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.Guy doesn’t seem the type to become a vegetarian pacifist.The TARDIS does seem a little empty these days.’ The Doctor didn’t quite meet her eyes.‘A family home with all the children grown up and gone.’‘I thought we were leaving pretty much immediately?’‘We can come back, if you like.The TARDIS is several hours away, but it’ll only take instants to get back.’‘He does seem too nice to be left here, doesn’t he?’‘Who does?’ Hugues asked, ascending the steps softly, as the assembled Parfaits drifted back to their duties.‘We were just discussing Guy,’ the Doctor explained, ‘and the fact that it’s time for us to leave.’‘I was under the impression that you travelled on some ship.’‘Well, yes, but first we have to get to it, of course.There’s a small hilltop village between here and Béziers.Reaching that will be the first stage of our journey.’‘Then I would like to make a request of you.’ Hugues looked a little sheep-ish, Benny thought, and she wondered if he was going to ask to be rescued.‘I would like you to take the skull to a safe hiding place, Doctor.I know it is but a physical object, but the Church could find a way to discredit it, and in so doing discredit us.’‘Who’s to say they have the right skull?’ Benny asked.‘Phrenology,’ the Doctor answered.‘The bumps on a skull have significance to the personality as some people have believed, but they are as unique as 204fingerprints.’‘Every Parfait knows the touch of the skull as well as they know their own faces.’‘I’m sure I can think of a few places where the Church won’t come across it,’the Doctor reassured him.‘I will accompany you as far as the village, before going on to Montségur.Our people there must know what has happened here.’‘I doubt the circumstances will be exactly the same there,’ Benny pointed out.‘All knowledge is invaluable,’ Hugues reminded her.She felt as if he used that tone to teach children in a seminary.‘It’s all right, Hugues.I’m sure we can both use a rest anyway.’‘I will see you at first light, then.’ Hugues walked off towards the Parfait’s quarters.‘Isn’t that interfering a little?’ Benny asked.‘No.History is still on its proper course.’205Chapter 22The right pauldron didn’t sit quite properly over the extensive poultice that had been applied to him, but, as far as Guy was concerned, it was good enough if it went on at all.Once his armour was comfortably settled, he rather stiffly gathered up his cloak and sword, then paused, hearing footsteps approaching.Giselle stepped through the curtain, looking on disapprovingly as he fastened his sword belt.‘The Doctor said you should rest for at least several days.A place has been prepared for you in one of the wagons.’‘The last time I was carried anywhere on a litter, my rank was stripped from me,’ he growled.‘I will not be placed in any such position again.’‘The Doctor also said that the spell he cast on you – anti-boat-ticks, I believe he called it – would last less than a day, after which the pain would return.We all owe you so much that –’‘If you owe me so much, then I will reclaim it now.’ Dammit, he thought, can the wench not see that I dare not tarry lest I succumb to temptation and change my mind? Of course not.Giselle looked at him blandly.‘Your wound will probably open and eventually kill you, if you strain it too much.’‘Would it ease your fears if I promised to find an inn and rest there for several days?’‘A little, perhaps.’‘Also.’ He faltered.Why could this not be easier? It was only words after all, not a hundred Saracen cavalry-men.He’d rather have faced the Saracens than leave like this.‘Also tell the Lady Bernice that my last thoughts were of her.’ And they will be, he promised himself [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]