By Ellis Peters
Within the scorching, dry August of 1141, England remains to be torn by means of civic strife. Amidst the carnage the Abbey of Hyde Meade is completely destroyed; its resident brothers dispersed, discovering shelter within the Abbey of Shrewsbury. yet Brother Cadfael realizes that of those refugees are usually not all that they seem like.
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Additional resources for An Excellent Mystery (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, Book 11) (UK Edition)
He said to them, and they guffawed and drank and spat contemptuously in the sawdust at their feet. ‘I’ll thank you not to mock,’ I said. ‘Emerald Star is my stage name. I am very well known in the south. ’ the innkeeper asked, an unpleasant tone to his voice. ‘I perform upon the stage,’ I said. I wasn’t exactly lying. When I exhibited myself as Emerald the Amazing Pocket-Sized Mermaid, it was upon a sturdy plinth, so that people did not have to bend down to see me reclining there, twitching my green velvet tail on a little pile of sand.
I stared at it in my cupped hands. I was back in my classroom again, remembering the picture of fossils in the new set of science books donated by a rich governor. Our teacher had not taught from it. She considered it the work of the devil because it dealt with evolution, suggesting we were all descended from monkeys. ‘Imagine! ’ she’d said. None of us knew our great-great-grandparents. We had no knowledge of any relative whatsoever so could not take offence on their behalf. I did not mind the idea of simian ancestors, and pictured myself happily swinging through the trees and sharing their bananas.
I’m always partial to a cooked breakfast,’ he said, smacking his lips. Then he turned to me. ‘Right, lass. ’ ‘I – I’m not sure,’ I said. ‘Well, make up your mind – no shilly-shallying,’ said Tobias. ‘Could I settle up now but maybe leave my suitcase here for the day? ’ I asked. ‘Very well. So that’s half a crown, little miss,’ said Tobias, holding out his hand. ‘It says one shilling and sixpence on your board outside,’ I said indignantly. ’ ‘You showed me a whole purseful of money last night. I’m the landlord and I can charge what I like, whatever it says on that board.
An Excellent Mystery (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, Book 11) (UK Edition) by Ellis Peters