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Here they come! My two intrepid explorers -
Charlotte and Elliot.
I'm their great aunt Lizzie, you see.
And I wonder which one is coming to see me today...
Ah! So, it's Charlotte's turn.
Here she comes! Racing to hear
another tale from an epic adventurer.
CLINK! CLINK! CLINK!
And what a wonderful adventures they were.
So long ago and so far away.
I collected a few souvenirs along the way.
But my most precious possession of all
is my extraordinary collection of teacups.
You've still got your coat on, Charlotte. Come on.
No time to count the clouds, we've got stories to tell.
let's have a lovely cup of tea.
But first we need...
The Merchant's Ring.
What a choice, Charlotte.
I do really love that story.
This will be just perfect to drink now.
are you ready?
Then let me tell you the story
of Great Aunt Lizzie
And The Adventure Of The Merchant's Ring.
Oh, yes, of course.
-Let me tell you the story of Charlotte...
..And The Adventure Of The Merchant's Ring.
It all began long, long ago
in ancient Britain,
an island of green forests, majestic mountains,
silver rivers and tiny villages.
Charlotte had been travelling far across the Highlands
and into the glens.
She hadn't seen a single person for miles
when, after following a lane through the trees,
she came to a place where two men were resting by a wall.
A merchant and his young assistant
were trying to sort small bundles of cloth, ready for delivery.
-Not so urgent.
-Not so urgent.
Not so urgent, but very important.
Not so urgent, but very important.
All sorted, ready for delivery.
Hang on, there's just one pile.
How do you know which is which?
Oh, I was copying you.
-I thought you knew what you were doing, Hal.
-Sorry, uncle Tom.
You need to sort those packages out
-or you'll be wandering around the village all day.
-where's your merchant's ring?
I must have forgotten it.
Ah, never mind, we won't need it today.
Right, now, about this delivery...
Charlotte could see they were getting nowhere fast.
Perhaps a fresh eye would help.
-Hello, I was wondering if you needed any help?
We're successful cloth merchants and we don't need any help.
-I thought you might like help sorting your cloths out.
OK. I don't usually do the deliveries, I just sell the cloth.
-My sister normally does the deliveries.
-Oh, that's my mum.
-She made a map, but it didn't make any sense to me.
Show it the young lady, Hal.
I don't think I have it, do I?
Mm, it's not the best map I've ever seen...
Charlotte was always good with maps.
She soon sorted the bundles
so you could walk from one end of the town to the other,
delivering the bundles without having to run back and forth.
There you go.
If you start here and work your way up,
-they will all be in order.
Now get a move on, dear boy.
And I'll get my new hinges from the blacksmith.
It's for my trunk where I keep all my important stuff.
And whatever you do, don't forget this letter, Hal.
-I'll meet you back here.
-Yes, Uncle Tom. See you later, Uncle Tom.
-Thanks very much for your help.
-Hal seemed confident enough,
but Charlotte had a feeling she might be needed.
And a good thing too,
for it wasn't long before things started to go awry.
I'm not paying and that's final.
No mark, no payment.
If I go back with no money, I'll be in trouble.
If I gave money to anybody who came to my door,
I'd soon end up in a TERRIBLE mess.
I don't know who you are, you could be anyone.
Charlotte could see something was badly wrong.
-She went over to see if she could help.
-Is something the matter?
There is. He's given me this letter saying I need to pay him some money,
but it doesn't have a seal.
Without a seal, he could be anybody.
Isn't that the seal?
No, that's just the wax.
The seal is a special stamp you press into the wax when it's warm.
And it makes a mark which proves this bundle is from a real merchant.
-Every real cloth merchant has a seal.
-We have got one.
It's in a ring you can wear.
-It's called a merchant's ring.
-So you say,
-but where is it?
-Well, it's not mine.
It's my uncle Tom's ring - he's the cloth merchant.
It's true. That's why he has all these deliveries.
No sale, no money.
OK, Hal, you stay here and I'll go and find the ring.
Charlotte thought getting the merchant's ring
would be as easy as pie.
But, of course, it was never going to be as easy as that.
My uncle Tom forgot to bring it today.
I'll have to go home and get it.
Why don't you deliver the rest and I'll get the ring?
Oh, it's quite a long way away.
Over the hills and down by the river. My mum will be there.
It wasn't even lunchtime and already it had got so messy.
She had helped Tom and Hal sort out the bundles...
and she'd tried to help Hal
explain to the woman that his letter was real,
but the young woman was never going to be happy
until the wax had a proper seal mark in it.
No seal, no money.
And she had thought getting the merchant's ring would be a doddle.
She couldn't leave Hal without the merchant's ring, could she?
There was nothing else for it but to get a wriggle on,
over the hills to the cloth merchant's house.
So, off went Charlotte in her old battered boots.
She scrambled across the ancient Highlands until...
when she was almost out of breath...
the path ran out.
There was only one way to get to the other side.
Charlotte took a deep breath.
Safely across, she set off once more
until the land opened out onto a wild valley
beneath a wall of purple mountains.
But there was no time to admire the scenery,
Charlotte had to get that ring.
Hello, are you Hal's mother?
Yes. Is something the matter?
Nothing serious. Hal has a letter he's trying to deliver,
but it hasn't been sealed, so the lady won't pay.
I don't blame her. Why didn't he just seal it there and then?
-Didn't they have the merchant's ring?
-They forgot it.
Deary me, they always forget something.
I wonder where he put it.
And that was when Charlotte remembered about Tom
and the trunk where he kept all his valuables.
Tom said something about a trunk.
Could it be in there?
He mostly keeps his best cloth in there,
to keep it safe from the mice,
But when Charlotte tried to open it...
-It won't open.
-Tom was supposed to get new hinges today.
I tell you what, I'll lift the lid just a little bit
-and you see if you can wriggle your arm inside.
The lid was heavy and the broken hinges creaked,
but as Nell stooped and strained,
Charlotte wriggled her arm through the gap.
You'll have to be quick, it's really hard.
There was only the soft touch of silks and linens,
but suddenly something cold and hard brushed against Charlotte's fingers.
That was close.
There it was.
-The merchant's ring.
What a heavy ring it was,
with a circle and a triangle etched into the top.
So that was the pattern they pressed into the wax
to seal the letters.
-You look after that now.
Oh, just a second!
Give this bread and cheese to my boys.
-Knowing those two, they haven't eaten.
Back came Charlotte in her old battered boots,
across the ancient Highlands and down the mountainside.
There was no time to waste.
Charlotte found the merchants where she'd met them,
sitting on a wall looking glumly at the letter.
-I've got the ring.
-Oh, how wonderful.
-And your mum gave me some bread and cheese.
-Hooray, we're saved!
-She was worried you hadn't eaten.
-She's right there.
-Shall we deliver the letter now?
-No, let's eat first.
-We can ask our new friend to join us. What do you say?
And that was that, the whole kit and caboodle.
Charlotte And The Adventure Of The Merchant's Ring.
I liked Tom and Hal, even though they're a bit forgetful.
It was amazing that they used a merchant's ring
to prove they were merchants.
-Did they get any better?
-Well, they kept trying.
And after that adventure,
they made sure that one of them was wearing a merchant's ring.
My goodness, time does fly when you're having fun. Come on.
Your mum'll be here in a minute.
Now, how did that get there?
Home time now, Charlotte.
Bye, Great Aunt Lizzie.
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.