The Quest to Locate the Missing Ring

The Song of the Quarkbeast: The Chronicles of Kazam, Book 2 by Fforde, Jasper (2013) Hardcover - Jasper Fforde

i love this scene, so I'm sharing.


By magical means, the Wizards and their group have traced the ring to a deep, dark well.


“It’s in there,” Mawgon said.


“And there it should stay,” replied Full Price, who still wasn’t happy. “I can feel something wrong.”


“How wrong?” I asked. “


Seventh circle of wrong. I can sense the lingering aftertaste of an old spell, too.” There was silence for a moment as everyone took this in, and a coldness seemed to emanate up from the well.


“I can sense something, too,” said Perkins, “like that feeling you get when someone you don’t like is looking over your shoulder.”


“The ring doesn’t want to be found,” said Full Price.


“No,” said Perkins, “ someone doesn’t want it to be found.”


Missing objects are one thing, but hidden objects are quite another.


“I can think of five thousand good reasons [the finder's fee.] to find it,” said Lady Mawgon, “so find it we shall.” . . .


. . . They both attempted to lift the ring from the well. But no sooner had they started the lift than a low rumble seemed to come from the earth beneath our feet and the bricks that made up the low wall started to shift. Tiger and I took a step back, but the others simply watched as an old and long- forgotten enchantment moved the bricks into a new configuration, sealing the wellhead tight. Within a few seconds there was only a solid brick cap.


“Fascinating,” said Lady Mawgon, for this was in effect a battle of wits between sorcerers, separated by thirty years. Whatever enchantment had been left to keep the ring hidden, it was still powerful.


“I vote we walk away now,” said Full Price.


“It’s a challenge,” replied Lady Mawgon excitedly, “and I like a challenge.” . . . 


[Tiger, the smallest and the newest, is elected to descend into the well.]


. . . “It’s going to be as dark as the belly of a whale down there.”


I took a glass globe from my bag, just one of the many useful objects that I liked to have with me on assignment. “It runs off sarcasm,” I said, handing it to him.


“Great,” Tiger replied, and the globe lit up brightly.


“You’ll also need this,” I told him as I positioned a baby shoe against his ear and tied its laces around his neck. I spoke into the matching shoe in my hand. “Can you hear me?”


“Yes,” he replied, “I can hear you. Do I have to go down a well upside down while being sarcastic with a shoe tied around my neck?”


And the adventure continues.