That night we slept well and without fear, being quite certain that after their previous experience the Orofenans would make no further attempts upon us. Indeed our only anxiety was for Tommy, whom we could not find when the time came to give him his supper. Bastin, however, seemed to remember having seen him following the Glittering Lady into the cave. This, of course, was possible, as certainly he had taken an enormous fancy to her and sat himself down as close to her as he could on every occasion. He even seemed to like the ancient Oro, and was not afraid to jump up and plant his dirty paws upon that terrific person’s gorgeous robe. Moreover Oro liked him, for several times I observed him pat the dog upon the head; as I think I have said, the only human touch that I had perceived about him. So we gave up searching and calling in the hope that he was safe with our supernatural friends.
The next morning quite early the Lady Yva appeared alone; no, not alone, for with her came our lost Tommy looking extremely spry and well at ease. The faithless little wretch just greeted us in a casual fashion and then went and sat by Yva. In fact when the awkward Bastin managed to stumble over the end of her dress Tommy growled at him and showed his teeth. Moreover the dog was changed. He was blessed with a shiny black coat, but now this coat sparkled in the sunlight, like the Lady Yva’s hair.
“The Glittering Lady is all very well, but I’m not sure that I care for a glittering dog. It doesn’t look quite natural,” said Bastin, contemplating him.
“Why does Tommy shine, Lady?” I asked.
“Because I washed him in certain waters that we have, so that now he looks beautiful and smells sweet,” she answered, laughing.
It was true, the dog did smell sweet, which I may add had not always been the case with him, especially when there were dead fish about. Also he appeared to have been fed, for he turned up his nose at the bits we had saved for his breakfast.
“He has drunk of the Life-water,” explained Yva, “and will want no food for two days.”
Bickley pricked up his ears at this statement and looked incredulous.
“You do not believe, O Bickley,” she said, studying him gravely. “Indeed, you believe nothing. You think my father and I tell you many lies. Bastin there, he believes all. Humphrey? He is not sure; he thinks to himself, I will wait and find out whether or no these funny people cheat me.”
Bickley coloured and made some remark about things which were contrary to experience, also that Tommy in a general way was rather a greedy little dog.
“You, too, like to eat, Bickley” (this was true, he had an excellent appetite), “but when you have drunk the Life-water you will care much less.”
“I am glad to hear it,” interrupted Bastin, “for Bickley wants a lot of cooking done, and I find it tedious.”