Bücher online kostenlos Kostenlos Online Lesen
Brother Cadfael 15: The Confession of Brother Haluin

Brother Cadfael 15: The Confession of Brother Haluin

Titel: Brother Cadfael 15: The Confession of Brother Haluin
Autoren: Ellis Peters
Vom Netzwerk:
haste and grim silence looking for Cadfael, while Conradin ran out the other way into the great court, and sent the first brother he encountered to fetch Brother Edmund the infirmarer. Cadfael was in his workshop, just turfing over his brazier for the night, when Urien erupted into the doorway, a dark, dour man burning with ill news.
    "Brother, come quickly! Brother Haluin has fallen from the roof!"
    Cadfael, no less sparing of words, swung about, clouted down the last turf, and reached for a woollen blanket from the shelf.
    "Dead?" The drop must be forty feet at least, timber by way of obstacles on the way down, and packed ice below, but if by chance he had fallen into deep snow made deeper still by the clearance of the roof, he might yet be lucky.
    "There's breath in him. But for how long? Conradin's gone for more helpers, Edmund knows by now."
    "Come!" said Cadfael, and was out of the door and running for the little bridge over the leat, only to change his mind and dart along the narrow neck of causeway between the abbey pools, and leap the leat at the end of it, to come the more quickly to where Haluin lay. From the great court the gleam of two torches advanced to meet them, and Brother Edmund with a couple of helpers and a hand litter, hard on Brother Conradin's heels.
    Brother Haluin, buried to the knees under heavy slates, with blood staining the ice beneath his head, lay still in the middle of the turmoil he had caused.
    Chapter Two
    Whatever the risks of moving him, to leave him where he was for a moment longer than was necessary would have been to consent to and abet the death that already had a fast hold on him. In mute and purposeful haste they lifted aside the fallen planks and dug out with their hands the knife-edged slates that crushed and lacerated his feet and ankles into a pulp of blood and bone. He was far gone from them, and felt nothing that was done to him as they eased him out of the icy bed of the drain enough to get slings under him, and hoisted him onto the litter. In mourne procession they bore him out through the darkened gardens to the infirmary, where Brother Edmund had prepared a bed for him in a small cell apart from the old and infirm who spent their last years there.
    "He cannot live," said Edmund, looking down at the remote and pallid face.
    So Cadfael thought, too. So did they all. But still there was breath in him, even if it was a harsh, groaning breath that spoke of head injuries perhaps past mending; and they went to work on him as one who could and must live, even against their own virtual certainty that he could not. With infinite, wincing care they stripped him of his icy garments, and padded him round with blankets wrapped about heated stones, while Cadfael went over him gently for broken bones, and set and bound the left forearm that grated as he handled it, and still brought never a flicker to the motionless face. He felt carefully about Haluin's head before cleaning and dressing the bleeding wound, but could not determine whether the skull was fractured. The bitter, snoring breathing indicated that it was, but he could not be sure. As for the broken feet and ankles, Cadfael laboured over them for a long time after they had covered the rest of Brother Haluin with warmed brychans against simple death of cold, his body laid straight and shored securely every way to guard against the shock and pain of movement should he regain his senses. As no one believed he would, unless it was an obstinate, secret remnant of belief that caused them so to exert themselves to nourish even the failing spark.
    "He will never walk again," said Brother Edmund, shuddering at the shattered feet Cadfael was labouriously bathing.
    "Never without aid," Cadfael agreed sombrely. "Never on these." But for all that, he went on patiently putting together again, as best he could, the mangled remains.
    Long, narrow, elegant feet Brother Haluin had had, in keeping with his slender build. The deep and savage cuts the slates had made penetrated to the bone in places, here and there had splintered the bone. It took a long time to clean away the bloody fragments, and bind up each foot at least into its human shape, and encase it in a hastily improvised cradle of felt, well padded within, to hold it still and let it heal as near as possible to what it had once been. If, of course, there was to be healing.
    And all the while, Brother Haluin lay snoring painfully and oblivious of all that was done to him, very
Vom Netzwerk:

Weitere Kostenlose Bücher