“Maitre Martin!” he said. “I was just thinking of you.” I started to my feet, but he waved me down. He knelt beside me. The kid had a bundle in his arms.

“Thinking of me?”

“Yes, you. You have been quite the talk today.” He took a couple bandages from the kid and laid them on his knees, then started pushing up my sleeve.

I glanced at Gigot. “Really?” I said slowly. “Who has been talking about me?”

Chretien ignored me. “I’ve been asking myself: What sort of man arrives in town with a ten-year-old draft and a strange accent.” He took an earthenware jar from the kid and pried off the lid, dabbing a rag in the contents. “Buys himself expensive clothes. Then gives ostentatiously to the poor. One answer presents itself: A man suddenly into a large sum of money, but with a weight on his conscience. A thief or brigand.”

I glanced again at Gigot. He had taken a quiet half-step back, and his hand had moved to the haft of the axe.

In his comments last week, T.W. Wombat said he enjoyed the sense that “the list of places to run keeps shrinking” in this chapter. I don’t think the back half of it will disappoint–but I’ll let you be the judge!

New to this? Start with the first 10 chapters here. Then get the first half of Chapter 11 here.

And then read this:

And then, when you’ve done all that, comment. ‘Cause that’s the reason—the whole reason—I’m posting these things. To get your comments!

Comment below; you know you wanna! And receive an email notification of every update to this site by subscribing (see the link to the right). Converse with me on Twitter at @charlesmryan, or follow my writing diary on Facebook at Charles M Ryan.

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