Rosa’s roadster left the mountain road and followed the dirt road leading to Claude Perrault’s farm. The dirt road was rutted but Rosa managed to navigate the car with only one outburst from the Secretary.
Louis Baston, Secretary of the Bureau of Dragons, cried out as they hit one particularly treacherous bump in the road.
“You really should just sit back and enjoy the ride, Monsieur Secretary,” Rosa said over the rumble of the car.
“I’d like to, but I can’t seem to stay in my seat! Maybe you could slow down?”
Rosa seemed to take that as a challenge and Louis could swear she pressed down harder on the accelerator.
The farmhouse seemed to have grown out of the surroundings. It was timeless in design–field stone foundation and thatched roof. No signs of modernity could be seen. There were no phone or electric lines leading to the farm. It was not an uncommon sight in the mountain valleys.
Rosa pointed her car towards the barn. The barn was solidly built and had just enough space within to park the roadster next to a hay wagon. A large draft horse stamped his feet and whinnied nervously at the sight of the car.
“Easy, Louis!” called out Claude.
“Monsieur Baston, his horse has your name!” laughed Rosa.
Louis Baston winced at hearing this. “Madame, I’m sure he is a fine specimen…the standard for his breed, I should say.” This came out with little conviction as Louis looked upon the other Louis. The large draft horse stood flat-footed, looking at the strangers. He had quite a vacant expression on his long face.
“Come, let us go inside. I shall make us some coffee and a little something to eat.” Claude led them to the farmhouse.
It made Louis a little nervous as he watched Rosa move through the yard, all the while scanning the sky.
Claude opened the door and gave a startled cry. Louis and Rosa hurried to catch up. In the doorway of the kitchen stood a young woman, no more than eighteen, a dish towel in her hand.
Over the town of Bonneval-sur-Arc a dark figured flew, powerful beats of its wings propelling it forward. The dragon was angry. It had come to the pastures recently to hunt, but this time something other than hunger tore at its belly.