
stepped into the ripples and disappeared to the other side.