The rider’s horse was fine and his posture was ramrod straight. As he approached, Iamerge recognized Rhaury Ui Birlinn. He looked as if he’d had plenty of sleep and eaten well too, but perhaps that was Iamerge’s bitterness whispering in his ear.
“Where are your brothers?” called down Rhaury from on high.
Iamerge felt the urge to cut the man down to size, but he restrained himself. Here is the man that may give me my money, best not offend him no matter my mood or his unintended provocation. Instead of a sharp word, Iamerge smiled, “All of them are at their prayers, so I and Conal are left to see to the men. I’m sure Gospels and the rest will be available directly.”
Rhaury looked puzzled, “You are not a member of their order? I guess I assumed since you dress like them and were with Gospels that you were of their brotherhood. I hope I didn’t give offense.”
“None taken. Indeed Gospels rescued me from the sea out on the Skellig or I’d not be standing here today, clothed or no. I was bound for Bellton, but was wrecked in a storm.”
“Truly? Well that was good fortune. These Monks, odd though they may seem to me, are a marvelous resource. I do believe that it was good fortune for my men that Gospels and you came out to assist us. More would have died, no doubt.” Rhaury seemed to ponder where to go with the conversation from there while climbing down from his horse, “I came to see the men anyhow. Perhaps I don’t need to speak to Gospels to see to them.”
“No, not at all, I’m sure that the men would be happy for a visit.” Iamerge glanced at the bandages before adding, “Those that would notice your coming anyhow.” Rhaury looked pensive so Iamerge added, “We’re all in here, come say hello.”
Iamerge pushed the door open and went in ahead of Rhaury. “Welcome to our abode, the only one with a door,” quipped Iamerge.
Rhaury ducked as he entered, eyes flicking right and left to take in the interior. “That at least might need to change,” He said half to himself as he walked into the room, “Ah, I see Conal at least is well.”
The man beamed at Rhaury from where he lay, propped on his one elbow, “Hello there sir. Aye, I’m well enough thanks to the brothers. . .” Conal glanced over at Iamerge before adding, “. . . and Iamerge of course.”
“It is good to see you in such good spirits,” said Rhaury. “I’ve spoken to Niam, told her of your situation. . .”
Iamerge watched as Conal’s face fell, there was worry where Iamerge always found cheer. Conal looked anywhere but at Rhaury or Iamerge, “I can’t see how I can be anything to her.”
Rhaury walked over to the man’s bed and sat in thought for a moment, “It is a puzzle, but Niam might have a say in this, don’t you think?”