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By Michael Jecks

It truly is 1321, and woman Elizabeth of Topsham, prioress of St. Mary's, is struggling with to maintain her place within the face of devastating competition. She has been accused by means of Sister Margherita, St. Mary's treasurer, of giving much-needed cash to the recent vicar, a guy she frequently sees by myself at evening. the various nuns are confident that Margherita might make a greater prioress—especially now that it really is definite that Moll, a tender nun, used to be murdered in her in poor health mattress. Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, with his outdated pal Simon Puttock, are summoned to enquire. there is not any doubt that the threefold vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty are being damaged with alarming frequency. Then, while a moment nun is murdered, they locate themselves dealing with their so much tricky case but.

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Sample text

Abbot Champeaux was no hypocrite, Baldwin knew. He enjoyed his life to the full, it was true, but that did not affect his dedication to his abbey, nor to his monks or the secular folk of Tavistock. “It must be difficult for those who live the monastic life,” he said. ” “The good Lord keeps warm those who truly give Him their faith and trust,” Bertrand declared sententiously. “And I fear He will not be turning His face to some of the people I have been meeting. ” Suppressing a sigh, Baldwin tried to nod understandingly.

Some, like the convent at Polsloe, greatly increased in size, but others failed to win the money and faded away long before the Dissolution. Nuns found it particularly difficult to support themselves. The reason was simple: when a rich man died he wanted to ensure that his soul had as smooth a passage into heaven as possible, and to this end, he would set up a chantry. This was a chapel which was dedicated to honouring the dead man, holding services and praying for him every day. Depending on how wealthy the man was, the more prayers he could buy; the more prayers said for him, so the logic went, the faster he’d be let in through the Pearly Gates.

Moll told her about the priest’s parcel, but the nun was indifferent: his memory always was dreadful, but he would soon be back for another novice’s vein, and he could collect the knife then. Remembering him, Moll recalled his insistence that she should drink wine to cleanse her system. She licked her lips. It was warm, and she was thirsty. At the table by her side was the cup measured out by Constance. Moll had tasted it when Constance had served them all. Now Moll tried it again. The first sip made her wince: it was hideously bitter.

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