When they were nearly back to the edge of the forest, Abercrombee stopped and knelt down by a pile of rocks. Before he rose, there was a rustling in the forest, and out came Hedgie, Chester and Mezzo. “Well, what have we here? A mighty force of bodyguards? Ha, ha, ha, ha!” scoffed Squalor. Then Mezzo darted straight at him and stopped threateningly right in front of his face. “These are my friends, Squalor, which, sadly, is something you may never have,” said Abercrombee.