Our Lady of Darkness (Sister Fidelma)
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Arriving home from a pilgrim voyage, Sister Fidelma hears that her faithful Saxon companion, Brother Eadulf, is under sentence of death for murder. She hastens to the capital of Laigin, where he is being held, determined to appeal against the sentence. The crime took place at the abbey of Fearna where Fidelma clashes with the sinister Abbess Fainder. The evidence against Eadulf seems overwhelming - can he actually be guilty? Will Fidelma's emotional involvement blind her in her desperate search for the truth?
reserved a special place of affection for the tall, red-haired young sister of their King. ‘The inn is just ahead,’ called Enda from behind. Dego screwed up his eyes to penetrate the gloom. He could see a lantern swinging from its pole, the traditional method by which innkeepers announced the presence of their establishments – to literally light the way for weary travellers. Dego halted his horse before the group of buildings. A couple of stable boys ran forward from the shadows to take their
from you are overruled. Now I will hear your appeal.’ Fidelma’s mouth compressed and she glanced across to where Dego was sitting, a bemused spectator. He caught her eye and grimaced, a small gesture of support. She realised now the bias against her even before she began her plea. There was nothing else to do but proceed as best she could. ‘Brehon of Laigin, I wish to make a formal appeal to you to postpone the execution of the Saxon, Brother Eadulf, until such time as a proper enquiry and a
burly man awaiting them on the platform, now moved forward and lifted the captive up as if he had been no more than a child. He placed him on the stool and pulled the noose around his neck, stifling his cries, while one of the escorts secured a rope around his feet. Then the two escorts backed off the platform, leaving the executioner standing next to the young man, now precariously balanced on the stool, his neck in the noose. The religious started their Latin chant again, their voices taking
at the abbey and my enquiries that caused the poor girl to be taken from there and returned to Gabrán.’ Abbess Fainder, who was very pale, cleared her throat nervously. ‘How can we be sure that she is telling the truth this time? She admits that she has lied before, so maybe she is lying now? It seems too grotesque a tale to be real.’ ‘Too grotesque to be made up by a thirteen-year-old child,’ replied Fidelma sharply. She turned back to Fial. ‘Just a few questions more, little one. While you
her for revenge; revenge for the terrible injury that this brute had done her. It was, perhaps, an instinctive adolescent reaction. She grabbed a knife that lay nearby and pulling Gabrán up by his hair – she grasped the hair so tightly in her rage that some of it came out by the roots – she plunged the knife half-a-dozen times into his chest and arms. The wounds were superficial. Then the abbess knocked on the cabin door. Fial dropped the knife and let go her hold on the body. That, indeed, was