Death’s Muse – 6 – The Prudence Of Temperance

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Having attended communion at Holy Trinity, and been less than impressed, Gwyn rode to Kenwick arriving early in the evening. Having arrange it, by phone, the previous day, after having photographed the bronze works, Gwyn imposed himself on the hospitality of the Rev Claud Evans, of All Souls Church, Kenwick. Claud had lost both his sons in the war. A visit from Gwyn both cheered and saddened the Rev Evans, as Gwyn had also seen service during the last year of the war. The Rev Evans’s daughter, Faith, looked after her father, since his wife died taken by the influenza. It had been from Faith that Gwyn had learnt of Prudence’s siren call, as Faith had responded to it.

Feigning friendly interest in Faith’s life and friends, which he was anyway, Gwyn conversed with her about The Temperance League and Prudence. He learnt that Prudence did have a new boy in her life, who she saw as a worthy project. The boy was a groom at Kenwick Castle, but Faith could not recall his name. Faith did reveal that Prudence was becoming more and more driven and fanatical about the Temperance cause. She also let on that Prudence’s mood was far better when she spent more time with her groom. Prompted by Gwyn, Faith conceded that Prudence was putting too much effort into her causes and was tiring herself out.

Gwyn knew Faith’s linage, which unlike her father did included some Bellhamshire blood, but that blood was of little significance. All the Pendry family’s ancestors were from the Black Country or more distant parts, or at least that was what the Rev Evans said. Rev Evans was concerned that Gwyn was taking such an interest in his daughter’s friends, for he knew that Gwyn had been proposed to replace the retiring exorcist at Bellham Minster.

Late that evening, Gwyn had a call from Jacob, informing him that the Rev William Shores had faint traces of one of the great bloodlines of Bellhamshire. That they supposed was the reason that he had gone insane rather than died. It had been arranged, by Briony, for Dean Ible to visit the asylum and with help see if they could heal him.

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