By Lillian Csernica
Read by Shawn Robertson
…The great hall’s massive oak doors stood open, allowing the sunlight to stream in and make a broad golden carpet on the flagstones. Gatito, the Cook’s tabby cat, lay sprawled on the doorstep, sunning his white belly while he licked his paws. Don Augustín strode through the doorway, making Gatito scurry off toward the kitchen. At fifty Don Augustín was still a handsome man, his black hair and beard scarcely touched by gray. He’d thrown one arm around the shoulders of Sieur Phillipe who now carried the title of le Compte de la Croix as a reward for his part in the recent Crusade. A genuine Crusader! Anna studied him, burning into her memory every detail of his appearance.
Sieur Phillipe was a tall, stocky man with hair like thinning cornsilk. Over his chainmail byrnie Sieur Phillipe wore a velvet surcoat, the left side scarlet and the right bright yellow. He made Don Augustín’s brown houppelande with its voluminous sleeves and embroidered panels seem quite drab. Despite the grandeur of his attire, Sieur Phillipe looked worn and haggard, his gray eyes reddened from lack of sleep.