Teddy went to consult with the town masons, but he also needed to have a private chat with the bartender. He knew Wiliver was a dependable sort of fellow who longed to see justice served on behalf of the love he lost ten years ago. Teddy didn’t find it easy to coax the two masons out of their homes. Mr. McBoothe was suspicious that he might be a werewolf disguised as a man and Mr. Teeter-totter thought he was completely out of his mind after being told about his proposal to build a prison in the forest to house a preternatural monster. Teddy convinced Mr. McBoothe he was not a werewolf by showing him the physical characteristics of a normal man. He had more trouble convincing Mr. Teeter-totter.

“Either you’ll build a prison around a sleeping beast or you’ll have to live in a prison to escape its clutches. I recommend a more proactive approach.” Mr. Teeter-tooter gave the idea some thought and finally consented.

The masons agreed that blue granite was the strongest stone. It would be more expeditious to quarry it in the Albadorous Mountains, rather than bringing their own materials through Sawblade Pass.

Soon the hunting party met at Wiliver’s pub where Teddy explained their strategy to slay the monster. Wiliver solemnly accepted responsibility for lighting the North Hill, swearing his allegiance to the plan. “Then it’s settled. Madam Bane should arrive within a fortnight.”

The four hunters left town on Mr. Trufflesnout’s speckled mares and both masons rode their pack mules. Soon the weather became inclement, raining in torrents as a tempest raged. Blinding flashes of lightning scorched the soggy earth with electricity.


 “We’ve got to find shelter from this storm!” screamed Teddy.

“I know of a cave not far from here. It belonged to an Albadorous Bear that nearly ripped my head off. We’ll be safe there as the animal is no longer living.” The hunting party followed Thomas in the direction of the cave. Soon the trees became sparse, the soil was rockier, and they arrived at a precipice.

“I thought you said there would be shelter?” demanded Mr. McBoothe.

“There is a shelter close by. Teddy, I need you to hand me some rope. If you can support my weight on the other end of the cable, you can lower me down the cliff face.”

“Are you out of your mind? One slip and you might fall to your death. How will we get back after we make it to the ledge?”

“A couple years ago, I sought shelter in the cave. After an Albadorous Bear attacked me, I found a secret tunnel leading out of the burrow and into the forest. The secret entrance is too difficult to find in the woods, but I’ll be able to enter the cave from the ledge and signal our party from the trap door.”

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