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.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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