Madeleine shook her head. “No. I was born in Antioch; I had lived in the Lavant all my life—until I married.”

“Then you came here?”

“Not right away. Juste—my husband—came east in the Third Crusade, and ended up serving Frederick. Barbarossa had already settled the matter in Brabant, but he had only a steward on Bois de Haillot, not a lord. He gave the manor to Juste. This was all before I had even met Juste—Barbarossa never made it to Antioch; he died in Turkey.”

She paused. The look in her eye was not exactly wistful, but she was clearly thinking about more than she was saying.

“Ma Dame married my lord De La Croix,” Stephan cut in, keeping the narrative going, “and he sent her back to his new manor.”

“He had no interest in being here,” Madeliene confirmed. “And why would he? One manor on the farthest fringe of the Empire, when there was a fortune and name to be made in the Holy Land?”

Um. Well maybe because he wanted to be with his wife? But I wasn’t quite going to go there at this point.

“I was seventeen years old. I had never been out of Antioch.”

Madeleine paused, as if that told the whole story. Which, I guess, it more or less did. In some ways, her experience wasn’t all that different than mine.

Apologies for a late posting–I got a little distracted yesterday. In any event, here’s the COMPLETE Chapter 5 for you. That’s right: COMPLETE.

Click through for a PDF.

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