Merchant's Ring Teacup Travels


Merchant's Ring

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Transcript


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Here they come! My two intrepid explorers -

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Charlotte and Elliot.

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I'm their great aunt Lizzie, you see.

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And I wonder which one is coming to see me today...

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Ah! So, it's Charlotte's turn.

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Here she comes! Racing to hear

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another tale from an epic adventurer.

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CLINK! CLINK! CLINK!

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And what a wonderful adventures they were.

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So long ago and so far away.

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I collected a few souvenirs along the way.

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But my most precious possession of all

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is my extraordinary collection of teacups.

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You've still got your coat on, Charlotte. Come on.

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No time to count the clouds, we've got stories to tell.

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Now...

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let's have a lovely cup of tea.

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But first we need...

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A teacup!

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Which one?

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That one.

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Oh...

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The Merchant's Ring.

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What a choice, Charlotte.

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I do really love that story.

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This will be just perfect to drink now.

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So...

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are you ready?

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Ready.

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Then let me tell you the story

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of Great Aunt Lizzie

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And The Adventure Of The Merchant's Ring.

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Ahem.

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Oh, yes, of course.

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-Let me tell you the story of Charlotte...

-He-he-he.

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..And The Adventure Of The Merchant's Ring.

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It all began long, long ago

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in ancient Britain,

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an island of green forests, majestic mountains,

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silver rivers and tiny villages.

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TINKLING MUSIC

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Charlotte had been travelling far across the Highlands

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and into the glens.

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She hadn't seen a single person for miles

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when, after following a lane through the trees,

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she came to a place where two men were resting by a wall.

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A merchant and his young assistant

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were trying to sort small bundles of cloth, ready for delivery.

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-Not so urgent.

-Not so urgent.

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-Very urgent.

-Very urgent.

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Not so urgent, but very important.

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Not so urgent, but very important.

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All sorted, ready for delivery.

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Hang on, there's just one pile.

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How do you know which is which?

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Oh, I was copying you.

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-I thought you knew what you were doing, Hal.

-Sorry, uncle Tom.

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You need to sort those packages out

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-or you'll be wandering around the village all day.

-Uncle Tom,

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-where's your merchant's ring?

-Oh. Oh...

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I must have forgotten it.

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Ah, never mind, we won't need it today.

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Right, now, about this delivery...

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Charlotte could see they were getting nowhere fast.

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Perhaps a fresh eye would help.

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-Hello, I was wondering if you needed any help?

-Help?

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We're successful cloth merchants and we don't need any help.

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-I thought you might like help sorting your cloths out.

-Well, erm...

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OK. I don't usually do the deliveries, I just sell the cloth.

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-My sister normally does the deliveries.

-Oh, that's my mum.

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-She made a map, but it didn't make any sense to me.

-Nor me.

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Show it the young lady, Hal.

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I don't think I have it, do I?

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Ah! Mm-hm-hm.

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Mm, it's not the best map I've ever seen...

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but...

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Charlotte was always good with maps.

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She soon sorted the bundles

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so you could walk from one end of the town to the other,

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delivering the bundles without having to run back and forth.

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There you go.

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If you start here and work your way up,

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-they will all be in order.

-Wow. Thanks.

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Now get a move on, dear boy.

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And I'll get my new hinges from the blacksmith.

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They're top-notch.

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It's for my trunk where I keep all my important stuff.

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And whatever you do, don't forget this letter, Hal.

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-I'll meet you back here.

-Yes, Uncle Tom. See you later, Uncle Tom.

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-Thanks very much for your help.

-Hal seemed confident enough,

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but Charlotte had a feeling she might be needed.

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And a good thing too,

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for it wasn't long before things started to go awry.

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I'm not paying and that's final.

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No mark, no payment.

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If I go back with no money, I'll be in trouble.

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If I gave money to anybody who came to my door,

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I'd soon end up in a TERRIBLE mess.

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I don't know who you are, you could be anyone.

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Charlotte could see something was badly wrong.

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-She went over to see if she could help.

-Is something the matter?

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There is. He's given me this letter saying I need to pay him some money,

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but it doesn't have a seal.

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Without a seal, he could be anybody.

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Isn't that the seal?

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No, that's just the wax.

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The seal is a special stamp you press into the wax when it's warm.

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And it makes a mark which proves this bundle is from a real merchant.

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-Every real cloth merchant has a seal.

-We have got one.

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It's in a ring you can wear.

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-It's called a merchant's ring.

-So you say,

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-but where is it?

-Well, it's not mine.

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It's my uncle Tom's ring - he's the cloth merchant.

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It's true. That's why he has all these deliveries.

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No sale, no money.

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OK, Hal, you stay here and I'll go and find the ring.

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Charlotte thought getting the merchant's ring

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would be as easy as pie.

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But, of course, it was never going to be as easy as that.

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My uncle Tom forgot to bring it today.

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I'll have to go home and get it.

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Why don't you deliver the rest and I'll get the ring?

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Oh, it's quite a long way away.

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Over the hills and down by the river. My mum will be there.

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It wasn't even lunchtime and already it had got so messy.

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She had helped Tom and Hal sort out the bundles...

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and she'd tried to help Hal

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explain to the woman that his letter was real,

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but the young woman was never going to be happy

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until the wax had a proper seal mark in it.

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No seal, no money.

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And she had thought getting the merchant's ring would be a doddle.

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She couldn't leave Hal without the merchant's ring, could she?

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There was nothing else for it but to get a wriggle on,

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over the hills to the cloth merchant's house.

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So, off went Charlotte in her old battered boots.

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She scrambled across the ancient Highlands until...

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when she was almost out of breath...

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the path ran out.

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EAGLE'S CRY

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There was only one way to get to the other side.

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Charlotte took a deep breath.

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CREAKING

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Safely across, she set off once more

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until the land opened out onto a wild valley

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beneath a wall of purple mountains.

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But there was no time to admire the scenery,

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Charlotte had to get that ring.

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Hello, are you Hal's mother?

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Yes. Is something the matter?

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Nothing serious. Hal has a letter he's trying to deliver,

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but it hasn't been sealed, so the lady won't pay.

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I don't blame her. Why didn't he just seal it there and then?

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-Didn't they have the merchant's ring?

-They forgot it.

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Deary me, they always forget something.

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I wonder where he put it.

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And that was when Charlotte remembered about Tom

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and the trunk where he kept all his valuables.

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Tom said something about a trunk.

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Could it be in there?

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He mostly keeps his best cloth in there,

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to keep it safe from the mice,

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but perhaps...

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But when Charlotte tried to open it...

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-It won't open.

-Of course.

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-Tom was supposed to get new hinges today.

-Oh.

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I tell you what, I'll lift the lid just a little bit

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-and you see if you can wriggle your arm inside.

-OK.

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-Ready?

-Ready.

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The lid was heavy and the broken hinges creaked,

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but as Nell stooped and strained,

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Charlotte wriggled her arm through the gap.

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You'll have to be quick, it's really hard.

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There was only the soft touch of silks and linens,

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but suddenly something cold and hard brushed against Charlotte's fingers.

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That was close.

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There it was.

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-The merchant's ring.

-Well done.

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What a heavy ring it was,

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with a circle and a triangle etched into the top.

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So that was the pattern they pressed into the wax

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to seal the letters.

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-You look after that now.

-I will.

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Oh, just a second!

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Give this bread and cheese to my boys.

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-Knowing those two, they haven't eaten.

-Thanks. Bye.

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Back came Charlotte in her old battered boots,

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across the ancient Highlands and down the mountainside.

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There was no time to waste.

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Charlotte found the merchants where she'd met them,

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sitting on a wall looking glumly at the letter.

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-I've got the ring.

-Oh, how wonderful.

-Thank you.

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-And your mum gave me some bread and cheese.

-Hooray, we're saved!

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-She was worried you hadn't eaten.

-She's right there.

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-Shall we deliver the letter now?

-No, let's eat first.

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-We can ask our new friend to join us. What do you say?

-Yes, let's.

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And that was that, the whole kit and caboodle.

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Charlotte And The Adventure Of The Merchant's Ring.

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I liked Tom and Hal, even though they're a bit forgetful.

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It was amazing that they used a merchant's ring

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to prove they were merchants.

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-Did they get any better?

-Well, they kept trying.

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And after that adventure,

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they made sure that one of them was wearing a merchant's ring.

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My goodness, time does fly when you're having fun. Come on.

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Your mum'll be here in a minute.

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Your coat.

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Now, how did that get there?

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Home time now, Charlotte.

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Bye, Great Aunt Lizzie.

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Cheery-bye, Charlotte.

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Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Charlotte and the Adventure of the Merchant's Ring. A pair of bumbling merchants run into some trouble when they cannot prove their identity without a special stamp. Charlotte goes on an epic quest to find the merchant's ring.


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