By Ellis Peters
Whereas Cadfael has bent Abbey principles, he hasn't ever damaged his monastic vows--until now. observe has come to Shrewsbury of a treacherous act that has left 30 of Maud's knights imprisoned. All were ransomed other than Cadfael's mystery son, Olivier. Conceived in Cadfael's soldiering early life and blind to his father's identification, Olivier will die if he isn't freed.
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Additional info for Brother Cadfael's Penance (Brother Cadfael Mystery #20)
The men-at-arms had no choice but to change sides with him, their captains having sealed the surrender. ” “But many of the knights in Faringdon,” said Hugh with deliberation, “refused the treason, and were overpowered and disarmed. Stephen handed them out to various of his allies, new and old, but I suspect the new did best out of it, and got the fattest prizes, to fix them gratefully in their new loyalty. Well, Leicester has been employing his agents round Oxford and Malmesbury to good effect, to ferret out the list of those made prisoner, and discover to whom they were given.
But he lives, and it was I engendered him. He suffers captivity and I am free. He may be in peril, and I am safe. Father, can the creator forsake the least of his creatures? Can a man turn away from his own imperilled blood? Is not procreation itself the undertaking of a sacred and inviolable vow? ” This time the silence was chiller and more detached, and lasted longer. Then the abbot said levelly: “Ask what you have come to ask. ” said Radulfus. ” The abbot regarded him steadily, recognizing in the voice some echo from far back and far away, with the steel in it that had been blunted and sheathed as long as he had known this elderly brother.
And here in Hugh’s hand was the tale of his first victims, some thirty young men of quality, knights and squires, parcelled out among the king’s supporters, to pay dearly for their freedom at best, or to rot in captivity unredeemed if they had fallen into the wrong hands, and were sufficiently hated. Robert Beaumont’s clerk had noted, where it was known, the name of the captor against that of the captive, and marked off those who had already been bought free by their kin. No one else was likely to raise an exorbitant sum for the purchase of a young gentleman in arms, as yet of no particular distinction.
Brother Cadfael's Penance (Brother Cadfael Mystery #20) by Ellis Peters