Part 7

"And so as Johan began to put his plan to action, Earl Flatbroke was in his castle counting up his part of the money that Matthew McCreep had given him when he was given a message," Narrator said.
As Empath, Polaris, and Smurfette continued to listen, they watched Earl Flatbroke sitting at the table with his portion of the money, counting up all the coins with a gleeful look on his face. And then there was a knock on the door. "What is it? Who's there?" he called out.
He got up to open the door, and saw that it was his servant. "My lord, a young boy had come and brought you this parchment. He told me that it was very urgent."
Flatbroke received the parchment from the servant, then he broke the seal and opened the parchment to read its message:
My lord, our plot has been discovered! I cannot explain to you what happened, for my ship is going to depart. Come rejoin me as soon as possible. A fisherman is awaiting you at Terminac. Be quick about it, or else all is lost. Matthew McCreep.
Earl Flatbroke became fearful upon reading the message. "Ho! My boots! My travel clothing! Have my horse saddled right away!" he called out to his servant.
And so the earl rode out in the middle of the night to his destination. It was a quiet night at the port of Terminac when Earl Flatbroke arrived to meet the fisherman. "There he is," the fisherman whispered.
"I am Lord Mumford," Flatbroke addressed himself. "I believe you are the fisherman who is waiting for me. Is your boat ready to set sail?"
"Yes, my lord," the fisherman said. "We can raise anchor right now and set sail immediately."
Flatbroke boarded the vessel, and the fisherman raised anchor to set sail across the water. "Head toward the west," Flatbroke ordered.
Unknown to Flatbroke, Johan, Peewit, and Princess Savina had disguised themselves as sailors on board the fisherman's boat. "He's taken the bait," Savina whispered.
"Remember, keep a low profile and don't tip him off that we're following him," Johan whispered to Peewit and Savina.
"Right, Johan," Peewit responded, keeping his voice low.
The ship sailed across the water for three days, heading in the direction that Flatbroke had sent it in. Johan, Peewit, and Princess Savina continued to keep themselves unnoticed so as not to arouse suspicions. But on the third day, Peewit didn't look all that good.
"Ohhhh, I'm so sick," Peewit said, clutching his stomach. "For pity's sake, stop this boat from tossing around so much! I think I'm going to die!"
"Of course, of course," Johan said, responding to Peewit's groanings with indifference.
"What do you mean, 'of course, of course'?" Peewit shouted.
"Oh, I mean, no way, no way," Johan said, looking at his friend as if he just got kicked in the butt.
"Let me take care of Peewit while you talk to the fisherman," Princess Savina suggested.
Johan nodded and went over to where the fisherman was steering the rudder. "Is everything okay?" he asked.
"I'm fine, but I can't say the same for old Earl Flatbroke," the fisherman said. "I mean, look at him. For three days, he's worried about the message he received. If only he knew that you sent it to him..."
"Shhh, he might hear us!" Johan warned, speaking in a low voice.
"Aye, mum's the word," the fisherman said.
Earl Flatbroke stood at the bow of the ship, looking rather upset. He was wondering what could have happened that led to their plan being discovered, and also why the ship is so slow reaching its destination. And then soon he saw a shoreline up ahead. "Ah! At last!"
The fisherman's boat pulled into the island port's harbor and then was docked. "Wait for me here," Earl Flatbroke said to the fisherman after he got out of the boat and started heading into the town.
Johan, Peewit, and Princess Savina watched for an opportune time to slip out of the boat. "Come, Peewit, we mustn't lose sight of him," Johan said as he got out of the boat. "Do you have the flute?"
"Right here with me, Johan," Peewit said as he also climbed out.
"I'll stay here with the fisherman to make sure you two return safely," Princess Savina said. "Whatever you do, be careful."
"Good luck, maties," the fisherman as he watched Johan and Peewit head into town, following after Earl Flatbroke.
Johan watched Flatbroke carefully making turns through the narrow streets of the island port, making sure that neither he nor Peewit were noticed. "He's turning right, Peewit," Johan said.
After his turning right, Earl Flatbroke found the door of a tavern that Matthew McCreep was staying in. Johan and Peewit soon passed by the same place after Flatbroke entered.
But then Johan stopped and looked around. "Blast it! Where did he go?"
"He's probably gone inside a house," Peewit said. "Come on, let's check behind us."

Inside the tavern, Matthew McCreep was talking to a shady bearded man. "Here are a thousand gold coins to equip your men," McCreep said to the bearded man. "You'll get the rest at Earl Flatbroke...I mean, Lord Mumford's castle."
"McCreep!" Earl Flatbroke shouted, getting his partner's attention. "I need to have a word with you in private."
Matthew McCreep took Earl Flatbroke to a secluded corner of the tavern to talk. "What are you doing here?" McCreep asked, trying to keep his voice low. "I was in the middle of making negotiations..."
"Negotations?" Flatbroke said. "You told me in a message that our plan has been discovered."
"What do you mean, I told you this?" McCreep said. "I never sent you any message."
"Oh, yes, you did! Look!" Flatbroke said, showing him the parchment.
McCreep read the contents of the message. "I certainly wasn't the one who wrote this message!"
"Then who did?" Flatbroke asked, sounding very angry. "And for what?"
"We'll find out from the fisherman who brought you here," Matthew McCreep said as he put his hat back on. "He must be in league with whoever sent you this message."
The two of them left the tavern and headed back toward the dock, but just as they were about to turn a corner, Johan and Peewit were also about to turn the same corner and met up with them.
Peewit and Matthew McCreep recognized each other and suddenly pulled out their magic flutes. As they began to play, Johan and Earl Flatbroke started dancing and dancing until they became so tired that they passed out.
The two flutists dueled with each other across town, constantly playing their flutes in the hopes that either of them would capitulate and fall under the other's musical spell. As they played, the various townspeople began to dance out of control: the fishermen, the cooks, the bakers, the washer women, the smiths, the people in the tavern, even children. There was no escape from the music as the two continued to play on and on.
After a good while, though, Peewit and Matthew McCreep began to tire out, getting exhausted from constant playing. Their music slowed until the both of them removed the flutes from their mouths in order to catch their breath. Then Peewit suddenly put the flute to his mouth and played a short tune to make Matthew McCreep collapse.
Peewit exhaled a great sigh of relief as he got the other flute from McCreep. "Thank goodness that it's all over," he said to himself. And then to his fallen opponent, he said, "Now tell me, what kind of tune would you want me to play for you?"

Later on, on board the fisherman's ship, Matthew McCreep and Earl Flatbroke were tied to the ship's mast while Johan, Peewit, and Princess Savina looked at all the stolen goods they have retrieved, with the fisherman looking in amazement.
"Blistering barnacles, there's a good fortune here," Johan said. "Luckily we managed to get it back before those two bandits used it for their sinister plan."
"I will sleep easy tonight, knowing that my uncle's kingdom is now safe," Princess Savina said, smiling.
"And now, we have two magic flutes...one for me, and one for Johan," Peewit said excitedly. "Now we will have double the fun."
"Absolutely not, Peewit," Johan said. "We made a promise to Papa Smurf that once we have the flutes, we will return them both to the Smurfs."
"Are you crazy?" Peewit said. "Without the flute, I will never become a great musician."
"You're willing to risk breaking a promise just so you can become a great musician with a magic flute?" Princess Savina said.
"Peewit, look at what happened just because of one magic flute," Johan said. "Cities were ransacked, and the entire country was almost invaded. Is that worth keeping one of the flutes for yourself just to be a great musician?"
"Ohhhhh...I still want to keep just one...just one of the flutes," Peewit groaned.
"No, Peewit, we made a promise and we're going to keep it," Johan said, sounding resolute. "Both those flutes are going back to the Smurfs, where they will not hurt anyone."
Peewit looked at Princess Savina for her opinion on the matter. "As your princess, I could order you under the authority of my uncle King Audric that you keep your promise and return both flutes to the Smurfs," Princess Savina said. "But as your friend, I will only say you should do what is right."
Peewit looked rather conflicted over what he should do. Then he said, "If we both made the same promise together, then we should both return the flutes together. Johan, you may have one of the flutes to turn over to the Smurfs."
Johan took the flute that Peewit gave to him. "Thank you, Peewit. I knew that you would see reason."
Then Peewit went to the fisherman to speak privately with him. "You wouldn't happen to have a piece of wood about the size of a hand and a knife?" Peewit asked discreetly.
"Oh, sure I do, matie," the fisherman said. "Wait here and I will find you one."
And throughout the long trip home, Peewit was carving what would become his own flute, being careful to not let anybody see what he was doing. He was secretly planning on swapping a fake flute for a real one.

Three days later, a few miles from Terminac, the Smurfs were waiting near a rock beside the road when one of the Smurfs saw a wagon coming toward them. "Papa Smurf! Papa Smurf! There they are! They're coming!" one of the Smurfs shouted.
The Smurfs hopped down from the rock as the wagon came closer, revealing its driver to be Johan with Princess Savina sitting beside him. His horse Bayard and Princess Savina's steed were trailing behind the wagon. "So how did it go, my friends?" Papa Smurf asked.
"Success, Papa Smurf!" Johan said as he pulled the wagon to a stop. "We brought back McCreep, Flatbroke, all the valuables, and the two flutes."
"HURRAY!" the Smurfs all shouted together.
Several Smurfs hopped into the wagon to look at the two humans that were tied up and being brought to justice. "Well, I'd sure love to give these smurfs a big fat smurf in the smurf for what they've been smurfing," Hefty said.
"I hate big fat smurfs," Grouchy said.
"But where's Peewit?" Papa Smurf asked, curious to see that Peewit wasn't with them. "Nothing's happened to him, I hope?"
"He's fine, but he's just trailing behind, doing something rather suspicious," Johan said.
"He'll show up, Johan," Princess Savina said. "He's not going to break his promise now."
A short distance away, Peewit was sitting on Biquette putting the final touches to the fake flute he created. He looked and saw that there was no difference between the two, so it will be easy to swap. He then hid one of the flutes in his tunic as he saw that he was approaching the wagon.
"...and when I awoke, Peewit had tied up the two bandits," Johan said to Papa Smurf just as Peewit was arriving. "We made them bring aboard the stolen money, and here we are."
"Bravo! Excellent work, my friends," Papa Smurf said. "Now everything can return to normal for the time being. The thieves will be judged, and the money will be returned. And now I will ask the both of you to return the magic flutes so that nobody else will use them for evil."
"Of course, Papa Smurf," Johan said. He reached into his tunic and pulled out the flute that Peewit gave him. "Here you go."
"And here you go," Peewit said, pulling one of the flutes from his tunic, as he and Johan both handed them over to Papa Smurf.
"You are both very wise and honorable for human beings," Papa Smurf said. "Had any of you thought of keeping one of the flutes, there would be nothing but more trouble."
"You know, that's exactly what I was telling Johan just the other day, Papa Smurf," Peewit said, catching Johan off-guard with his comment.
"If only I could tell my uncle about you Smurfs...but I doubt that he would ever believe me, and Dame Barbara would think I was inventing childish fantasies," Princess Savina said. "I hope that this will not be the last time we will ever see you."
"Who knows when our paths will cross again, Princess?" Papa Smurf said. "For now, though, it is time for us to return to our village. May the spirits of the Smurfs be with you on your journeys."
"Goodbye, Papa Smurf...goodbye, fellow Smurfs," Johan said as he watched the Smurfs hop onto a flock of storks and then fly away.
Peewit and Princess Savina also waved goodbye to the Smurfs, but then behind Johan and Savina's backs, Peewit slowly pulled out a third flute, ready to play a prank on his friends.
"Those magic flutes will never make anyone dance again, Johan," Princess Savina said.
"Now that's what I call music to my ears, my lady," Johan said, agreeing with her.
Then suddenly the both of them heard music that sounded like it came from a magic flute. Johan and Savina looked behind them and saw that Peewit had a flute in his hand. "PEEWIT!" they both shouted.
Peewit looked and noticed something. "No...it can't be...this isn't right...I...this is supposed to be one of their flutes...but I gave them the real flute instead!"
Johan and Princess Savina watched as Peewit threw a tantrum right then and there. "Well, so much for Peewit trying to pull another joke on us," Johan said, smiling at Princess Savina.
"Oh, poor Peewit," Princess Savina said, laughing at the scene.

"And that, my friends, is the complete story of how we met Johan and Peewit, and also how we got the magic flute back from Matthew McCreep," Narrator said. "I hope that you found the story entertaining."
"You have done an incredible job in telling the story, fellow Narrator," Polaris said. "This one commends your efforts in the accurate presentation of detail."
"This smurf definitely enjoys hearing the story, Narrator," Empath said. "This smurf only wishes to have been there in person to experience it firsthand."
"Me too," Smurfette said. "I would have loved to have been there to help my fellow Smurfs stop McCreep and Flatbroke."
"It would have been a completely different story if you were in it, Empath," Piper said. "But what a story that would have been smurfed. My wish is to have been there to see Peewit and McCreep smurfing with each other with the flutes."
"A musical duel," Empath pondered. "Who would have thought of that idea?"
"When did you Smurfs started seeing the two humans again?" Polaris asked.
"About a year later, when the dragon Fafnir smurfed our village with fire and his master Monulf captured us and made us smurf in his diamond mine, Hefty and Smurfette escaped and contacted Johan and Peewit about the danger," Narrator said.
"And they arrived with the king, who was captured by Fafnir," Piper added. "Fortunately, they managed to find him and us in the diamond mine, Johan had Monulf captured, and Papa Smurf used a smurfing of Homnibus' magic water stick to make Fafnir smurf out water instead of fire."
"A dragon that breathes water instead of fire," Empath pondered again. "This smurf would surely like to see that for myself, if you would spare another afternoon for telling such a tale, Narrator."
"This has certainly been a fun afternoon smurfing a story with you three, but now I have important things to smurf care of in the rest of my day," Narrator said as he got up and started walking. "I'll smurf you all later."
"Would any of you care to listen to a tune before we have to smurf back to the village?" Piper asked after Narrator had left.
"Is there any particular tune that you would want to listen to, Polaris?" Empath asked.
"This one will leave the choice in the discretion of the flutist, Empath," Polaris said. "You may play whatever it is you want to play, Piper."
"If you insist, but I warn you, if you start dancing, it might be because the music is magic," Piper said with a laugh.
"Well, I will certainly start dancing," Smurfette said as she got on her feet.
And then Piper started playing a really happy tune, which Empath and Polaris sat and listened to together while Smurfette danced.