Dom’s ride south with the countess had proven unsuccessful. All they had gotten for their trouble was rudeness and some bad wine.
He had been willing to negotiate a purchase if he could find an honest locksmith. The gate to the crypt that the priest wanted would need a strong bolt and lock. That craft was beyond his skill but he knew the fearful denizens of Tanninhold had plenty of experience with mechanical security.
While the apprentice heated up some dinner in the kettle, Dom unloaded his bag of acquired locks onto the table. Dismembering them had proven easy enough, but the complexity of the mechanisms baffled him and his attempt to re-assemble them left springs and bolts and levers spread across the cloth on the table
Coming into the square, he was way-laid by the countess to go to the church and witness her fiancé’s baptism.
Sitting on the uncomfortable pew as the priest babbled on about rejecting devils and believing everything the celibates told you was rendered tolerable by Baylee’s presence but even she was lost in the music and ritual.
Finally the priest forced the Warden to bow before him to be splashed with the holy waters and they could all repair to the tavern for a celebration.
As he turned to walk down the nave, Dom caught sight of a young nun standing in the light of a painted-glass window. The radiant beauty of her deep blue eyes left him stammering like a schoolboy.
With the priest’s permission, Dom escorted Sr Caoilainn to town and his slow meandering route allowed him to pester her with questions just so he could hear the lilting soft accent in her voice.
When they arrived at the public house, the countess hustled the nun to a distant table. He watched her move away in that black cloth bag of a habit and a terrible ache filled him; the thought of such a beauty trapped in the abbey, locked away from all joy. He shook he head thinking, “The nunnery is for widows and hopeless spinsters.”
So he joined Bryantt’s boisterous table to help the Warden’s fresh clean soul get drunk.
When Dom woozily wobbled his way home to his flat, he saw Will curled in a ball on his cot and on the table all the locks in a straight line in perfect working order.