"It is still early in the day!" I said, "So lets get going NOW! Which way is the Slippery Slope?"
"Well, the Slippery Slope is near at hand--in fac' it starts to get slipperty just as soon as ya leave this nice pile o' stones where Auntie Agatha makes her home, but..."
"And a mighty fine home it is!" I agreed.
"But," continued Rocky, "but, M'Lord, I's sorry, but I can't go wit'cha."
"You mean--you mean-- I have to go on alone?" I asked, a little surprised--since the good rock crabs had been so generous and helpful to me in my quest so far.
"Ya'see Your Worship--I's Kinda..."
"My Nephoo Hemi Grapsus, Sir Knight, is King o' this Rockcrabby Land. An' as such, MUST sorrowfully stay wit' an' pertect his rock crabby folk and not go on quests--even those as serioous and important as yers doubtless is!"
"Say no more, my Dear Friends!" I said. "To each his duty! Just point me to the Slippery Slope and I will carry on!"
"Stout Heart, Yer Grace!" Rocky quietly whispered, as my two new--very helpful--rock crab friends led me to the edge of their stone pile home and the base of The Slippery Slope.
"This Ring-Bo-Ree is excellent!" I said. "It makes me feel energized, alert, ready and strong!"
" 'At's it exactly yer Grace!" Rocky replied--"Very tasty stuff it is! --an' now, Auntie, Wot about th' aforesaid BOX?"
"The Jumblies carried that 'ere Box o' Destiny with 'em t' the East." Auntie Agatha said, "--over th' Slippery Slope and through th' Dell o' Gloom-- an' 'tis not exackly sartain, but 'tis highly possable they stashed it finely under a tor in the middle of the Perplex Plain!"
" 'Under th' Tor in the Perplex Plain An' 'there it ever shall remain 'Til the knightly Crab brings it home again!'
As we followed the big lady rock crab through the crack, I whispered to my new friend: "Didn't you say your name was 'Rocky'?"
"Well, yes, yer Highness." He whispered back.
"But 'ats only what me friends calls me! My REAL name is Hemi Grapsus the Third. And I's a leftover from the old Sexdentatus fambly. Auntie Agatha calls me 'Hemi' fer short--but NOT fer long! Arr, harr!"
"And wot d'yer think to go lookin' fer, yer Lordship, if I may be so bold wit' a new acquaintance?"
"It seems to be no secret. I am seeking the Box of Destiny!"
"Arr! The Box of Destiny, issit? And WHERE is this aforesaid BOX?"
"That's just it! No one knows--least of all ME!"
The Rock crab pondered a moment and then unexpectedly offered:
"I HAVE heard o' that BOX--'t was with the peculiar stuff the old Jumblies brought back from beyond the Torrible Zone as I remember it. And I knows whom can give yer more information on the subject, yer Grace!"
The rock crab grabbed my claw and hurried me down the beach.
"Yer gotta meet my dear old Auntie Agatha! Old Auntie Agatha was mighty tight wit' those Jumblies in the old days, yer Excellency!"
Suddenly I was picked up and held--fairly gently--by a strong human hand!
"Ahhh--Here you are, Sir Crabaine--and right on time too!" spoke a surprisingly quiet but powerful voice.
"There must be some mistake, sir!" I hurriedly said, "My name is Constable Crab!"
"Oh? --So That is what YOU think! Ah, ha, ha! What strange ideas creatures have! Well, MY name is Merlin, and as you will soon find out--I am seldom wrong!"
"I really am--just Constable Crab! I have ALWAYS been Constable Crab!"
"Tut, tut!" Merlin scoffed, "Perhaps you HAVE been Constable Crab in the past--but here comes my friend and liege, Arthur Rex who is quite determined to knight you--if I understand the purpose of the great sword he is carrying. And THEN you will BE what you ARE--Sir Crabaine indeed!"