Snordwich Chronicles, LXXIII: Spring Flowers

They set up Margery’s old crib up for Alys to sleep in. Jaclyn and Hugh lay down their beds in the front room, close by the hearth.

Walter’s sisters are gone well before dawn the following morning. His mother is up next to stew the beef.

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Snordwich Chronicles, LXXII: Something Borrowed

Everyone comes out to watch when the noble folk ride away. Some of the grown ups mutter amongst themselves. It is never good for the village for his lordship’s entire household to be from home.

For at least one person, though, the bad news is softened by good. Tephna will at last be able to marry her sweetheart Ralf, who has been placed on leave until the winter.

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Snordwich Chronicles, LXXI: Granting Wishes

It is Thursday morning when John Cecil sees his guests off. It has been a joy to spend time with old friends, and to see his and Sir Thomas’ households united in marriage.

He is 620 days old now. His own father passed away peacefully of old age at 640. But he refuses to walk with a stick, or to drink less on feast days, or to give up his weekly hunts. He does not want to think about what the family name might suffer when he is gone and Snordwich is left to his son Roger, still as awkward and ungovernable as ever.

But Roger and Matilda’s son Edmund gives Lord Snordwich some hope for his legacy. The boy excels at languages and letters, and especially at music. Whatever his tutors throw at him, he practices until he has it perfect.

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Snordwich Chronicles, LXX: Return to Plumbob Hall

A thin layer of snow coats the ground as Fabyan Cecil rides up to his father’s manor.

It has been almost a year since he was sent away to serve the Bishop of Crafthole. He is not looking forward to seeing his family again. His elder brother Roger will be irritable and oafish, and will taunt Fabyan with everything that he, their father’s first born, will one day inherit. Their father himself will be playing the generous host, showing more affection to the sons of the lesser gentry than to his own blood. He will have read Fabyan’s letters to him, but will not be pleased by anything in them.

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Snordwich Chronicles, LXVIII: Life Is Sweet

After half a week of fasting, the great winter Feast of the Nativity has arrived. Richard walks back from the midnight sermon with little Sabina asleep in his arms.

It has been a special evening—first a hearty meal to break the winter fast, then a beautiful Nativity’s Eve service, with candles everywhere and all the best hymns sung. It was daughter’s first, and probably the first that her older brother James will remember.

His wife sat by his side, looking as radiant as ever. All of their neighbours had put on their best clothes, but whenever he glanced over at Aelfgiva he thought no other woman more beautiful than her.

As soon as the children are tucked up, he tumbles her into bed. She smiles and pulls him close. Everything feels right with the world.

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