The wine's magic was beginning to fade and a pain grew in the
back of my head as I, now dressed, rested on my haunches. "So, your much touted
devotion to justice is now about to betray you? What of it? You are Lord Arthur.
You are as good as crowned as the Rigotamos. Do as you please. No one will
"You know I cannot do that. Vortimer, David, Mordred and the
others are always tormenting me. They snap at my heels like a litter of unruly
pups, and they are always looking for some reason to challenge my ascent to the
throne." David, a lord of the northern lands, the Votadini, was one of a number
of cagey warriors, ambitious and sly. And while Arthur still championed the
Christ, Vortimer and a handful of other lords led a growing movement of those
who believed our troubles came because we strayed from the old gods.
The pain in the back of my neck grew even stronger, and I rubbed
it with my one hand. "Go away, my lord. I am no help to you, and even if I could
be, give me one reason that I should come to your aid."
Arthur rose and crossed the hut, kneeling in front of me and
resting his hand on my shoulder. I looked up into his eyes and saw a sadness in
their depths. "The murdered girl is Eleonore, your wife's sister."
Excerpted from The Killing Way
by Tony Hays. Copyright 2009 Tony Hays. Excerpted by
permission of Forge Books. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.
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