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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 Elliot's turn.
Here he comes!
Racing to hear another tale from an epic adventurer.
CLINK, CLINK, CLINK!
And what 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, Elliot. Come on!
No time to count the clouds. We've got stories to tell!
Now, let's have a lovely cup of tea.
-But first, we need...
But which one?
The Inkwell And Reed Pen.
What a choice, Elliot! I do really love that story.
This is just perfect to drink now.
So, are you ready?
-Then, let me tell the story
of Great Aunt Lizzie
And The Adventure Of The Inkwell And The Soldier.
HE CLEARS THROAT
Oh, yes, of course!
Let me tell the story of ELLIOT And The Adventure Of
The Inkwell And The Soldier.
It all began long, long ago in an ancient empire,
where towns and cities of marble and gold nestled among the hills
and fields in a land we now call Italy.
MAGICAL ADVENTURE MUSIC
After travelling south from the mountains,
deep into the heart of the Roman Empire, Elliot found himself
fresh and early in the middle of a small hillside town.
He wound his way between the villas and into the narrow streets,
when something caught his eye.
A young soldier appeared
and put something outside the door of his elegant house.
From inside came the sound of a worried voice.
-Make sure you keep warm in the army.
-But don't get too hot!
-And make sure you eat properly.
-But don't eat too much!
-And don't get into any trouble...
-Crispinus, you ARE listening to me, aren't you?
Yes, of course. But I'm joining the great Roman army.
We might need to get into a bit of trouble
-to make the Roman Empire even greater!
But how will I know that you're eating properly
and keeping warm while you're away?
I'll tell you all about it when we get back.
But you might not BE back for ages and ages.
Which was when Elliot realised how he could help.
-Excuse me, maybe I could suggest something?
If you had something to write on, then Crispinus could send you
-a message, saying how he was.
-Why didn't we think of that?
Yes, he could write on papyrus with a pen.
Then you could give it to somebody you meet
-and then it'd hopefully, eventually, make its way back home.
-THAT is a brilliant idea.
-It might work.
Papyrus to write on and a pen and ink to write with.
-There's no ink!
-We haven't got time to get any more, I've got to go NOW.
Which is when Elliot realised how he could help a little more.
-I'll go and get some.
-Hortensia, our neighbour at the end of the road,
is bound to have some. Last door on the left.
But we leave for Britannia tonight!
-I need to get to Roma first to sign in!
-I'll be as quick as I can.
He went straight to the neighbour's house
and knocked loudly on the door.
Oh! Hello, my dear. How can I help you?
-Crispinus is going away to join the army and needs some ink.
Oh, yes, I've got lots of ink! Come in, come in! I'll get it for you.
Now, I know we've got some ink somewhere...
Erm, just a minute...
It might be here... I had it just yesterday...
Elliot didn't know what to do.
He didn't want to hurry the lady
but he knew Crispinus would be leaving really soon.
-Shall I help you look?
-No, no, dear, it's fine! I'll find it in a minute.
Elliot was beginning to give up hope of her ever finding it,
-Here it is!
-Oh, thank you so much!
Elliot looked at the inkwell.
It was a little earthenware pot with a hole in the middle for the pen
to dip in.
Hortensia popped a little cork in so the ink wouldn't come out.
I'd better hurry if I'm going to catch him! Thank you!
As quickly as he could, Elliot raced back.
But when he got there, Crispinus had already left.
He couldn't wait any longer. He had to go.
What a catastrophe!
-But Elliot wasn't beaten just yet.
-Maybe I can catch him.
-When did he leave?
-Only a little while ago,
but he's a fast walker and he was already late.
-There's nothing you can do.
-Well, I'll give it a try.
Elliot thought catching Crispinus would be as easy as A-B-C,
but of course, it was never going to be as easy as that.
When he reached the open road, he couldn't see him anywhere.
So, he looked through his telescope.
And there on a far-off hill, he saw Crispinus marching quickly,
getting further and further ahead with every stride.
Elliot knew there was no time to waste.
How did finding a way to let Crispinus's mum know
how he was get so complicated?
When Elliot had thought of writing a message,
-he couldn't have known they'd run out of ink.
-There's no ink!
-He'd tried to get some from the neighbour...
-Here it is!
..but that had taken ages. He'd returned as quickly as he could,
but Crispinus had left for Rome and was already far ahead.
He couldn't give up without giving Crispinus the ink, could he?
He would just have to catch him up
before he headed north with the army.
There was nothing else for it but to set off double-quick to Rome.
So, off went Elliot in his old, battered boots.
He scrambled up the rugged mountain paths until,
when he was almost out of breath,
the path ran out!
There was only one way to get to the other side.
Elliot took a deep breath...
Safely across, Elliot set off once more until there it was -
the great metropolis of Rome.
But there was no time to sightsee.
Elliot had to give Crispinus the ink.
The shadows were lengthening as Elliot quickly made his way to the
town square, where he saw Crispinus resting before the long walk north.
-I got the link!
-Oh! Thanks! I can't believe you caught me up.
-It wasn't quite as easy as I thought.
-I'll write really soon.
Maybe you could write your mum a message NOW
-and I could take it back for you.
-But I haven't much to write about yet.
-I've only just got here.
-You could write about your lunch
-and how amazing Rome is.
-You're right. I could!
It's not working! The ink must be all dry.
What a disaster!
The ink must have dried up on the journey.
What on earth could they do now?
Maybe if I add a few drops...
..it'll be enough liquid to write!
Finally, Crispinus was able to write a letter to his mum.
"Dear Mama, had soup for lunch. Roma is very beautiful.
"Lots of love, your son, Crispinus."
-I'll make sure your mum gets it.
-Thanks! I'll write again soon.
But let her know I'll be back before she knows it.
That's my call to go...
Back came Elliot in his old, battered boots,
across the open plains and down the mountainside.
It was the end of a very long day indeed when Elliot returned,
clutching the soldier's letter in his hand.
-He's written one already!
Ah, he's such a good boy!
He said he'd write again soon, but he'll be back before you know it.
-I've found some more ink!
-But he's already left!
It's not for him, it's for you, so you can write a message back!
Oh, Hortensia, thank you.
You can have a think about what you want to write.
But first, let's have a nice, warm drink.
And that was that. The whole kit and caboodle.
Eliot And The Adventure Of The Inkwell And The Soldier.
-It was a really good idea to send a message.
You weren't to know they didn't have ink anywhere in the house.
Hortensia didn't MEAN to take ages.
-I thought she'd never find that inkwell.
-I like the way he had to
-dip the reed pen in the ink.
-It could be quite messy, I have to say!
You were very clever to let the ink dry on the letter first.
-And his mum was pleased to get his message, wasn't she?
-Yes, she was.
Well, I never. Is that the time already? Come on!
Your mum will be here in a minute.
How did that get there?
Home time now, Elliot.
-Thanks, Great Aunt Lizzie!
Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Elliot and the Adventure of the Inkwell and the Soldier. A soldier in ancient Rome needs a way to keep in touch with his mum while he is away. Elliot goes on an epic quest to track down the soldier before he leaves with the Roman army.