“Ma Dame, he says the people of his village are frightened, and that they have heard you are a scholar.”

“What?”

“That’s what he said, my lady.”

“But why is he here?” Stephan demanded. “What of his own lord?”

Hugh spoke briefly with Wulfram. “There is only a steward, Mon Sieur. He does not live on the manor, but only comes every year or two.”

“Very well then, what about their priest?”

More discussion, then Hugh gasped and crossed himself. He questioned Wulfram once more, his tone now a bit cautious. Then he turned back to Madeleine and Stephan. His face, normally crossed by a wide slash of a grin, was clouded. “He says their priest cannot help them. My lord, this man says there is a black mass in their village. The priest is part of it!”

There was a collective gasp, and literally every person in the room—Cyril and Celestine behind Madeleine; Gaspard, Elias, and one or two others around the fringes like me—crossed himself. I went along with the crowd.

Madeleine scrutinized the man. “Is this true?” I was wondering the same thing; I hadn’t heard anyone bring up Satanism since Iron Maiden rocked the 80s.

Hugh translated, and Wulfram again fell to his knees, letting forth with a string of passionate, guttural babble. Hugh put out a hand to try and stem the flow.

“He says many in the village have suspected it for a long time,” Hugh translated after finally calming Wulfram down. “But the mass became more—open—recently. They held a mass on the Nativity of the Virgin, and did not bother to conceal it.”

As promised, here’s this week’s installment of Martin’s story. In honor of NaNoWriMo, it contains the COMPLETE Chapter 6. And, as promised, in honor of the completion of NaNoWriMo, it’s in a new deluxe omnibus edition of the entire novel as posted to date.

How much would YOU pay? But wait, that’s not all! You also get this spiffy new cover and deluxe, novel-like layout! And, if you order now, you get the NEW working title for this novel: The Mason of New Orleans. (I was tired of not having a name for it. Not even a real working title. This may not be perfect, but it’s literally better than nothing.)

Now how much would you pay? How bout the low, low price of free! Well, it ain’t free. Actually, it is, but it ain’t free forever. Crap. What I’m trying to be witty about is this: I can tell from the feedback and the download stats that there’s a nice, growing audience for this story, but we need to take it to the next level. I think you’ll like Chapter 6, but Chapters 7 and 8 are the best to date, if I say so myself, full of action and some powerful plot twists.

But I’m not going to post them until I log 100 downloads of this file. So if you want Chapter 7, make that number happen. Tell your friends!

Click through for PDF.

(Oh, and one more thing: If you’re not keen on PDF it’s also available in epub format. However, I can’t host epub docs on this site, so if you want that version, you’ll have to email me.)

So, tell your friends! Tell your relatives! Tell your friends’ relatives! And in the mean time, tell me what you think of the new chapter, the new format, and the new name! Comments button below.

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