Having added more energy techniques
to their arsenals, Dan and Truro entered the Tardizord for their next journey. “3..2..1, away we go!” said
Truro, pulling down the ignition lever. “Blimey, you’re
eager!” laughed Dan. “Still, can’t complain!” Soon, the Tardizord was once again in the Time Tunnel.
“Wonder where we’ll end up this time?” Truro
said. “Your guess is as good as mine, Truro.”
Dan said. Just then, as they glanced at the big screen on the Tardizord wall, they noticed a small rock hurtling towards them.
“What’s this? Meteorites in the Time Tunnel?!” yelled Truro.
“This is unheard of.” Dan held onto one of the panels of the console. “Hold onto your hat, Truro. This could get rather nasty!” warned Dan. As Truro braced himself and held onto some levers, and Dan fought for control, there was a THUD!
and the Tardizord lurched dangerously about in the Time Tunnel. Truro
and Dan were thrown to either side of the Tardizord interior and banged their heads against the walls. After ten minutes of
lurching, the two rangers were dizzy as they got to their feet. “Um, Tardizordon! Damage report requested.” Dan
called down the microphone. “Report. Knock to the side of exterior. Damage – Superficial.” replied Tardizordon.
“Are you both OK?” “I’m OK!” called Truro.
“Yeah, me t..ooh!” Dan started, but he began to feel a bit funny. Then, he clutched his neck. “Agh!”
“Dan? What’s wrong? Are you all right?” asked Truro.
“I don’t know. Something to do…with that impact…has triggered something…agh!” Dan said,
quickly. “Something is wrong with me!” He clenched his fists, and started to glow blue. “No...no, surely
not!” gasped Truro. Then, in a display of dazzling light,
Dan started to transform. “TRURO!” he yelled.
Truro didn’t answer, because he was paralyzed with awe.
Moments later, a thick cloud of smoke had surrounded the newly transformed Dan. Truro
approached cautiously. As the clouds of smoke parted, Dan re-emerged. He looked at Truro,
who’s eyes were now the size of saucers. “Something the matter, Truro.
What just happened?” asked Dan. His voice sounded somewhat deeper than normal. Truro
gulped, and said in a shaky voice “W-well, let’s just say…that you look like a well known Kids TV character.”
Then he fell backwards. Dan, puzzled, opened up the cupboard on the console and took out a mirror. “Whoa! Dear Lord
Almighty!” he gasped. “I see what you mean, Truro.
had passed out. Dan walked over to the Location/Date panel. It read: 17th Century France. Then, Truro
came to and sat up. “Although you are the same size as you were before, you look almost like Dogtanian!” he said.
Dan helped Truro up. “I’ve just checked the Location/Date
panel, Truro. We’re in 17th Century France, so it confirms your judgement. Back in a tick!”
replied Dan, and with that, made for the LG floor of the Tardizord. Moments later, he re-emerged in 17th Century
style clothing. Truro had an idea. He went into the console’s
cupboard and pulled out 2 belts, 2 pairs of leather gloves and 2 swords in sheaths. “Here. You take a set.” he
said, fitting his sheath on his belt. “Thanks.” replied Dan. The two of them looked at the console’s monitor,
and saw they had landed in a wood. “Shall we?” asked Truro.
“We shall!” replied Dan. “One for all…” “…and all for one!” replied Truro. As Dan and Truro
exited the Tardizord and set foot in the wood, it seemed apparently empty as Dan shrank and pocketed the Tardizord. “It’s
quiet…” said Truro suspiciously. “Too quiet!”
added Dan. The two rangers scanned the area. The breeze stirred in the trees and the birds sang. As they walked towards an
opening in the woods, Dan and Truro suddenly heard a snap.
Quick as a flash, they unsheathed their swords. “Who’s there. Show yourself!” demanded Dan. “Come
on!” There came a rustle and, suddenly, someone fell over behind them. The two turned quickly. “Great grumbling
gobfish! It’s that blundering burke Widimier!” said Truro,
replacing his sword. “Grrh. That great bumbling nincompoop!” huffed Dan. “Wha? I thought you wore red, Dogtanian.
What’s with the new uniform?” flustered Widimier. “I am NOT Dogtanian!” snapped Dan, his nose flashing
blue. “I happen to come from the 21st Century, you clown!” “Stop talking in that voice, Dogtanian!”
Widimier went on, ignoring Dan’s indignation. “You should join a theatre group!” Steam now poured from Dan’s
ears. “You bumbling fool!” growled Dan. Just then, they heard the sound of hoofbeats and four familiar faces arrived
on their steeds. “Huh? How did you do that, Dogtanian? You must move very quickly to change your outfit like that!”
said Widimier, laughing out loud. Dan crossed his arms, holding his sword, and tapped his foot. “Change my outfit? What
do you mean, Widimier?” asked Dogtanian, puzzled. Widimier stopped laughing and glanced at Dan, who was fuming, and
then at Dogtanian, who had a puzzled look across his face. “Oh, blast my eyes! I’ve messed up! Cardinal Richelieu
will punish me for sure!” groaned Widimier. Dogtanian got down from his steed, Sandy, and walked up to Dan. “Excuse
me, sir.” he said, clearing his throat. Dan turned, looked at Dogtanian and calmed right down. “I beg your pardon,
my good sir.” Dan said. “Are you friends with Widimier?” asked Dogtanian. “No, I am not!” Dan
replied. He felt insulted. Dogtanian laughed. “No wonder he thought you was I.” “En Garde!” called
Widimier. Dogtanian was about to unsheathe his sword, when Dan said “Allow me.” “Oh. Very well, then.”
At that moment, Aramis, Athos and Porthos dismounted their horses and joined Dogtanian’s side. “Allez!”
called Dan. There followed a series of rallies and rebounds as Dan and Truro
took turns. Widimier was trying to match their speediness. “Missed!” laughed Truro.
Widimier tried to hit Dan. “Missed again!” said Dan. The Muskehounds looked on with interest. “Gotta hand
it to ‘em. They’re talented!” said Athos. “I agree.” added Aramis. “Widimier can’t
even get a hit. Those two are incredible” laughed Porthos. Then, after five minutes, Widimier’s sword was cast
aside, and the Muskehounds showed their approval. “Now, away with you!” said Truro.
“And never mix people up again!” added Dan, sternly. Widimier shrank as Dan and Truro replaced their swords. “Now, where were we?” asked Dan. “That was
flawless swordsmanship!” congratulated Aramis. “Splendid!” added Athos. “Where and when did you learn
those skills?” asked Porthos. “You wouldn’t believe us if we told you!” laughed Truro. “Try us.” said Dogtanian. “All right. 2009 AD.” “2009
AD?” repeated the Muskehounds. “That means you’re time travellers, right?” Athos asked. “That
is so.” replied Truro. “We’ve been all over
the place on our travels.” Just then, they all heard a panting noise as a small figure arrived, running as fast as he
could. “Did I…did I miss anything?” he panted. “No, Pip. Well, nothing much.” replied Dogtanian.
“Hey, who are these two?” asked Pip. “I’m Dan, and this is Truro.” introduced Dan. “Oh.
Well, how come you look like Dogtanian and he looks like a human being?” asked Pip.
Dan told Pip and the Muskehounds about the mishap in the Time Tunnel. “…and so, that’s how I came
to look like this.” he finished. “Fascinating story.” Aramis said. “Oh. I’m sorry to have wasted
your time, gentlemen. I suppose you have your duties.” apologised Dan. “Ah, don’t worry. We’re off
duty for now.” Athos explained. “All right, then.” said Dan. He took out a canvas and some paints. “Ah.
You’re an artist as well as a time traveller.” Porthos pointed out. “That’s right.” Truro said. “And so am I.” No sooner had Dan touched the
canvas with the brush, when within a few strokes, the painting was complete. “Blimey! That was quick!” laughed
Truro. “That’s probably why I have time on my
side!” Dan laughed, pointing to his clock badge. He took the canvas off the easel, and put a frame over the painting.
Then, the Muskehounds and Pip could have a better look. They all seemed to like it, and they asked the two rangers if they’d
like to accompany them. The two rangers obliged and they set off. “Hey, what about me?” called Pip. “Oh,
come on then!” said Dan, picking up Pip. “That’s better!” said Pip. As they set off, Widimier grew
back to his normal size, ran to his horse and set off for Paris.
“Oh, the indignity! The shame! His Emminence won’t be pleased with me!” he muttered to himself. En route
to Paris, Pip’s stomach growled. “Uh oh! I think
someone’s hungry again!” laughed Dogtanian. Everyone but Pip laughed. Pip turned bright red. “Hey, the smaller
you are, the more hungry you get!” he fumed. His stomach growled again. “Aw, shucks!” Dan set Pip down and
pulled out the Tardizord from his pocket. “Anyone got a magic wand?” he asked. “No.” replied the Muskehounds.
“Ah, well. ABRACADABRA!” called Dan. Suddenly, the Tardizord grew to its full size. Dan entered it, and called
“I won’t be long!” Dogtanian, Pip, Athos, Aramis and Porthos watched in amazement, and so did their steeds.
30 seconds later, Dan re-emerged, shrunk the Tardizord, pocketed it, and gave a piece of fresh cheese to Pip, and quick as
a flash, it was gone. Dan picked Pip up again. “Thanks.” said Pip. “Shall we continue?” asked Dan.
So they did. “That was a great trick, by the way.” said Aramis, admirably. “Thank you. I built it myself.”
Dan replied. “An excellent piece of craftsmanship, if you ask me.” said Porthos. Then, they all heard in the distance
the sound of hooves, and Widimier bounced into view on his steed. “Oh, here comes trouble!” sighed Dan, his nose
flashing blue again. Then he took a deep breath, and said to himself. “No. You must keep calm.” “Clear the
way, you fools!” called Widimier. “Oh, you again!” “Ignore him, Dan. He’s not worth our time!”
Truro said to Dan. So Dan ignored Widimier, but his nose still flashed blue. “I bet Cardinal Richelieu will have words
with him.” reassured Porthos. “I hope so, and stern ones too!” replied Dan. “he’s more trouble
than he’s worth. One day, he’ll really get himself in trouble, that clown!” “I agree.” Aramis
agreed. “I’ll tell you something, Dan. He’s nothing compared to that Blanc Bec and Count Beajeaux.”
Athos grumbled. Dan froze and his nose turned black again.” Did you say Blanc Bec and Count Beajeaux? Wasn’t Blanc
Bec the one responsible for imprisoning King Louis in a golden muzzle and took over the throne, and Count Beajeaux was his
right hand man?” he asked. “You’re right, Dan. But how did you know all that?” asked Dogtanian. “Let’s
just say that news travels very quickly through time.” smiled Dan. Soon, the group entered the outskirts of Paris and
were now approaching a rope bridge. “Oh. It’s one of those hanging bridges.” observed Truro. Pip, who was
on Dan’s right hand, didn’t dare look at it. “Take it easy, Pip. Just relax.” soothed Dan. “I’ll
set off first.” Dogtanian suggested. “I’ll accompany you,” Dan said. “Then, I’ll look
out for any signs of sabotage.” “OK, then.” agreed Dogtanian. Dan told the others to standby. “Righto,
Dan.” replied Truro. So, cautiously, Dogtanian on Sandy, and Pip with Dan set off across the bridge. Halfway across,
all was OK, but Dan kept a sharp eye out in case there were any deliberate breaks in the bridge. Near the very end of the
bridge, as Dogtanian, Sandy, Dan and Pip arrived on the other side, Dan became suspicious. “Hallo.” he said. “Something’s
wrong here!” “What’s the matter?” asked Pip. “Don’t look now,” said Dan, pointing
to a few rope supports. “but I think the bridge has been tampered with.” “Dogtanian looked at the supports.
“You’re right.” he said. “By the look of it, they seem to have been cut.” “And I think
I know who’s responsible!” Dan said. He put his hands to his mouth. “YOU FOUR!” he called. His yells
echoed round the cliffs. “YES, DAN?” Truro hollered back. “BE CAREFUL! SOMEONE’S BEEN HERE BEFORE
US, AND HAS SABOTAGED THE BRIDGE, SO MOVE QUICKLY!” called Dan. “OK!” Truro called back. “Right, let’s
move it!” he said to the Muskehounds. The Muskehounds didn’t need telling twice. Aramis pulled Truro up onto his
steed, and the four of them set off quickly across the bridge. “They’re not gonna make it!” groaned Pip,
as he saw some more supports snap. “Don’t be a pessimist, Pip!” sighed Dogtanian. Dan thought as hard as
he could. Behind a large boulder, Widimier was watching. “Ha! This’ll be the perfect chance to get into His Emminence’s
good books!” he laughed. “Making the Muskehounds meet a watery end will be the perfect chance to redeem myself.”
Then, an idea popped into Dan’s head. He pulled out a length of rope and lassoed it over to the broken supports. Dan’s
rope soon repaired the supports, and made it more sturdy. Widimier scowled as the Muskehounds and Truro made it across the
bridge, just in the nick of time. Suddenly, Dan’s rope disappeared and the hanging bridge collapsed with an almighty
SNAP!, and fell into the raging river below. “Phew! That was too close for comfort!” sighed Dan, wiping his forehead
on the back of his hand. “I’ll say!” said Pip. “Well, gentlemen. Onward!” said Porthos. The
group moved closer to Paris, as Widimier scrambled back on his steed, muttering to himself. “That was expert timing,
my friend.” said Pip. “Maybe we should get the King to award you a medal for quick thinking.” Dan laughed.
“Now, come on, Pip. Flattery is nice, but I think saving lives is rewarding enough. Right, Truro?” “Absolutely!” agreed Truro. “Dan.” “Yes, Dogtanian?” “You suspected
that someone sabotaged the bridge, who did you think it was?” “Widimier, of course.” Interrupted Pip. “Remember
that bridge we crossed on the way to Spain, to deliver ‘The Lights of the King’? That was Widimier. I think Dan
thought Widimier sabotaged that bridge too.” “What a great memory you have, Pip. I can only remember my duties
and whatever’s for lunch.” laughed Athos. Everyone laughed. “Exactly who I was thinking of, Pip.”
Dan said. There was about an hour before the Muskehounds were due back at the Palace, so they stopped at Dogtanian’s
home. A figure was waiting for them. “Hi, Dogtanian. Who are your new friends?” It was Juliette, Dogtanian’s
wife. “Hi Juliette. These are Dan and Truro. A couple of talented artists and swordsmen we found in the forest.”
explained Dogtanian. “Pleased to meet you.” Dan and Truro said together. “Why don’t you come on in?”
asked Juliette. “Thank you.” replied Dan and Truro. Once inside, Dan and Truro told Juliette about their run in
with Widimier and the sabotaged bridge. “One of these days, he’ll just go too far and cause a far worse accident
than earlier.” grumbled Dan. “I see. That Widimier’s always had a knack of being a clown.” sighed
Juliette. “Oh. You almost look like Dogtanian, Dan.” “Ha-ha! Well, you’d be surprised that this is
not really my true form.” laughed Dan. “Oh yes, I’ve just remembered something.” He pulled out the
painting he made in the forest. Juliette had a good look at it. Meanwhile, as Dogtanian took Sandy to his stable for a drink,
he saw his children, Phillipe and Fleur, out in the yard. “Hey, kids.” “Hey, dad.” said Fleur as she
and Phillipe rushed up to Dogtanian. “Who were those other two who came back with you?” asked Phillipe. At that
moment, Dan and Truro walked out into the yard. They noticed Dogtanian signalling them to go to him. “These are Dan
and Truro.” “How d’ya do.” said Dan, bending down so that Pip could get off. “Thanks.”
said Pip. “It’s a pleasure to meet the two of you.” Said Dan. “Same here!” replied Phillipe,
showing off some swordplay before falling on his back. “Oh dear!” said Fleur. “Never mind. I think you’ll
make a great swordsman!” said Dan. “You think so?” asked Phillipe. I know so.” replied Dan. “A
chip off the old block, I’d say.” added Dogtanian. As they went back inside, Juliette was finishing looking at
the painting. It showed Dogtanian, the Muskehounds and Dan and Truro in the forest. “You’re talented, Dan.”
she said. “If you like it, then keep it as a souvenir.” said Dan. “Then, Dogtanian can look back on this
day.” “Thanks.” Dogtanian said. About 20 minutes later, it was time to go to the palace. As they bid goodbye
to Juliette, Pip, Phillipe and Fleur, and made their way to the palace, Dan began to feel strange. “Whoa!” he
gasped. “What’s wrong?” asked Dogtanian. “I think I’m becoming human again.” Dan said.
Then with a flash of blue light, Dan became human again. The Muskehounds broke into applause. “So, this is your true
form?” asked Athos. “Yes, it is.” replied Dan. His voice was now back to normal. He drew his sword and did
some invisible swordplay. His agility was plain to see. Then, he replaced his sword. Pretty soon, they approached the palace.
As they went through the gates, Dan and Truro waited at the entrance, while the Muskehounds dismounted their horses. Inside
the palace, Monsieur Treville was sitting in a corridor, enjoying a book he was reading, when he caught sight of Dogtanian.
“Ah, gentlemen. I see you brought some guests.” said Treville. “By the look of them, they’re futuristic.
21st Century, perhaps?” “Well guessed, sir. You are exactly right.” congratulated Dan. Meanwhile,
in a room down the same corridor, Cardinal Richelieu was in conference with Widimier. “How many times do I have to put
up with your blatant stupidity?” he scowled. Widimier shrank again. “You waste my time saying you met someone
who looks like Dogtanian? Load of old nonsense! Now, get out of my sight! If I don’t see you for another week, it’ll
be too soon!” Widimier left the room as small as Pip, with the Cardinal’s raven laughing behind him. Presently,
the Muskehounds split up to go to their normal duties, while Monsieur Treville spoke with Dan and Truro, who told him about
all the days events. “So, Widimier’s been up to his old tricks again, has he?” asked Treville. “Afraid
so.” replied Dan. “He sabotaged a hanging bridge on the way over here, to get rid of us all.” added Truro.
“One of these days, he’ll just go to far.” “I quite agree.” Treville said, tweaking his moustache.
As Treville, Dan and Truro walked down the corridor, a door opened and Cardinal Richelieu stepped out looking to his left
and to his right. “Good afternoon, gentlemen. I was wondering if you saw a mini Widimier scuttling anywhere around here.”
he said. “Good afternoon, your Emminence. Yes. I saw him scuttle down there.
See?” replied Dan, pointing to the scuttling small shape of Widimier, further up the corridor. “Thank you.”
said the Cardinal. “Come on!” he whispered to his raven. Treville chuckled. “Never before have I seen someone
scuttle so quickly!” Dan and Truro joined in the laughter. “And what is so funny, Treville?” came a light
voice. The three of them stopped laughing very suddenly, for His Majesty, King Louis XIII, had been travelling opposite them.
“Oh, your pardon, my Lord.” Treville said, clearing his throat. “It was the sight of that small scuttling
Widimier over there.” “Ah, not to worry, my friend.” replied the King. “I sometimes find a good laugh
is the best medicine for any situation. Oh, and who are these two gentlemen?” “If you please, Sire, I’m
Dan and this is my friend Truro.” said Dan, bowing. Truro bowed, too. “Come with me to my office. It’s where
we’ll have a conversation in confidence.” replied the King. So, the three of them followed King Louis XIII into
his office, with no interruptions. The King listened with interest to Dan’s news about the incident with Widimier. “He’s
supposed to be Captain of the Cardinal’s guards, isn’t he?” “Yes, Sire, but instead he’s a complete
clown.” replied Dan. “His Emminence is dealing with him even as we speak.” “Ah, jolly good.”
The King said. “Ah. I note from your dress sense that you’re from the future.” “That is so, Sire.”
Dan replied. “Isn’t this fascinating? Exactly, how did you arrive in France?” asked the King. “You
must have developed some kind of time travel device to get here.” Dan pulled out the Tardizord from his pocket. “We
got here in this.” “Oh my. That is awfully small for you to fit in.” remarked the King. Dan set the Tardizord
down into an empty space. “Just watch this, Sire. You’ll like this.” he said. As if by magic, the Tardizord
grew to its proper size. “Ah. That’s better, now isn’t it, Treville?” The King said. “I won’t
be a moment.” Dan said as he entered the Tardizord. The King and Monsieur Treville looked at each other and then at
Truro. “Oh, here he comes!” said Truro. Dan came out with a long painting he had been working on. “What
do you think?” “Well, you obviously like artwork.” pointed out Treville. “Certainly. It’s one
of mine and Truro’s favourite pastimes.” replied Dan. The King stood up from his desk and came to have a closer
inspection. The painting was a splendid landscape of a countryside on a Summer’s day. “If it’s all right
with you, Dan, I’d like to acquire it.” said the King, looking at it, carefully. “You would, Sire?”
asked Dan. “I was about to ask.” Dan put the painting carefully on the table. “I shall hang it up later.”
said the King. “Thank you very much.” “You are most welcome.” replied Dan. “Can we go and see
if his Emminence has caught up with that clown?” asked Truro. “I don’t see why not.” replied the King.
“Treville will take you to the dungeons. That’s probably where his Emminence has put Widimier.” “Right
away, my lord. This way, gentlemen.” replied Treville. “Thanks for your time.” said Truro. “It was
an honour to meet you, Sire.” added Dan. He and Truro bowed. “Thanks for visiting, and I’ll look after this
work of art.” replied the King. “Farewell.” “Farewell”
replied Dan and Truro, and with that, walked out of the King’s office. “I happen to know a shortcut to the dungeons.
Come along!” said Treville. “When you’ve been in the service of the King for as long as I have, you get
to know a lot of the palace’s secrets.” Treville stopped opposite a portrait and pulled it towards him. The painting
swung open and revealed a tunnel. “Now, that’s impressive.” laughed Truro. “Mm-hm.” agreed Dan.
Soon, the three of them entered the tunnel and closed the painting door behind them. Treville led, with a candle to guide
them. “Oh, mind your heads!” he warned. “Oof!” groaned Truro, as he bumped his head. “Too late.”
whispered Dan. About five minutes later, they arrived at another passage, courtesy of another painting door. “Incredible!”
said Truro. As soon as they shut the painting door, they opened another door and followed Treville down the stoned stairs,
and found Cardinal Richelieu turning the key in the lock of the main dungeon cell. “Your Emminence.” said Treville,
Dan and Truro. “Gentlemen.” replied the Cardinal. “I see you’ve dealt with that nitwit, Widimier.”
said Dan disdainfully, looking at the sorry sight of Widimier in the cell. “That will teach him to be a bungling, pea-brained
nitwit!” “Ho-ho! Great description.” laughed Treville. The Cardinal laughed, too. (Which is quite rare,
in his case.) “When will he ever learn?” Dan asked. Some time later, Dan and Truro left the palace and thanked
Treville for a wonderful tour. And sent their personal thanks to King Louis XIII by letter. “You’re most welcome,
and thanks for visiting.” smiled Treville. With the last farewell, Dan and Truro headed for the outskirts of Paris.
Some time later, they heard a familiar voice. “Hey guys! Wait up!” It was Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.
“Hello again, gentlemen!” said Dan. “Treville told us you were leaving.” explained Athos. “So,
we’ve come to escort you to the end of the outskirts.” added Aramis. “It’s the least we could do since
you saved us from that incident with the bridge, so we thought we’d return the favour.” finished Porthos. “Thank
you. We’d be glad of your company!” agreed Dan. As the rangers walked along, and the Muskehounds rode alongside,
Dogtanian asked “I wonder what became of Widimier?” “His Emminence has dealt with him.” replied Dan.
“He’s now in the dungeon.” “That’s probably where he spends his time when he’s off duty.”
joked Athos. The six of them shook and burst out laughing. To pass the time, the Muskehounds told Dan and Truro about the
run in with the Cardinal’s guards. “Ha. They’ll never learn.” Dan laughed. “True.” agreed
Porthos. Once they reached the outskirts, Dan set the Tardizord down and it grew to its normal size. “Well, gentlemen.
This is where we say goodbye,” said Dan. “it was a real pleasure meeting you four.” “And it was a
pleasure meeting two great futuristic artists such as yourselves.” replied Dogtanian, shaking Dan and Truro by the hand.
Then, Dan and Truro shook Athos, Porthos and Aramis by the hand, too. “I’ll always remember today with that painting.”
Dogtanian said. Dan and Truro unsheathed and raised their swords. “On that happy note, One for all…” said
Truro. The Muskehounds raised their swords and replied “…and all for one!” Their swords touched Dan and
Truro’s swords. Then, Truro got in the Tardizord. And as Dan got in, he said his final goodbye and said “You’ll
like this bit.”, and closed the door. The Tardizord lamp began to flash, and then the ticking began as the Tardizord
vanished. “Incredible!” gasped Athos. As they went home, the Muskehounds looked up at the darkening night sky
and a shooting star shot across it.