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Another Period Party

by Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno)

Though it was the dead of winter, the evening had but a slight chill as I threaded my way south. It was just after Vespers and there was a feast awaiting me at my destination. A glimpse of a pretty maid showed that I had found the place. After securing my mule, I entered the hall.

In the entryway I was greeted by two fine ladies and shown to the feast hall. Once there I was directed to the center of the head table. Was I to play the host for this repast? It was a most usual position for me, accustom as I was to the lower end of tables.

Preceding me into the hall was a Scottish lord, his wife and young daughter. Hard on my heels was a Northumbrian bard who was siting to my left. Soon after an English lady settled in at my right, followed by the rest of the guests: two English lords and their ladies.

The feast was a magnificent creation consisting of removes of chicken, ham and fish. Such were the quantities that all complained of suffering the punishment of the sin of gluttony. Though I did take an additional serving of the cherry and short bread dessert, may the Lord have mercy for my weakness. Lent is upon us and the remberences of such pleasures must last those long forty days.

Surprisingly enough the Scot and English lords were quite civil towards each other. Indeed the clash of wits was more between the lords and their ladies. One lord had apparently had such a discussion early with his lady and had lost. For his right arm was swathed with bandages. I fear that the lords for all their strutting, were going to suffer a cold and empty night. Married to the church as I am, I am spared such indignities.

The Scottish lord did threaten to unleash a new weapon. It seems that his daughter can make a noise that could rattle the walls of Jericho. Such an unseemly use for an intelligent young lady who knows her letters. But what can you expect about a people who already use cat torture as a battle tactic?

Throughout the evening musicians and singers could be heard, but the minstrel gallery was well concealed. Only one showed her face, and then to sing but a single ballad. It seems that the providers of the feast were a shy lot.

As there is a time for beginnings, there is a time for endings. And for this feast the time between was all to short. The first to leave was the Scottish lord, as his wife had penance to do in the form of caring for the sick and injured from Martins to Prime. The rest of us lingered a bit longer, not quite ready to break the spell of the evening. But farewells could not be put off forever, and each of us walked out in the cooling night to make our separate ways home.

 

Copyright © His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno). All rights reserved.

 

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