The Inquiry

Agatha at DeskAt last, someone normal around here! Sr. Agatha thought as she tidied up the library and hurried to the church for evening prayers.

Fr. Francesco was a quiet and unassuming man. He spent his time with his nose in the books or interviewing the locals about poor Fr. Barnard. He didn’t speak to demons. He seemed relatively disinterested in the local trollops, other than to inquire about their spiritual well being. His sermons were mundane if not downright boring, something that gave Sr. Agatha a bit of relief. Nor did he ever wander into the caves and tunnels under the church. He preferred the sunlight and was often seen near the farms, talking to the peasants and admiring their crops or commenting on their animals. He had a passion for fishing, something the sister appreciated since it added to the table.

She was somewhat worried about the former priest, however. She prayed for his lost soul every night, sometimes saying an extra rosary just for him. On a rare occasion she would spot him near the town, on his horse, staring at the abbey in the distance. He only approached once, though, before he was captured and tried. She would watch him turn, dismount, and tie his horse before boarding the ferry to the island.

Agafiia PortraitShe didn’t understand his fascination with that place. But she had other things to worry about.

School had started. Children needed to be taught. Even some of the local people had begun studying their catechism, perhaps in hopes of saving their souls.

As for Sr. Agatha, she had turned the cooking over to one of the new sisters and was happily keeping the vestry books.

Her days were broken up – and only slightly – by the arrival of Stephanie, the Lady in Waiting that the Queen had offered to the Countess as a wedding present, and by some gypsy of a girl who had wandered into the abbey one day looking for bread and claiming to be the sister of a local guardsman. Sr. Agatha had her doubts, especially when she saw the girl depart in the company of a well known pirate.

Sr. Agatha looked out the window by her desk and smiled. All was well again in Roxeter.

At least for now.

NM Abbey 657 x 394

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