Part 6

"Oh dear," Smurfette said during that part of the story. "I'm not sure that I'm going to like hearing where this is smurfing."
"It's okay, Smurfette," Empath said consolingly. "We can listen to the rest of the story sometime later if you're not comfortable with it right now."
"I don't want to be that protected, Empath," Smurfette said. "If I'm going to be here listening to Narrator's story about me, I want to make sure that I hear everything he has to smurf."
"This smurf apologizes, Smurfette," Empath said. "If that's your wish, then this smurf will stay with you so that we'll both hear the rest of the story together."
"I'm not sure that I like the sound of these two individuals' names, Madame Blackthorne and Elder Winters," Tapper said. "If these two are the smurfers of dark mysterious arts, then they certainly must be up to no good."
"Blackthorne and Winters...they sound no more menacing than Hogatha or Balthazar or Chlorhydris, if you ask me," Brainy said.
"Names don't scare me, Brainy, and neither do those who smurf those names," Duncan said. "They'll have more to worry about when they have to deal with a Smurf who won't smurf away from a fight."
"So what happened to Smurfette when she got taken by Blackthorne and Winters?" Chatty asked. "Did she manage to escape her captors or what?"
"I was just getting to that part, Chatty," Narrator said. "You see, Blackthorne and Winters weren't very familiar with the roads that led to Gargamel's hovel, and that gave Smurfette perfect opportunity to confuse them by telling them of a sorceress that they haven't smurfed before."

As Narrator continued his story, Empath and his fellow Smurfs saw Smurfette being carried to the carriage that Madame Blackthorne and Elder Winters traveled in. "She'll amuse our master, my dear, this little Snurf," Elder Winters said as he placed her near the seat of the carriage.
"I'm called Smurfette, you idiot," Smurfette snapped.
"The return trip will be very long, Elder Winters," Madame Blackthorne said as she settled into her seat and Elder Winters took up the reins. "One would have to take the broom."
"You know, my dear, with my rheumatism...," Elder Winters began to say.
"I don't want to hear about your physical problems," Madame Blackthorne said. "I just want to return home and put this sorry business behind us."
Elder Winters sighed. "As you wish." He coaxed the horse to start moving, and so the carriage proceeded down the same road that they came. Soon, though, they came to a fork in the road. "I have a question...what path did we take getting here?"
"I do not know, Winters," Madame Blackthorne said. "All these roads somehow look the same to me. I did not come on this journey to be a navigator...that's why you were brought along."
Smurfette then suddenly came up with an idea. "Oh, for pity's sake, whatever you do, don't smurf the road to the left," she pleaded.
"And why should we not go that way?" Elder Winters asked Smurfette.
"Because that path leads to the house of a wicked witch," Smurfette answered.
Madame Blackthorne laughed. "Oh, she is so funny," she said.
"You have nothing to fear, Smurfette," Elder Winters said. "You happen to be in the company of sorcerers who will protect you until we meet our Grand Master."
"I know, but Pustula is really scary," Smurfette said, making herself shiver at the very mention of her name. "Every time I even think of her, it smurfs me goosebumps."
"Pustula?" Elder Winters said, sounding curious. He went into one of the books to look up the name. "Pustula...Pustula...hmmmm, the name doesn't ring any bells. And I can't even find her in the Order's directory."
"And yet she is well known," Smurfette said. "People have smurfed her far and wide to buy her potions and poisons."
"She's not registered with the Order, and yet she sells her preparations?" Madame Blackthorne said, sounding a bit displeased.
"Without paying her dues," Elder Winters added, not liking the thought of a rogue sorceress. "And neither has she the Tax of Published Witchcraft. We will have a few words with this Purula...er, Pustula, whatever she's called." With that, he made the horse turn and go down the road to the left, galloping as fast as he could make the horse go.
"Oh please, I smurf to you, don't smurf to her home," Smurfette cried out. "She is very terrible when she smurfs angry."
"Really?" Madame Blackthorne sneered. "That just makes me quake with fear." She and Elder Winters both laughed at the warning.
Soon, though, the road that they traveled on came to a dead end. Elder Winters brought his horse to a complete stop as there was nowhere else to turn to. "Now what?" Elder Winters asked.
"Now we travel on foot, and the land around here is dangerous," Smurfette responded. "We must smurf around."
"We are NOT going back!" Madame Blackthorne sternly told Smurfette. "You will guide us to Pustula right now!"
"But first, let's make sure that you won't escape from us," Elder Winters said, as he reached into the back of the carriage to get some rope to tie around Smurfette's waist. Soon Madame Blackthorne was holding Smurfette on a leash as they stepped off the carriage.
"Come on, show us the way, or you will have to deal with us," Madame Blackthorne warned.
"Don't say that I didn't warn you," Smurfette said, as she led them down a path that took them deep into the forest.
"This Pustula lives far from it all, my dear," Elder Winters commented as they followed Smurfette's lead. "It astonishes me that people will come to her up to now."
"Yes, most curious it is," Madame Blackthorne said in agreement. And then soon, they came to a stop. "I don't see a path anymore," she told Smurfette.
"It's this way," Smurfette said as she led them through some thick grasses. The two humans followed her until suddenly they found themselves sinking in the ground.
"By Beelzebub, it's the marshes!" Madame Blackthorne cried out.
"Oh no! My files!" Elder Winters shouted.
"See, what did I smurf you?" Smurfette said as she grabbed the rope that Madame Blackthorne had suddenly let go of. "The land around here is dangerous, and with your weight..." She undid the knot of the rope that was tied around her waist and loosened it enough to slip out. "But don't worry...the marsh is not deep. You will end well by smurfing out of there. And by the way, I made one little mistake: there really is no witch called Pustula."
"Oh, you little blue demon!" Madame Blackthorne snarled, raising a fist toward Smurfette as she saw her former captive now run away from her and Elder Winters. They now started to trudge their way through the swampy mire with Winters carrying his file case above his head. "Quick, Winters, what is the formula for rising into the air?"
"Do you think that I know that by heart?" Elder Winters said. "Next time you want to find an unregistered sorceress in a marsh, find some other elder to help you!"
"Believe me, Winters, I will!" Madame Blackthorne shrieked. "Eeewww, this is so disgusting!"

Empath and his fellow Smurfs laughed at that part of the story. "That was a very clever means of escape, my dear Smurfette," Tapper said.
"Why, thank you, Tapper, although honestly I can't smurf any credit for it, because it's really only me in that story," Smurfette said.
"Aye, but who's to say that you wouldn't be able to smurf it off there, lassie, if it were you escaping those two humans smurfing you on a leash?" Duncan said.
"I certainly didn't have any doubts about Smurfette being able to do that, not even in the slightest," Brainy said. "It only goes to smurf that brains and wit are very important tools in smurfing an escape rather than using brute force, which are quality elements that I have in abundance over my peers, and..."
"Enough smurfing about yourself, Brainy," Chatty said. "What did Smurfette do after she escaped from the two humans?"
"Well, Smurfette needed to find a way that she could smurf back to the village to warn the others about what happened to Papa Smurf and Sassette, but smurfing there by the roads could take her hours," Narrator said. "Fortunately, on her way back to the village she saw an old mill where there were storks smurfing, so she decided to smurf a ride on one of them so she could smurf back home faster."
"And in the meantime, how were the other Smurfs handling the absence of the three Smurfs?" Empath asked.
Narrator sighed. "Not very well, I'm afraid."
And as Narrator continued the story, Empath and his fellow Smurfs saw the Smurfs in his story that were back in the village were gathered around the village discussing their current predicament.
"Smurfette's gone, and so is Papa Smurf and Sassette," Clumsy said. "Golly, it's like we lost our smurf."
"That's true, Clumsy," Poet said. "I can't see what any of us can smurf."
"Maybe it's time that we smurf ourselves a new leader...you know, through a process of voting or something," Brainy suggested.
"Oh, let's not begin to smurf our feet again," Hefty said.
"Holy hickory nuts, Gutsy, I hope Smurfette and Sassette are both all right," Nat said. "I'm starting to miss them both already."
"Yeah, even with Sassette's terrible singing, it just won't be the same without her being around," Snappy said.
"I know how you feel, laddies," Gutsy said. "I don't want to think of how the village will smurf on without either of them being here."
"We can only pray to smurf for their safe return, my fellow Smurflings," Brewer said. "We will not allow anything evil in this world or the next to consmurf them before their time."
"Yoohoo! Smurfs!" a familiar voice called out from the sky.
They all looked up and saw Smurfette arriving via stork to the village. "Smurfette! Where have you smurfed?" Poet asked as they all gathered around the stork as soon as it landed and Smurfette hopped off it.
"Yeah, and what's smurfing on?" Hefty asked, also curious.
"And what happened to Sassette?" Snappy asked. "Did you find her?"
Smurfette was in quite a flurry trying to explain everything to her fellow Smurfs. "Because of the hairy comet, Papa Smurf didn't want to smurf to the village with me, and Sassette went and smurfed with him, and then Gargamel smurfed the fire and he was going to smurf Papa Smurf and Sassette in the broth, but fortunately he had an exam and he was too stupid, and I had to smurf in the swamps, thanks to the witch Pustula, who doesn't exist, and now here I am!"
The other Smurfs looked at Smurfette rather puzzled. "Uh, I didn't smurf your story," Hefty said.
"None of it even makes much sense to me, I must say," Brainy added.
"Okay, then, I'm summarize it," Smurfette said, sounding frustrated that nobody understood her. "Gargamel has captured Papa Smurf and Sassette, and he's going to smurf them in the pot by sunrise."
"There, now it's much clearer," Brainy said. "You see, when you smurf proper syntax in your..." He stopped when he realized what he had just heard from Smurfette. "Papa Smurf and Sassette are going to be smurfed in a pot? But that's terrible!"
"It's not going to smurf like that, is it?" one Smurf said, sounding indignant.
"Papa Smurf's not a lobster, and Sassette's no appetizer," another Smurf said.
"We need to smurf troops and free them," Gutsy said. "What do you say, boys?"
"YEAH!" the other Smurfs said together. "FREE PAPA SMURF! FREE SASSETTE!"
"Don't worry about it, Smurfette...we'll smurf care of this," Hefty said as he tried to guide Smurfette away. "You just go and rest while I smurf charge of this rescue mission."
"But...but...but I'm not tired," Smurfette tried to protest.

"Nevertheless, Hefty began planning with a bit of help from Gutsy on how they were going to rescue Papa Smurf and Sassette from Gargamel," Narrator said. "Soon they had their plan ready, and all that remained was to smurf all the preparations to make the plan successful."
And then Empath and his fellow Smurfs saw Hefty with a diagram chart of Gargamel's hovel drawn on a chalkboard, showing what the intended plan was for rescuing Papa Smurf and Sassette to all the other Smurfs gathered around him.
"Fellow Smurfs, I have chosen an operation, where we're going to smurf on Gargamel hard and fast," Hefty said, pointing to various key locations marked by arrows on the chart. "We will smurf in at the same time by the windows and the fireplace, so Gargamel will not have any time to say smurf." He then turned to Handy. "We're going to need a catapult that we can smurf at the windows."
"Uh...I'll see what I can smurf, Hefty," Handy said.
"You, Jokey, we're going to need a surprise that can smurf a lot of smoke for cover," Hefty said.
"Ooh, a smoke screen surprise," Jokey said laughing. "I'm starting to like it."
Hefty then turned to three Smurfs in the crowd. "You three are going to be smurfing by the fireplace while we let you smurf down a rope," Hefty said.
"Ah, that's so easy that a Smurfling could smurf this," one of the three Smurfs said.
"Practice your smurfs!" Hefty said. "If the pot is boiling, you'll need to avoid smurfing in it...understand?"
"Oh yeah...really," the second of the three Smurfs said.
Smurfette came to Hefty while the other Smurfs went about to make the preparations. "Say, Hefty, are you sure that...?"
"Don't worry about it, Smurfette," Hefty said. "I have the situation well in smurf."
Then Smurfette screamed as she saw three Smurfs emerge from a house wearing what appeared to be ski masks over their faces as well as gloves and and pillows tied around their bodies. "But...why are you smurfing those masks?" Smurfette asked as soon as she recovered from her fright.
"It's to make sure that Gargamel does not recognize us," one of the masked Smurfs said.
"Even I'm beginning to smurf that this rescue operation plan may be a bit excessive, my fellow Hefty," Brewer commented as Hefty prepared for the three masked Smurfs to go through their exercises.
"Give the boy a chance to prove himself, laddie," Gutsy said to Brewer. "I'm certain that he's got this whole thing smurfed out perfectly."
"Okay, now, let's go ahead and practice our jumps," Hefty said to the three masked Smurfs, who then went into the attic of the storehouse, where there was a rope set up by the window for them to slide down on. "Go! Let yourself smurf and then stop just above the ground!" he told the first jumper.
The masked Smurf then jumped from the attic balcony and grabbed the rope on his way down. Unfortunately, he couldn't get himself to stop sliding down the rope and instead landed on the ground on his stomach.
"Great!" Hefty said to the jumper. "You've just landed right in Gargamel's cooking pot!"
He then checked to see how Jokey was doing in preparing a smoke screen surprise. He saw Jokey outside his house with a long cord. "I think this smurfigene surprise mixture that I have smurfed is going to work," Jokey said with a slight snicker.
Jokey pulled the cord, and soon the surprise box inside his house exploded. But instead of smoke, there was nothing but a powerful smell.
"Peeewwwww...not quite what I had in mind there, Jokey," Hefty said, holding his nose at the smell.
"Aw, nuts...it looks like I'm going to have to smurf of another mixture," Jokey said as he went back inside his house to look through his books.
"Hey, Hefty, look what I have smurfed from this old see-saw," Handy said as he passed by Jokey's house, wheeling out the see-saw, a bucket of rocks, and a target. He set up the target on a nearby bench and set the see-saw in place where he would be able to hit the target with the rocks. "All it smurfs is just one jump, and the rocks will be flying, so here smurfs!"
Hefty watched as Handy jumped on one end of the see-saw, causing the bucket of rocks to fly up from the other end. But instead of hitting the target, the rocks came down and pelted Handy. "Handy, are you all right?" Hefty asked.
"Yeah...just setting a smurf...," Handy answered, sounding rather dazed.
Smurfette came toward Hefty again during the preparations. "Listen, we don't need to smurf all that," she said. "I have a simple plan..."
"Sorry, Smurfette, but this kind of operation is a job for us Smurfs," Hefty said, interrupting her. "We don't have time to smurf hearing about your plan."
Smurfette snorted. "Fine! If that's how it's going to smurf...!" She walked towards her house and slammed the door behind her after she went inside.
"Well, there you have it," Handy said. "She's sulking again!"
"What do you expect from Smurfette?" Hefty said. "Nothing's going to change her!"
Soon Smurfette came back out again, this time wearing the red dress and hat, with a fierce look of determination on her face. "Wow, not only is Smurfette seeing red, she's also wearing red," Snappy said as soon as he saw her.
"She's really turning into one mean Mama Smurf, Snap," Slouchy said.
"Okay, you Smurfs, listen up," Smurfette said in a tone that demanded attention, and all the Smurfs then looked at her. "You're the ones who smurfed me this dress and wanted me to be 'Smurfette The Great', didn't you?"
Very few of the Smurfs knew what to say to Smurfette at that moment. "Uh...yes," one of the Smurfs bravely said.
"So listen to me," Smurfette said, her tone not changing. "Here's my plan: we go to Gargamel's hovel. You wait in ambush while I alone smurf to the door. When Gargamel opens, I will smurf him outside. That will smurf you the benefit of smurfing inside his hovel to rescue Papa Smurf and Sassette."
"But what about you, Smurfette?" Poet asked. "Gargamel will catch you."
"Trust me, Poet, I know what I'm smurfing," Smurfette answered. "You want to save Papa Smurf and Sassette, boys? Then forget about the equipment, the trainings, and the discussions, and let's smurf into action right now!"
"The little lassie is right, my Smurf brothers," Gutsy said. "If we're going to rescue them, the time is now."
"I would certainly agree to that, my friend," Brewer said, sounding enthusiastic. "Who's with us?"
Hefty watched as all the Smurfs rallied around Smurfette and decided that they were going to follow her plan instead of his. The masked Smurfs stripped themselves of their masks, gloves, and pillows as they followed Smurfette out toward the forest in the direction of Gargamel's castle.
"Ah, what the smurf am I doing?" Hefty said to himself. "This plan was just too complicated to work anyway."
Before they were even out of the village, Smurfette realized that she had forgotten something. "Uh, excuse me, Smurfs, I'll be right back!"
The Smurfs behind her watched as Smurfette quickly ran to her house. "Now what is it that she forgot to smurf?" one of them asked.
"And how is it going to help us rescue Papa Smurf and Sassette?" another Smurf asked.
"I'm not sure what the lassie is up to, but we're not going to smurf on without her," Gutsy said. "She's the leader of this mission, and if she smurfs, then we smurf along."