English85 Chapter3

English85 Chapter3 - Christine Schott Nor Height Nor Depth...

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Christine Schott Nor Height, Nor Depth: A Novel Chapter Three (Revised) As he and Watt followed Brother Eudo to the services prescribed for the midday hour of Sext, Godfrey marveled at the order of the monastery; it operated like a team of oxen striding on, seemingly without effort or prodding. The monks were closing their books, rising as one, and disappearing from the garth into the shady cloister walks when the novices followed their guide from the dorter. Eudo led them down one of the walks toward the chapel where they had held Mass not long before. Surveying the orderly lines of habits and tonsures filing into the chapel door, Watt grunted, “Nest of black ants.” Eudo ignored him, or perhaps did not hear him at all, but Godfrey gave Watt an ungrateful glance. He found the monks’ single-mindedness comforting. As novices, they were relegated to the choir stall farthest from the altar and closest to the nave, where a few laymen had stopped in to hear the service. Watt grumbled about having a lower place than the young fellow they had met during chapter, but the novice Stephen was quick to whisper that their rank was based on time spent in the monastery, not age. Godfrey, for his part, was silently pleased to be on the monks’ side of the choir screen looking back at the laymen through the filigree. The brothers were praying, standing with their hands clasped and heads bowed, but as neither Watt nor Godfrey knew what they were supposed to say, they stood in silence. Or near silence, as Watt soon found that the sole of his right sandal was sticky and amused himself by pressing it repeatedly to the stone floor and then peeling it away with a soft ripping sound.
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Schott 2 Godfrey looked up at the eastern window above the high altar, not so brilliantly lit now as it had been a few hours before, but now that the light was not so blinding he could see that the stained glass was an intricate pattern of intermingled gold and red and green. He wondered at the skill of the artisan, now forgotten and long dead, who had shaped raw glass and black lead into such geometric perfection. Godfrey could scarcely define the pattern, much less think of conceiving it himself. What a blessing, to be custodian of such an ability. How many men must have been chastened and humbled by this imitation of divine Perfection. He wondered fleetingly what his own gift might be, if he could ever hope to leave such a legacy. He bowed his head and prayed that God would show him his course. When Sext had ended, Brother Eudo dutifully collected the two novices once more and brought them to the cloister walk again. “This is the hour of labor,” Eudo informed them. “What?” Watt exclaimed. “Don’t fret, Brother Watt, labor comes in many forms.
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English85 Chapter3 - Christine Schott Nor Height Nor Depth...

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