So, part 7 of Julian’s News hits the blog, hot from the keyboard.
If you want to refresh your memory or catch up check out the links below:
And I’m sure you’ll forgive me but this one is a little longer than usual, but I couldn’t just cut you off in the middle of the action could I? 😉
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the next piece!
George had sat and sulked in the spot her cousins had left her in for a long while, until she decided to walk along the beach with Timmy.
She muttered to Timmy as she walked along a stretch of the beach that was covered in masses of seaweed and big rocks. She was as sure footed as Timmy, and managed the rocks easily.
“We don’t need them do we Timmy? We were just fine on our own before they arrived,” George muttered as she encountered a large stretch of seaweed-covered rocks. She began to work her way over them without a second thought.
Timmy trotted soberly alongside her, staying near to her because he knew that his mistress was upset. Occasionally Timmy wandered over to an interesting looking rock and had a sniff around, while George struggled on over the seaweed.
Unfortunately for George, she couldn’t see what was below the seaweed covered beach. She was looking around to see where Timmy had gotten to and not watching her feet.
Suddenly she felt herself falling and slipping through a hole in the rocks. As she fell her foot bashed against a jagged piece of rock and was hurt badly. Eventually, she landed with a thump on a fairly even piece of rock, her heart beating fast and blood singing in her ears.
Poor George felt suddenly very sick and afraid. She tried to stand, but found that the foot she had struck wouldn’t hold her weight. She sat back down on the floor, calling out to Timmy.
“Tim! Timmy! Good Boy,” George called when she saw his face through the hole a few feet above her head, but she couldn’t reach it, not on a hurt ankle. “Timmy, find Julian. Seek Timmy, seek. Find Julian,” she heard herself say. She heard his reassuring bark and then there was light in the hole again.
George lent back on the back on the rock around her and took some deep breaths to calm herself. Before she blacked out she wondered why she had sent Timmy to Julian.
The brothers and sister were following Timmy at a run, back to where he had left George. When Julian saw Timmy standing by a hole in the seaweed he put his hand out to stop the others.
“Go carefully,” he warned them.
“I don’t think I want to try that, Ju. I’ll just stay here,” Anne said, as she stood by a big rock. Julian nodded at her.
“You and me then Dick,” he said.
“Be careful,” Anne called.
Dick nodded and the boys crept forward together, unsure at how many holes there were underneath their feet. Timmy barked at them encouragingly.
“I suppose that Old George has managed to fall down that hole,” Dick said as they moved closer.
“I think you’re right. She must have sent Timmy to find us. I hope she’s not hurt,” Julian said as they reached the hole and stood beside Timmy. Both boys knelt down carefully on the seaweed and pulled their torches from their pockets.
The strong beams of the torches shone down into the hole and they managed to pick out George six feet or so below them. She didn’t seem to be moving.
“Blow,” Julian said, clicking his torch off and looking at Dick. “Do you think we could get her out of there on our own?”
“There’s a chance we could. We’d need some thick rope.”
“In that case, you go back to Anne, send her home to tell Aunt Fanny and call the ambulance and possibly the coast guard or any of the fishermen just in case we can’t get George up by ourselves. I don’t want to get caught out by the tide,” Julian instructed.
“Goodness, no, neither do I,” Dick agreed, looking over his shoulder at the sea.
“While you’re telling Anne that, go to George’s boat and get the tarpaulin from the top and the thick rope she keeps in the bottom of the boat for mooring. That should be long enough to let one of us down and we can wrap her in the tarp’ to get her up.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’ll stay here and keep an eye on her, I don’t want her to be on her own when she wakes up,” Julian told him.
Dick had to suppress a smile; this was the Julian he knew. A man with a plan.
“Righto. Shan’t be long,” Dick said, scrambling to his feet and setting off back to Anne with the plan.
Julian watched them go for a moment and then looked at Timmy who was whining, and pawing at the ground. Timmy could just not understand why George didn’t come up from the hole.
Julian stroked Timmy’s head and said “don’t worry Tim. We’ll get her out.”
In no time at all, Dick was back with a couple of lengths of rope and the tarpaulin cover from George’s boat.
“We’ll fasten the rope to that rock over there,” Julian said, taking one of the lengths off his brother and motioning to a big craggy rock just in front of them. “I’ve had a look, it’s fixed deeply into the sand and should hold the rope well.”
Dick nodded and started to help Julian tie the longer, sturdier piece to the rock.
“I think I should go down,” Julian said when they had finished.
“But I’m lighter than you!” Dick protested.
Julian fixed his brother with a look that said ‘not now’. Dick sniffed indignantly.
“I’m not going to argue with you about this, Dick,” Julian said severely. “We don’t know what is down there, and it would be irresponsible for me to let you go down there with George already hurt.”
“Just as bossy as ever,” Dick muttered as Julian looped the end of the rope to his waist.
“Pass me the rest of the rope and the tarp’ will you Dick?” Julian asked as he tightened the knot around his waist. He rolled the tarpaulin and lashed it to his back with the other piece of rope.
“Got a clean hanky?” Dick suddenly asked. “Just in case she’s bleeding anywhere?”
“I picked one up this morning,” Julian said, with a hint of a smile. He looked at the hole and then sat down on the edge of it.
“I’ll try and abseil down. Can you hold your torch over the side until I’ve got to the bottom of the hole?”
“Shall do,” Dick said, glancing at the sea again. Was it his imagination or was the sea a lot closer than it had been when he had left Julian? Dick shook his head and looked at his brother.
“Be careful, Ju, and hurry!”
“Will do,” Julian said, half lowering himself into the hole. He took a moment to find the wall with his feet.
“Got it! I shan’t be long if I can help it, Dick,” said Julian, before he disappeared inside the dark hole.
Julian didn’t like the smell of the cave when he got inside. It smelt like rotting seaweed. He pressed on however and less than a minute later, he was safely on the rocky floor. Dick holding his torch into the hole had been a great help.
“I’m down, Dick. I’m going to untie the rope from my waist now, so don’t worry when it goes slack!” Julian called.
“Hurry up then Ju!” Dick called back, his torch flooding the cave with light. When Julian was clear of the rope he moved to George’s side. He clicked on his own torch and stood it, beam up, next to him. He took her pulse, glad that his health and safety training hadn’t deserted him. He was relieved when he felt her strong pulse.
“George!” He called, taking her head between his hands gently. “George, wake up!”
Very slowly, George’s eyelids fluttered open and she blinked groggily.
“Hello Julian,” George said, her sulk forgotten in the moment. She almost seemed to have forgotten where she was.
She looked around and then frowned.
“I was hoping it had all been a bad dream,” she muttered when her eyes grew accustomed to the torch light.
“’Fraid not, old thing,” Julian said, untying the tarpaulin from his back. “Now I need you tell me where you’re hurt, if you are.”
“My foot and ankle,” George told him, realising that she had never been so glad to see Julian. “I think I hit it against some rock as I fell.”
“I’m going to have a look at it, George. I’ll try not to hurt it,” Julian said. His voice sounded grimmer than he meant it to, but he was trying to keep himself calm and make sure that he did things correctly.
He gently pulled George’s shoe from her foot and examined the foot. George took a sharp breath of pain.
“Sorry, sorry,” Julian said, gently feeling the foot. It felt very swollen. “I’m no doctor, but I would say you’ve got quite a bad sprain at least George, old thing. Now is there pain anywhere else before I try and get you out of here?”
“Well I feel a bit bruised,” George told him. “But I nothing hurts as much as my foot.”
Julian nodded. “Good, although I don’t want to move you too much if I can help it,” he said. “Do you think if I helped you, you could balance while I got you wrapped in the tarpaulin and attached to the rope?”
“I think so,” George said, with a brave nod. Julian noticed how her face was very white.
Julian smiled at her.
“We’d better get a move on then.”
How they ever managed to get George wrapped in the tarpaulin and the rope knotted around her in a makeshift seat, they never knew. Julian said that he was running purely on adrenaline.
“Dick! George is already to come up, can you pull her up?” Julian called to his brother.
“I think so! Hold on tightly George!” Dick called down.
After a few seconds George began to ascend slowly and in little jerks, but soon she reached the top and felt herself being helped out of the hole by a couple of strong men who had just arrived with Anne. Timmy rushed at George as they set her down on a rock, and licked her with delight while he whined his welcome. George managed to put her arms around Timmy to hug him.
While the Doctor, who had come as part of the party, was seeing to George, the fishermen let the rope back down for Julian. He emerged tired and smelling strongly of rotten seaweed.
“Hello all,” he said, sitting down on the side of the hole and grinning up at them.
“You stink of seaweed,” Dick told him.
“I’m not surprised. That cave is full of it,” Julian said, chuckling a piece at his brother as Anne hurried over and flung her arms around both her brothers.
“How’s George?” Julian asked when Anne let go.
“I don’t know, the Doctor won’t let me near her, and I’ve got a flask of warm soup for her,” Anne said. She pulled the knapsack that she had on, off her back and undid it. She handed Julian one of the two flasks in there.
“Share that between you, it should warm you up,” Anne said.
“You’re a peach Anne,” Dick said with a warm smile. His sister blushed as one of the fishermen came over to them.
“Are you two fit to walk? We can carry you if you like?” he asked. “We’re carrying Master George. The Doctor reckons that her ankle is pretty bashed up.”
“No, I’m alright thank you. Are you Dick?”
“Perfectly thank you,” Dick agreed. The fisherman nodded and headed back to the others.
“Poor George,” Anne said as Julian and Dick got to their feet.
“Let’s hope that it’s nothing more serious than a sprain,” Julian said grimly as he brushed his trousers down. “Lead the way home, Anne. I’m coming over tired all of a sudden.”
“Well for goodness sake, watch where you put your feet. We don’t need you going down a hole like George,” Dick warned him.
Julian had to laugh.