Abigail asked Jennifer Jane’s teacher to give her the morning off when she attended her next class at the Witches’ Home. Unfortunately she had no more idea than Abigail as to who the person holding a grudge against George might be and also laughed at the idea that Eve might somehow be responsible.
“She may suspect the way in which I did my tricks at the school show, but I’m sure she doesn’t believe she can do real magic herself. She once told me that her sort of magic was more involved with the spiritual and the higher things in life!”
“That’s what I thought,” said Abigail, “so while I’ve been waiting for you to come here for your lessons, I’ve been to the senior witches and told them what I suspect. We may not know who it is, but somewhere there is a witch who is either trying to get revenge for something Sir George did to her, or is being paid by some one who wants revenge for themselves.
It has been agreed that a counter spell can be used in this case and as part of your training in becoming the ‘Greatest Grande Dame who ever lived’ I’ve been told to teach it to you. It’s quite an honour really, counter spells must only be used with the authority of a Grande Dame and any witch who finds that one of her spells has been reversed, knows that the authorities are annoyed with them. If they then persist in repeating the spell, they’re quite likely to have their magic powers removed and just become an ordinary person again.”
Jennifer Jane followed Abigail down to her spell proof room in the basement, in a great state of excitement. However, she lost a lot of the thrill over the next two days that it took her to learn the finger movements, but at last Abigail said she was satisfied.
Abigail insisted that they both dressed in their full ‘Sunday best’ regalia, before flying on broomsticks to George’s offices in Lower Dene.
“I’ve already had a word with Phil to stop sending any pigeons out until we arrive, then we can clear the whole lot in one go. The show is to make certain that word eventually gets back to the witch responsible, so that she knows that a counter spell has been used.”
There was quite a crowd waiting for them when they arrived at Lower Dene. All of the drivers were waiting to take baskets of pigeons out to their customers; the blacksmith from just a few houses along the road was also there to watch proceedings.
In the meantime, Phil was assuring Abigail that none of the pigeons had been sent to any customers for a week, so Jennifer Jane walked out into the middle of the courtyard in her robes and pointed hat. She felt very grand as she waved her arms in the theatrical gestures Abigail had taught her, while the audience looked on admiringly.
“Laswya emoc emho,” she intoned in as impressive a voice as she could manage, disguising the important finger twiddles while using the meaningless gestures at the same time.
“Is that it?” asked George rather disappointedly.
“Well there won’t be any proof until your birds start to come back with orders, but I can assure you that the job has been done!”
At that announcement all the spectators cheered, while the drivers loaded up their pigeons and began to drive out of the courtyard on their way to deliver the birds to the customers.
Jennifer Jane noticed as they drove out of the yard, that a white shield bearing a red cross had been painted on every cart.
George saw where she was looking. “We’ve been busy while you’ve been mucking about learning spells! In future every one will know that it’s one of our carts delivering the goods, but not only that, there won’t be any money changing hands. I’m going to go round all our customers personally once a month to collect the cash and I defy any one to try and steal it from me!”
“That was quite a good performance,” said Abigail as they flew back to the Witches’ Home.
“Oh well I had a good teacher,” Jennifer Jane replied modestly.
Abigail laughed. “Perhaps you’re going to become a great diplomat as well as a Grande Dame!”
“He’s taken the next step in changing his wagons to the livery I saw when I was in the future!” said Jennifer Jane that evening, as she proudly told her parents that she had also learned an important new spell and solved all of George’s problems using Abigail’s instructions.
Not for the first time, she was wrong, only a few miles away from Lower Dene a middle-aged witch was cursing the interference of the witches in cancelling the spell she’d put on George’s pigeons. “I’ll ruin you yet Sir Knight, just you wait and see. There has to be something I can do to get my revenge without the rest of the sisterhood interfering!”