By P. C. Doherty

ISBN-10: 0312359616

ISBN-13: 9780312359614

As evening units in, Chaucer’s weary pilgrims locate themselves in a Kent copse, rumored to be haunted. Huddling round the hearth, they convince the Clerk of Oxford to inform a ghostly story of affection and demise that might additional sit back their blood...

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The others were already gathered on the green. Lady Anne had laid out a blue broadcloth, with cushions and bolsters arranged as seats. A trestle table had been set up, pewter jugs and cups glinted in the sunlight. Traunchers and platters of bread, cold meat and sliced fruit were covered by white cloths against the marauding flies, attracted by the mounds of manure and ordure piled against the castle walls. Beatrice wrinkled her nose. The smell was not so sweet now. The moat was dank, its water brackish; as Ralph said, you could often smell Ravenscroft before you saw it.

One day Sir Geoffrey came back and surprised the lovers. Lady Johanna was immured for life in a dungeon beneath the tower. The young squire was handed over to Black Malkyn. For days that limb of Hell tortured the young man in a room next to Lady Johanna’s cell. ’ Sir John sat back and drank his wine. ’ said Lady Anne impatiently. Sir John needed no more encouragement. ‘Well, one night the screams ceased,’ he said ominously. ‘Lady Johanna, who had been left for days without water or food, was now given some meat and a cup of wine.

Beatrice! ’ She whirled round. The merry-faced man she had glimpsed earlier was sitting, cross-legged, on the blue cloth. ‘Come away, Beatrice,’ he murmured. ’ Crispin retorted. ’ Beatrice stepped back. She was being so selfish. Ralph was crying. She should comfort him. As she moved away, Crispin’s eyes turned hard. ‘I’ll come back,’ she whispered. ‘I promise. ’ ‘Of course, Beatrice,’ he said and turned away. Beatrice was already in the tower hurrying up the spiral staircase, aware of the torches, the dancing shadows, of grotesque shapes, odious smells and macabre forms.

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A Haunt of Murder by P. C. Doherty

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