The Changes by Peter Dickinson
Nicky, Gopal and Ajeet are within the column of people and carts travelling slowly down a country lane. Nicky suddenly starts to feel uneasy and feels the urge to destroy coming on again. She quickly looks around to see where it is coming from and eventually looks up at the electricity pylons towering above her. She tells the others that they frighten her but the other two do not understand. Gopal tells Nicky that there nothing going through the power lines and to close her eyes and they will help her through it. Nicky does this and the column eventually passes safely through the area. The group eventually arrive at a small farm with a large barn and after Kewel has checked it is safe, they all move in to stay the night. Meanwhile Nicky, Gopal and Ajeet go and look in the farmhouse. They pick some flowers for Ajeet's Grandmother. Nicky then feels uneasy again and refuses to go near a small shed. Gopal and Ajeet go into the shed and find a large tractor / combine which is what Nicky could sense. The group decide to take over the farm and make a new life there. They continually ask her advice about starting things such as the blacksmiths forge. Nicky asks about where the iron would come from but decides it would be okay and that they should now fear retaliation from any of the surrounding villages.
The group work really hard and soon have made several tools which they wish to trade with the local villages. Nicky volunteers to go into the village and speak on their behalf. She still has to run the gauntlet past the pylons though as the feeling of destruction still tries to overcome her. Chacha and Kewel, who have gone with her wait outside the village just in case she needs help. The two realise that the presence of the pylons maybe the reason why they have been left alone for so long.
Nicky goes to the local pub and speaks to two men sitting outside. At first they are not pleased to see her especially when she reveals whom she is staying with the group at Brooker's Farm. The two men call the Indian group, "the devil's children" however they are interested in the tools they have to offer. One of the men Max, goes to fetch the village leader whilst Tom stays behind with Nicky. Tom tells Nicky that his grandmother used to tell him stories of the people underneath the hill and that they used to be great smiths and iron forgers.
Max returns with Mr. Arthur Barnard who is a large man who appears to be in charge. Barnard was a former cow hand but took over the village when he dealt with some local robbers. He is not happy that Nicky and her group have taken over Brookers Farm and is less happy when Nicky talks about tractors. The first mention of the word and Barnard lashes out at Nicky and tells her not to dare speak of such evil things. He does however accept that they will need ploughs and other items and so gets Tom to give her his fork to see how good the repairs will be.
Later back at Brooker's Farm, Nicky watches some of the men practise sword fighting and then Nicky starts to learn some of the Indian language. The next day, Nicky returns to the village with the repaired fork. She is taken by Tom, to the local court house where Barnard holds court on Mondays. Inside they wait at the back whilst a case of flower border digging by a dog is brought by Mrs. Sallow. Her case is dismissed as they are just flowers and not important. Barnard is the judge and also makes the point that women are lower than men when it comes to matters of the village. Tom then brings forward the fork. Barnard does his best to break the iron but fails. He does however snap the wood but has to admit that the repair work is good. He tells all present that from now on the only dealings with "the devils children" (as he calls them) is to be done through either himself or Tom. He then warns Nicky that none of the Brookers Farm lot should enter the village or he'll deal with them himself.
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