This is the first new Tag material I’ve entered since I posted chapters 6-9 early in February (I schedule a month’s posts in advance. Takes a day, saves lots of time and argita later on). There’s been major and minor changes to the story line since then. Some scenes were added, some deleted, some shifted in the plot line.
In any case, we continue here with Part III The Body – Chapter 10.
Read Tag…One More Time – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 1.
Read Tag – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 2.
Read Tag – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 3.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 4.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 5.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 6.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 7.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 8.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 9.
Patreo rode a lope-eared donkey into the village. He passed Verduan’s cottage and Verduan ran out to him. “Father Patreo!”
“Verduan. Sorry not to come sooner. Church politics. Had to get permission to enter another parish.” Patreo looked around. “Buco guarding your herds today?”
“That or with my son. Or playing with the other dogs. Father Baillot doesn’t know you’re here?”
“He’s my first stop. Unless you have some water for Geselda here.” He patted the donkey’s neck with a gloved hand.
“What happened to your hand?”
Patreo held it up and laughed. “Oh, nothing. A slight burn. I wear the glove to keep some ointment on it while it heals.”
A woman walked hurriedly to the center of the road, shaded her eyes from the sun and scanned in both directions.
“Looks like the woman has a concern.”
Verduan nodded. “Ide, Julia’s mother. I mentioned her when we talked.”
Ide marched up to them. She spoke as quickly as she walked without acknowledging Patreo’s presence. “I asked you, is Julia with Eric?”
Patreo scratched Geselda’s ears. “Should she be?”
She ignored him and grabbed Verduan’s arm. “Is Julia with Eric?”
“No, Ide, and I haven’t seen her.”
Ide ran down the road, her skirts lifted in her hands.
“You have an interesting village.”
“I wish it weren’t so.”
“I should go tell Father Baillot I’m visiting. A short respite from my parish duties. I’ll offer the bishopric suggested I council with an older, wiser priest.”
“Oh, he’ll love that. Give me a moment to tend your noble steed and I’ll walk with you.”
They saw Ide conferring with Baillot as he left the rectory. He stood looking down at her, shaking his head and adjusting his cassock. She threw up her arms and ran off as they approached.
“Father Baillot, we have a guest in our village.”
Patreo bowed. “I’m Patreo from Tomeka.” He stared at Baillot a moment. “The bishopric suggested you as first among many regarding counsel on parish matters. You’ve gained such respect with our church fathers.”
“The bishopric sent you?”
“The bishopric suggested I consult with an older, wiser priest. I come of my own accord to you.” He nodded towards the fleeing Ide. “Have I come at an inconvenient time?”
“Patreo.” Baillot stared down at him. “That is not a common name.”
“I am from the west and named in my mother’s tongue. My father left before I was born to fight in the Holy Land and never returned.”
“You do not know your father?”
“I seek him when Mother Church and time allow. Beyond that…” Patreo shrugged.
“Are you a bastard, then? Unfit to do holy work?”
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