Sister Fidelma 07 - The Monk Who Vanished by Peter Tremayne

Sister Fidelma 07 - The Monk Who Vanished by Peter Tremayne

Author:Peter Tremayne [Tremayne, Peter]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Mystery, Historical, Adult, Suspense
ISBN: 9780451206268
Amazon: 075051552X
Goodreads: 379145
Publisher: Signet
Published: 1998-12-31T23:00:00+00:00

Chapter Fourteen

There was no sign of Brother Bardan when they returned to the mortuary of the abbey. The room was deserted. Only the body of Brother Daig lay wrapped in its linen burial shroud on the table. There was also no sign of the body of the warrior. They left the apothecary’s and almost immediately encountered Sister Scothnat, looking rather pale and shaken after the events of the previous night.

Fidelma made enquiries about the whereabouts of Brother Bardan. Sister Scothnat did not know but thought that he might have gone to see Nion, the smith. She added that Brother Daig was to be interred in the abbey grounds that evening at sunset, according to custom, when a requiem, called the écnairc, would be sung over his grave.

‘What now?’ asked Eadulf as he followed Fidelma towards the gates of the abbey once more.

‘We will go in search of Brother Bardan.’

As they crossed the square towards the township, Fidelma noticed several of Finguine’s warriors resting from their exertions, sprawled around a fire near the old yew-tree. They passed by the smouldering ruins that had been Nion’s forge and looked up and down the main street.

There was more activity in the township than there had been earlier that morning. They could hear some noise not far off and turned a corner of a building to find out where it was coming from. It appeared that some of Finguine’s men were helping the surviving menfolk in digging a large grave in a field behind some of the buildings which, it seemed, had already been used as a burial ground before. A line of bodies, each in its linen grave clothes, lay to one side, ready for the excavation to be completed. A small group of womenfolk stood round the bodies uttering the usual cries of lamentation and clapping their hands in the traditional manner to express their sorrow.

Elsewhere, other men, women and children were toiling among the wreckage of the buildings that had been destroyed. Apart from the frenzied activity, there had been little change in the scene since they had been there a short time before.

‘I don’t see Brother Bardán anywhere,’ Eadulf observed.

‘He is probably somewhere about,’ Fidelma assured him as they passed back to the wreckage of Nion’s forge and looked down the street towards the blackened shell of Cred’s inn. ‘We’ll try along the street here; there seems to be a crowd of people up at the far end.’

They had not gone far when it became obvious that the people Fidelma referred to were converging on a figure who had just ridden into the end of the street. It was then they realised that the noise of the people were actually screams and shouts of anger and abuse. Even as they looked on in surprise, the foremost members of the crowd were reaching forth their hands and clawing at the man, dragging him from the ass which he was riding. He gave a shrill cry, waving his hands desperately in the air, before he disappeared under the surrounding people.


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