Part 3

"This human with the beard and moustache would be Matthew McCreep, if this one can interpret the story correctly," Polaris guessed.
"Indeed you have, Polaris," Narrator said. "He wasn't the evil person that Gargamel would be toward us, constantly smurfing after us to make gold or to eat us or to destroy us, whatever he plans to smurf. But he was evil enough toward Johan and Peewit and the king that he would eventually be plotting to take over the kingdom. But that was with someone we have yet to talk about."
"But mark my smurfs, Matthew McCreep befits his name smurfectly, in everything that he smurfs," Piper said. "I wouldn't want to see him smurfing through our forest anytime soon for any reason."
"Me neither, Piper," Smurfette said with a shiver. "Ooooh, it makes me feel just as frightened as hearing the name Gargamel."
"So how would this Matthew McCreep meet up with Johan and Peewit?" Empath asked.
"It was through a banquet that the king held in his dining hall, Empath," Narrator said. "A group of minstrels were going to perform that night before the king, and Matthew McCreep managed to get invited along with the minstrels, claiming to be part of the act or something. Nobody among the guards bothered to check if that was true. But nonetheless he would appear just as the royal court was enjoying themselves with the minstrels playing one of their songs...which, of course, Peewit continually tried to join in and sing along."
And as Narrator continued the story, Empath, Polaris, and Smurfette saw the royal court at the table, enjoying the meal that was set before them, when the minstrels started playing. "Hey, I know this song," Peewit said, eager to join in. "Fellows, wait for me, and we can sing together!"
The song that the minstrels sang was this:

When as the Good King ruled this land,
The second of that name,
Besides the queen, he dearly loved
A fair and comely dame.

Most peerless was her beauty found,
Her favour, and her face;
A sweeter creature in this world
Could never prince embrace.

Her crisped locks like threads of gold,
Appeared to each man's sight;
Her sparkling eyes, like Orient pearls,
Did cast a heavenly light.

King Audric, Johan, and Princess Savina watched as Peewit made one attempt after another to join the minstrels, only to be kicked off the stage with each attempt. "Peewit never gives up trying to be the main performer, does he?" Princess Savina said with some amusement.
"He may be trying to impress you, my lady," Johan said.
"I have a feeling that he is, Johan, but all the same, he still is too young for me," Princess Savina said. "Maybe when he's older, I might find him to be handsome."
"Princess Savina, you should never be talking about courting those who are beneath your royal station," Dame Barbara said with a hint of distaste in her voice.
"Dame Barbara, I wasn't really thinking about...," Princess Savina tried to say.
"We will not discuss this in public any further," Dame Barbara said. "Johan and Peewit are your loyal servants, and they should be treated as such. Do you understand?"
Princess Savina sighed. "Yes, Dame Barbara, I understand."
"Cheer up, my dear," King Audric said to Savina. "Dame Barbara may be strict, but she's only looking out for you to be the best princess because she cares about you, not just your station as a princess."
"I know that she does, Uncle," Princess Savina said. "I just wish that sometimes she wouldn't be so strict."
"I know Johan and Peewit are your friends, but you know the time will come when you'll have to let your friends go and embrace the future that your royal position will lead you to," King Audric said.
"Whatever the future holds for me and my friends, I just want Johan and Peewit to be happy," Princess Savina said with a smile.
Peewit left the dining hall, deciding that he was going to give up trying to join the minstrels in their singing. On his way to his chamber, he ran into a big burly man wearing a beard.
"I couldn't help but notice you were trying to showcase your talents as the court entertainer," the burly man said. "It must be such a big burden for a little man like you to carry."
"Oh, that's nothing," Peewit said. "I know that I'm a better entertainer than the minstrels that were hired."
"Well, allow me to introduce myself," the burly man said. "My name is McCreep...Matthew McCreep...and I happen to be a traveling entertainer. Some may call me 'Oily' McCreep, but that's only because there has been some...unfortunate circumstances. The king was very kind to have me as his guest for the night, because of all the people here, I wanted to see you most of all."
Peewit found himself surprised. "I didn't think that my reputation as the court entertainer would travel far beyond the kingdom."
"You must be too humble to admit it, because your name...Peewit, isn't it...is what I've been hearing ever since I traveled this way," McCreep said. "One of the things I'm interested in is unusual musical instruments, which I hear that you possess."
"An unusual musical instrument?" Peewit said. "I have many kinds of instruments, and I am the master of them all. But there's one instrument that I have that sets them apart from all the others."
"And pray tell, what kind of instrument is that?" McCreep asked.
"It's a magic flute that only has six holes," Peewit said, speaking as though he didn't want anyone else listening in.
"A magic flute with six holes? That's not possible!" McCreep said.
"Oh, it's very possible," Peewit said. "And what's even more unusual about it, is that it can make people dance when you play it."
"Oh, come now," McCreep said. "You expect me to believe that this six-holed flute can make people dance?"
"You can believe whatever you want, McCreep, but I'm telling you the truth," Peewit said. "You have to see this for yourself."
McCreep made it look like he was pondering the suggestion. "Very well, then. Let me see this so-called magic flute of yours."

Inside Peewit's bedchamber, some small beings were moving around hiding underneath the entertainer's Viking helmet on a bookshelf.
"Are we close to it?" one of the beings asked.
"I can barely smurf where we're smurfing with this helmet," the other small being answered.
"The sooner we can smurf the flute, the sooner we can smurf out of here," the first being said.
"Wait a minute...I smurf something," the other being said, feeling around another object.
"Is it the magic flute?" the first being asked.
"Smurfs like it, all right," the second being said. "Let's smurf it before that human smurfs back."
"Wait a minute...somebody's smurfing," the first being said.
"Oh, smurf it all," the second being said, lowering the helmet so as to appear still.
Peewit entered the bedchamber with Matthew McCreep following him. "There it is...all the comforts of home, and I can practice my music without disturbing anyone." He went over to the shelf to pick up the magic flute when he noticed something. "Hey, how did my helmet get over there from where I last seen it?"
"So may I see this famed magic flute of yours?" Matthew McCreep asked.
"Oh...here it is," Peewit said, showing him the instrument. "There isn't any flute like it throughout this kingdom...not that I have noticed any that are like it, but you won't find one that will make people dance to its tune."
"Hmmm...well, I'll believe it when I hear it," McCreep said, daring Peewit to prove it.
"Don't say I didn't warn you," Peewit said, and then he started playing the flute, and Matthew McCreep danced around uncontrollably until he stopped playing it. "So do you believe me now?"
"Very interesting," McCreep said after catching his breath. "Would you mind if I test this out for myself?"
"Hmmm...I don't know," Peewit said, pondering the request. "It's not something that I would give to just about anyone for them to try out."
McCreep sighed. "I understand, then. You don't trust me with your musical instruments. Then my journey here was all for nothing. I would figure that you would allow a fellow musician a try with your flute, but I must have been mistaken." He turned toward the door, making it look like he was going to leave.
"Oh, I'm sorry, McCreep," Peewit said. "Let me offer you this...I will let you try out the flute, but you must promise me that you'll stop playing when I tell you. Is that a deal?"
McCreep turned back toward Peewit, sounding delighted. "Why, certainly, my young friend. Anything for a fellow musician." Peewit handed McCreep the flute, which he briefly examined. "Tell me, what kind of tune would you want me to play with it?"
"Oh, it doesn't matter, because that flute makes anyone who plays it an expert," Peewit said.
"Really?" McCreep said. "Then I must give this a try."

"Nobody but us Smurfs knew what happened in Peewit's room when Matthew McCreep had visited him," Narrator said. "But over the course of the night, Peewit's visitor had vanished, and we left without the magic flute. It was by morning that anybody would notice what smurfed place."
Then Empath, Polaris, and Smurfette saw that on the following morning, Dame Barbara was working diligently on a tapestry, trying to concentrate on her stitching while listening to noise coming from Peewit's chambers. She tried to ignore it as best as she could until she heard a loud crash.
"That little urchin!" she fumed. "I'm going to visit him and let him know how much of a disturbance he's causing!"
She left her chambers and headed straight for Peewit's, entering without knocking. "Young man, I should let you know that..."
She paused as she saw that Peewit was all tied up and gagged, knocking over things just to get someone's attention.
"What happened?" she gasped. "Here, let me untie so that you can tell me..."
She loosed the gag over Peewit's mouth, and suddenly she heard, "WHERE IS HE? WHERE IS THAT THIEF?"
"Peewit, what thief? What are you talking about?" Dame Barbara asked as she removed the bonds from Peewit's wrists.
"HE WAS HERE LAST NIGHT! HE STOLE MY FLUTE!" Peewit shouted as he removed the rest of his bonds. Dame Barbara ran out of the room in fear as Peewit went and grabbed a battleaxe, ready to use it on someone.
"I KNOW YOU'RE HERE SOMEWHERE! COME ON OUT AND FACE ME LIKE A MAN, IF YOU DARE!" Peewit shouted, racing through the hallways.
The people in the hallways ran for cover as Peewit was wielding the battleaxe, voicing his threats.
"You rascal! You thief! You swindler! Try to get me to dance, will you? I'll make you dance...at the end of a rope!"
King Audric was just coming out from a door at the bottom of the stairs when Peewit ran straight into him, dropping the battleaxe. "Peewit! What is all this commotion about?"
"Sire! That Matthew McCreep...he stole my magic flute!" Peewit said.
"Oh, how unfortunate, my child," King Audric said. "Well, I'm sure we'll get another instrument for you to play with."
"But Sire, you don't understand," Peewit said.
Just then, Johan and Princess Savina appeared. "Peewit, what's going on? Why were you shouting threats throughout the castle?" Johan asked.
"Are you all right?" Princess Savina asked.
"No, I'm not all right," Peewit said. "Matthew McCreep stole my magic flute."
"Which I'm sure is nothing for us to worry about," King Audric said.
"But Sire, that flute is a magic flute," Johan said. "If it's capable of putting people to sleep just by playing it for too long, imagine what somebody like McCreep might do with it."
"We have to stop this McCreep before he uses the flute for his evil purposes, Uncle," Princess Savina said.
"You're quite right, my dear," King Audric said. "Johan, I want you and Peewit to search throughout the land, to find that flute and get it out of his hands."
"But Sire, we have no idea where he may have went with the flute," Johan said.
"We're wasting time," Peewit said. "He could be using the flute right at this moment."
"You'll just have to ask people if they've seen the man with the flute," King Audric said. "Go on, the both of you."
"I wish that I could come with you and find that scoundrel, Johan," Princess Savina said.
"Now, now, my young lady," Dame Barbara said as she appeared. "You know that your place is within the castle, not beside these two adventurers. Let them do the job that is befitting of their stature while you attend your station."
Princess Savina sighed. "Yes, Dame Barbara, I understand."
And soon, Johan was racing out of the castle stables with his horse Bayard and Peewit with his goat Biquette. They were determined to find Matthew McCreep wherever he went with the magic flute and put a stop to him.

"And so Johan and Peewit traveled the countryside for three weeks in search of Matthew McCreep," Narrator said. "They asked everyone from great lords to humble serfs if they have smurfed him. In each city, town, or hamlet, they asked the inhabitants. But though Peewit was able to smurf them a detailed description about the man and the flute he was smurfing, the response is still the same: nobody has smurfed Matthew McCreep."
"And all the while, the thief was going into people's houses, the merchants, the bankers, anybody that had money on them," Piper said. "He was playing that magic flute and making people dance to its tune until they smurfed, and then he would smurf away with their valuables. The people were helpless, and during all this we were trying to smurf the flute away from McCreep, but there was no way he would let us smurf it."
"It is unfortunate that neither you nor Johan nor Peewit were able to get the flute away from this thief," Polaris said. "When did they finally come to cross paths with him again?"
"Oh, it was on a road that Johan and Peewit were smurfing on, and they met a person who was just smurfed blind of the last two cents he was smurfing," Narrator said. "He was able to match the description of the man to the one whom they were seeking, and just as it happened, he was on the same road they were traveling on."
"This smurf would like to see what happens next, Narrator," Empath said, eager to hear the story continue.
And as Narrator continued the story, Empath, Polaris, and Smurfette saw Matthew McCreep in a wagon loaded with all the valuables he collected from the villagers, counting up the gold coins in one of the bags, when he started hearing voices behind him. "There he is, Johan!" Peewit called out.
"Stop, thief!" Johan commanded as he and Peewit got closer.
Matthew McCreep saw them approaching and pulled his horse to a stop before he pulled out his magic flute. Bayard and Biquette bucked and tossed their riders off as they started to have the uncontrollable urge to dance. He continued to play until the both of them were unconscious.
"Nice try, gentlemen, but I don't think either of you will be taking me in anytime soon," Matthew McCreep said with a sinister chuckle before he goaded his horse to ride off.
Bayard stood still in the street after Matthew McCreep departed, but Biquette started to buck Peewit around, even launching him in the air with a headbutt in order to get him to wake up, but there was no response. Then Biquette saw a body of water nearby and picked Peewit up with her teeth to carry him over to the water and drop him in there. There was stillness that lasted for a moment, and then Peewit arose from the water awake and alert.
"Johan! Johan! Wake up! Matthew McCreep had just escaped!" Peewit shouted as he went over to wake up his friend.
Johan arose to see that Matthew McCreep was gone. "Where did that thief go, Peewit?"
"I don't know, but if we can get back on our mounts, we might still be able to catch up to him," Peewit said.
"But then what, Peewit?" Johan asked. "As long as he still has the magic flute, he can just put us to sleep again and make his escape. We need another plan in order to catch him."
"Oh, if only I haven't found that magic flute, Johan," Peewit said. "Oh, if only there was a way we can make that flute lose its power..."
"Lose its power," Johan said as he was thinking over the last three words his friend said. And then it came to him in a flash. "Peewit, maybe there is a way that the magic flute can lose its power."
"There is a way? But how?" Peewit asked.
"I don't know, my friend, but I do know that Homnibus the enchanter might know," Johan said. "We need to see him right away and ask if he is able to know of a way. What else can we do?"
"Right, Johan!" Peewit exclaimed. "That was a brilliant plan that I had all along! Let's go see the wizard!"

"And so Johan and Peewit smurfed back on their mounts and traveled to see Homnibus the enchanter, who would eventually become friends with Papa Smurf over the years since the two of them met," Narrator said.
And as Empath and Polaris watched, Johan and Peewit arrived at a small cottage in the countryside. They knocked at the door and waited, only for a young man with a bowl-shaped haircut to answer. "Yes, how may I help you?"
"We would like to see your master, Homnibus the enchanter, if you please," Johan said.
"I will inform him of your arrival," the servant said. "Please wait here while I get him."
Johan and Peewit waited at the door for a few minutes until an old man in a blue robe and a very long white beard appeared. "Johan! Peewit! You seem to be here on urgent business!"
"It's a dire situation, Master Homnibus," Johan said. "It concerns a magic flute that Peewit had found."
"Yes, and this thief named Matthew McCreep now has it, and I want it back," Peewit said.
"I see," Homnibus said. "Come inside and tell me more of this magic flute that you have found."
Johan and Peewit entered and sat in the main room to tell Homnibus all about the magic flute they have found, what it looked like, what it was able to do. Homnibus listened intently to everything he was told.
"Yes, I do know of this particular flute you were talking about, gentlemen," Homnibus said.
"But do you know how to get rid of its magic?" Johan asked.
"That part I do not know," Homnibus said. "But I do know that the Smurfs may know."
"Smurfs? Who are these Smurfs?" Peewit asked.
"They're an isolated community of people who made the magic flute, for purposes that only they would know for certain," Homnibus said.
"But where would we find these Smurfs?" Johan asked. "Is there a map or something that leads to their community?"
"Their village, as the legends say, lies in a remote forest located in a region known only as the Cursed Country," Homnibus said. "It is so isolated that nobody knows for sure how to get there, and even if you could get close enough, you would need a Smurf to guide you the rest of the way, so I'm afraid that you won't get there on foot or by horse."
"But there is a way to get there, Master Homnibus, isn't there?" Peewit asked.
Homnibus looked intently at the ceiling while thinking of Peewit's question. "There is a method that I can try, but it isn't without risk. I'm not sure how well it will work, but if you're so intent on finding the Smurfs..."
"Please, Master Homnibus, we must find a way to reach them," Johan said.
"Very well, then," Homnibus said. "Come into my laboratory and I will explain what the method is all about."
Johan and Peewit followed Homnibus into his laboratory where they sat down together on the same bench while Homnibus looked through his books. "You see, the method that I have in mind is a technique used by sorcerers to travel to distant places called hypnokinesis."
"Hypno-what?" Peewit asked, not sure what it is all about.
"Hypnokinesis," Homnibus said as he found the book he was looking for. "What that means is that I will use hypnosis to put you two to sleep and..."
"Sleep?" Peewit said. "I don't want to go to sleep!"
"Let him finish, Peewit," Johan said.
"You will go to sleep here, and then in your sleep you will travel through the spirit world until you reach your destination, at which point you will become physical again," Homnibus explained. "You will be in two places at once, here in my laboratory asleep and there in the land of the Smurfs awake."
"Is there a danger to using this technique, Master Homnibus?" Johan asked.
"I'm afraid there is, Johan," Homnibus answered. "You see, your spirit self can only remain in a physical form outside your body for a few days, after which there is the danger that you will become permanently separated from your body and your physical form outside your body will vanish completely. In other words, the two of you will die if you do not reunite with your bodies."
"Wow, now that sounds really dangerous," Peewit said. "There's got to be some other way you can use."
"This is the only way that I know of, young man," Homnibus said.
"We have to try it, Peewit, for the sake of our people and our kingdom," Johan said. "I'm willing to take the chance, Master Homnibus."
"And so will I," Peewit added.
"Then just sit still and relax while I begin the process," Homnibus said. "Stare deep into my eyes, and listen to my voice."
Johan and Peewit sat relaxed and staring intently and directly into Homnibus' eyes. As the enchanter continued to speak the hypnokinesis spell, the two of them could see the pupils of the old man's eyes getting larger and larger, as if they were being drawn directly into Homnibus' piercing gaze.
Then everything became a swirly mass of sparkling light and colors as Johan and Peewit fell asleep, and in this mass they found themselves drifting through time and space, unsure of where they are going. They could hear the sound of a hundred tiny voices all singing a cheerful song together which neither of them have heard before, all of them speaking in a language that was foreign to their ears. It felt like time had stretched on into infinity, that this tunnel of light and color was extending itself far beyond where they could see it end.
And then the sounds and the color suddenly ended, and there was nothing but empty silent blackness.