A Rare Benedictine (Brother Cadfael Mystery Stories) by Ellis Peters

By Ellis Peters

Ultimately, Brother Cadfael's many lovers can observe the chain of occasions that led him into the Benedictine Order! Lavishly illustrated, those 3 stories express Cadfael on the top of his sleuthing shape. "Three vintage tales that includes Brother Cadfael . . . whose powers of deduction are essentially miraculous".--Booklist.

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There was a mile or so of track through thick forest between them and the highroad that bore away west-north-west on the upland journey to Evesham. The ribbon of open highway, hemmed on both sides by trees, was hardly less dark than the forest itself. King Henry had fenced in his private park at Woodstock to house his wild beasts, but maintained also his hunting chase here, many miles in extent. At the road they parted, and Cadfael stood to watch his friend march steadily away towards the west, eyes fixed ahead, upon his penance and his absolution, a tired man with a rest assured.

It needed only a single day of watching the Lady Eadwina in action to show who ruled the roost here. Roger Mauduit had married a wife not only handsome, but also efficient and masterful. She had had her own way here for three years, and by all the signs had enjoyed her dominance. She might, even, be none too glad to resign her charge now, however glad she might be to have her lord home again. She was a tall, graceful woman, ten years younger than Roger, with an abundance of fair hair, and large blue eyes that went discreetly half-veiled by absurdly long lashes most of the time, but flashed a bright and steely challenge when she opened them fully.

Roger sat sunk in gloom and rage, and lifted upon him a glare that should have felled him, but failed of its impact. “I misdoubt me,” said Roger, smouldering, “how you have observed your loyalty to me. ” He bit his tongue in time, for as long as it remained unsaid no accusation had been made, and no rebuttal was needed. He would have liked to ask: How did you know? But he thought better of it. ” “As to that,” said Cadfael meaningly, “nothing more need be said. ” And that was recognisable as a promise, but with uneasy implications, for plainly on some other matter he still had a thing to say.

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