Prior Geoffrey intervened; he had received a similar scroll. Still using Latin, he said, "It appears that our lord bishop needs your expertise, Adelia. He's summoned you to Cambridge something about an attempted murder in Oxfordshire. I gather it is a matter heavy with political implications."
The messenger went on proffering his scroll; Adelia went on not taking it. She appealed to her friend. "I'm not going, Geoffrey. I don't want to go."
"I know, my dear, but it is why I have come. I'm afraid you must."
"I don't want to see him. I'm happy here. Gyltha, Mansur, Ulf, and this one . . ." She dandled the child at him. "I like the fens, I like the people. Don't make me go."
The plea lacerated him, but he hardened his heart. "My dear, I have no choice. Our lord bishop sends to say that it is a matter of the king's business. The king's. Therefore, you have no choice, either. You are the king's secret weapon."
Reproduced with permission of Putnam Publishing. Copyright © 2008 by Ariana Franklin All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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