The muffled sound of horses’ hooves was the only sound to break the silence. Even the birds were still though the sun had not yet set. The monk urged his mount onward but the animal whinnied and refused. The servant’s mule had already dug in its hooves and swished its tail uneasily, long ears twitching and nostrils flaring.
Brother Anselm raised his head and sniffed the air. In profile, cowled and cloaked against the darkening sky, he looked to Wystan, the servant more raptor than man and he shivered. His master slid from the saddle and the horse, freed, fled back down the track, gathered up and out of sight rapidly by the long tree shadows.
“This is the place,” the monk murmured and strode towards the overhanging trees. He held the crucifix of his rosary high and Wystan heard the leaves sigh. “Come. Leave the mule. Bring just the spade.”
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