“Yes, Betsy, I’m going on another trip, with Uncle James. We won’t be gone long, just about a week.” P. C. stopped and looked at her.
“When will you take me? You promised you would, you know.” Betsy’s eyes were big, her face solemn. “It isn’t nice to make promises and not keep them.”
“True, Betsy, but what I promised was that I would take you with me when you are older, like In about ten years.”
She stamped her foot. “I don’t want to wait that long!” she exclaimed. “You take lots of other people. Doctor, and Uncle James – this will be his second time - and Uncle Digsby; everyone but me!”
“Yes, Betsy, Now think, you have named them all, are they children?” P.C. watched her face as she thought about it.
“Well, no,” she said. “But ten years is so long! My whole life!”
Yes, Betsy, to you it is a long time. But use it well. Study hard, especially the extra lessons I’m giving you, and you will be well prepared for the trip when it happens. Uncle James and I have been preparing for this trip for five years, and working very hard. Be patient, my girl, and apply yourself, and the time will pass more quickly.”
“All right, Uncle P.C.,” she sighed. “But it does seem so far away.”
“Think about now, and study, and don’t worry about ten years. You’ll find the time goes faster that way. Now come and give me a hug and kiss, a big one. It will have to last me until I come home!” He held out his arms and smiled. She ran into his arms, wrapped hers around his neck as he bent to her, and they exchanged hugs and kisses.
“Goodbye, Uncle P.C., be careful and come home safe!” She raised her hand, turned and went running off down the hall.
Two days later P.C. and Jimbo were standing in a quiet spot on the river Wysg, in Wales. It was the year 456 AD. They were dressed as a questing Knight and his squire, with four horses compatible with those ridden in the 5th century. Packed on the sumpter horses were all the accoutrements needed, to care for weapons and armour on one and other supplies on the other. Jimbo was the squire and P.C. the knight in boiled leather armour with sword and shield, of course. After a quick look around, they mounted and rode out onto the track that did duty as a road.
They had ridden for about an hour when they heard shouting and the clash of arms. “Wouldn’t you know it,” P.C. sighed, “We find a battle first thing!” And a battle they found as they rounded a bend in the road. Three knights fighting five Saxons, and getting the worst of it. “We’d better go help them,” P.C. said. “Yes,” Jimbo replied.
Setting spurs to horses they charged into the fray, swords swinging and taking two of the Saxons from behind. The unexpected help bolstered the knights’ courage, and renewed their energy. Soon the battle was over, and all that was left was to gather whatever was useful, including the horses, and move on.
“Thank you for your timely aid, sir knight. I am hight Sir Ambicatos, and these others are Sir Maelgwn and Sir Cantoris. To whom do we owe our thanks?” The speaker was the biggest and the oldest of the three, fully six feet tall, with brown hair and beard. Sir Ambicatos was no more than an inch shorter, and his hair and beard were pale yellow, while Sir Cantoris was about the same height with fiery red hair and was clean shaven.
“I am hight Sir Cunedda and my squire, who is ready now for knighting, is Ifan. We come from Gwynedd, on an errand from our Chief into Somerset. Perhaps at a later time, we will be free to join you.” P. C. was anxious to get away from the knights. He did not want to become embroiled in King Arthur’s battles, he wanted to meet the man after he had all of Britannia united and at peace.
Sir Ambicatos raised a hand in acknowledgement. “One must carry out the orders of one’s Chief. It would be good to have such doughty warriors at our side, but needs must. Perhaps, as you say, we will meet again. May the God Aeron aid your hand in battle. Fare thee well.” The four rode off, going south.
P. C. and Jimbo rode north for a while, until they were sure the others couldn’t see them, and moved into the edge of a forest. “I’m going to send us to Somerset, between Glastonbury Tor and what is, in our time, South Cadbury. And I’m taking us ahead seventy six years, to 532. If Cadbury Castle is the site of Camelot, we should see it when we are in the open. And we should hit the time after all the battles. Arthur would be at his best by then. Think of it, meeting the legendary Arthur in person, and being able to hear him and his knights tell tales of their adventures!”
“Great!” Jimbo agreed. “Let’s go!” and they went.