The People That Lived In Hiding
by LindaMarie

Caspian, Trumpkin, Nickelbrik and Trufflehunter had been out visiting all day. His three hosts made introductions for him to all the neighboring Old Narnians, and helped him to formulate his plan of reclaiming the throne. They also, of course, wanted to spread the message of the great party that would be held on Dancing Lawn in three days, under the bright of the Moon.

Their next visit was to the Seven Seekers of Shuddering Wood. They went very quietly and presently Caspian could feel the ground shake under his feet as if some great drums were being beaten down below. Trumpkin went to a flat stone about the size of the top of a water-butt, and stamped on it with his foot. After a long pause it was moved away by someone or something underneath, and there was a dark, round hole with a good deal of heat and smoke and very loud music coming out of it and in the middle of the hole the head of a Dwarf very like Trumpkin himself. There was a long talk here and the Dwarf seemed rather suspicious, but in the end the whole party were invited to come down.

Caspian found himself descending a dark stairway into the earth, but when he came to the bottom he saw pulsing, bright light. It was the light of many strobes flashing in many colors. The whole place was a gay bar. A beautifully-polished oak counter with a number of peculiarly small stools ran along one wall of it. Two Dwarfs were seated at it sipping what looked to be a dark ale, another was on the dance floor practicing the latest moves, a fourth was cheering him on, and two walked out of a back room, wiping their horny hands on a greasy cloth, and were coming forward to greet the visitors.

It took some time to satisfy them that Caspian was a friend and not an enemy, but when they did, they all cried--"Long live the King," and their gifts were noble--several rounds of some simply marvellous mead (as those sorts of things go) and two platters of bite-size (though not, perhaps, by Dwarf standards) taquitos for the Dwarves and Man. The Badger could have had the same if he had liked, but he said he was a beast, he was, and if simple meals weren't enough to keep his belly full, it wasn't worth filling.

All in all, they had a lovely visit at the club, and all the customers as well as the proprieter (he had been the one dancing) agreed to attend the feast at Dancing Lawn--the latter even offering to provide refreshments. Caspian thanked them all warmly, and promised to return soon.


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