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.
Read Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 10.
Read Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 11.
Grasshoppers chirped and took flight. Bees buzzed from flower to flower. Wrens and blackbirds flitted from limb to limb. A bushtit danced on the dead girl’s barbette tugging at a loose thread, another made a hole in a stocking.
The woods grew silent as Baillot, Tardiff, Eric, Thomas, Verduan, and Patreo gathered in a semi-circle around the body.
Ide pushed through them. Thomas moved to hold her back but not quick enough. She looked at the young woman’s body and collapsed against her son.
Patreo reached into his cassock and pulled out a small phial. “Lay her down.” He pointed to a sprout of turf back aways from the body. “Over there.” One quick shake and he uncorked it under her nose. “Breathe slowly, Mother. Deep and slow.”
Her eyes fluttered then focused. She pushed him away and scrambled across the hard earth to the body.
Baillot frowned at the phial still in Patreo’s hand.
“Crushed Buckthorn with cayenne and some other herbs, Father.”
Ide gently adjusted the dead girl’s blouse and skirt. “I taught Julia needlework and weaving. She made these as I watched.”
Tardiff squatted beside her and gently took her hands in his. “Are you sure this is your daughter, Ide?”
Ide pulled her hands free and hugged the body to her. The blood on the face and neck turned her blouse a patchwork of bizarre leaf shapes, as if red maple leaves became hands, grabbed her blouse, left their ruddy mark then let go.
“Forgive me, Ide, but the face. It would be hard to tell by the face – ”
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