The plan for the day was to explore the mountains that they’d seen in the distance yesterday from the giant’s castle.
By now the routine of the journey to the Witches’ Home was well established. Jennifer Jane signed her broom out for ‘general exploration’ and the children took off and headed towards the giant’s castle.
Tasmin waved a wing as they flew over and then Peter asked for a quick stop on the castle battlements. He’d spotted Fundin climbing about and wanted to know what he was doing.
“I’m just sorting out a good place to put those solar panels of yours when we’ve made them.”
“Well don’t forget you’ll get the best results if they face south.”
“That’s why I’m looking at this side of the roof,” said Fundin, rather sarcastically.
Jennifer Jane dug Peter in the ribs and jerked her thumb towards the mountains in the distance.
“He doesn’t like being told how to do things,” said Jennifer Jane once they’d flown off and were out of earshot, “you’ve told him the principles and he wants to work out the details for himself.”
The mountains were further away than they’d seemed and it took nearly half an hour before they were able to see any detail. There were just lots of trees and rough ground until the slopes became too high for the trees to be able to grow. The only relieving feature was a wide river winding its way through the forest, although at one point there was a rather spectacular waterfall.
There was no sign of any villages or fields at all as far as they could see. They did spot one small stone built cottage with a small cleared garden in the front, but that was all.
“Seems a bit of a waste of time to me, how about going back to the timber yard and having a look at the sawmill working?”
Peter agreed and the broom turned and began flying back the way they’d just come. As they approached the cottage the broom started to wobble. Peter grabbed Jennifer Jane anxiously round the waist.
‘Strange,’ thought Jennifer Jane, ‘it’s rather like the time I crashed Abigail’s broom over the Therdle. This one is nearly new and I’m sure it doesn’t need re-glittering yet.’
The broom suddenly lost all power and began falling rapidly towards the forest.
“Don’t worry, we’re carrying a magic spell which will restore the flight properties.”
She opened the spell box and the golden powder covered the surface of the broom. All seemed well for a moment and the broom straightened out just above the trees beside the river. Then it failed again and crashed into a large bush.