The Lord of Ireland (The Fifth Knight Series Book 3)

The Lord of Ireland (The Fifth Knight Series Book 3) by E.M. Powell Read Free Book Online

Book: The Lord of Ireland (The Fifth Knight Series Book 3) by E.M. Powell Read Free Book Online
Authors: E.M. Powell
one good, dark, deep-set eye. His other eye would be no use, blank as a fish’s, with the red and watery lower lid pulled down by his scarred flesh. ‘Word reached me of an attack on Gerald.’
    ‘Let the man be, de Lacy,’ came Gerald’s sharp, breathless reply. ‘He is trying to fix me.’
    De Lacy. Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath. Henry’s man in Ireland . The one Henry suspected of treachery. The very reason Palmer was here. He released his grip on his sword.
    ‘Fix you? Why?’ De Lacy strode to Gerald’s side, sword lowered but still in a ready grip.
    Theodosia helped the monk back to his feet, linen clutched in one of her hands. Her look to Palmer as she passed it to him showed that she recognised the name too.
    ‘My arm,’ moaned Gerald. ‘Broken by an ambush.’
    ‘Such a fall from the gangplank.’ Theodosia’s quick tact made Palmer proud.
    ‘We need to stop the bone from moving as soon as we can.’ Palmer bent to Gerald, aware of de Lacy’s stare on him.
    ‘You don’t look like a barber-surgeon to me, sir knight.’
    ‘Sir Benedict Palmer, my lord. And no, I’m not. But I’ve fixed enough bones on the battlefield in my time. Including my own wrist once. The more bones move, the more chance of inflamed flesh. We need to act quickly.’ Palmer held up the stool legs. ‘These will do for now.’
    ‘In the name of God’s love, stop delaying him, de Lacy,’ said the clerk.
    ‘Then do your work, Palmer,’ said de Lacy with a jerk of hi s head.
    ‘The more help, the better, my lord.’
    De Lacy sheathed his sword as Palmer laid the wooden pieces next to Gerald.
    Theodosia went to stand by Gerald’s head, trying to soothe him, with de Lacy clicking his fingers to the monk as he joined Palmer. ‘Go and fetch wine for the royal clerk from those upstairs. Tell them the Lord of Meath orders it.’
    ‘Yes, my lord.’ The monk scuttled over to the spiral stone staircase and clattered up it.
    Palmer bent to Gerald’s injured arm. ‘First, I need to cut off your sleeve.’ He went to pull his knife from his belt.
    ‘Use mine.’ De Lacy already had his own blade in his hand. ‘It’s a sharp one.’
    Palmer took it from him with a nod of thanks. His flesh prickled. The man had been standing right next to him, and he hadn’t noted his movements.
    He quickly completed his careful cutting as Gerald called for the saints’ aid.
    ‘It will be over soon, brother,’ came Theodosia’s soft words. ‘Soon.’
    ‘Seems as though you were unlucky in how you fell,’ said de Lacy. ‘Rather than an attack, as I’d heard.’
    ‘Unlucky?’ Gerald ground out a low groan. ‘If it wasn’t an attack, then it was a sinister portent for the Lord John’s progress. We did not stop to do penance at the venerable Church of Saint David’s as we travelled through Wales.’ He groaned again. ‘That was one ill omen. And now this.’ He launched into another loud lament about his pain.
    ‘I would say you had some luck, brother,’ said Palmer as Gerald’s pale spindle of an arm lay exposed. ‘Your flesh is sound and there’s no redness. I’ll bind it now.’ He drew breath to ask de Lacy to support the limb, but the lord already had his large hands on it.
    ‘I’ve joined the ends.’ De Lacy had to raise his voice above Gerald’s howls.
    Palmer strapped the clerk’s arm with swift movements, then splinted it with another layer of linen. ‘We’re done.’ He straightened up as de Lacy did too.
    ‘You could have had much worse,’ said the lord.
    ‘Praise God.’ Gerald’s face matched the white sail beneath him, but the relief in his voice told of his lessened pain.
    ‘I will pray for your recovery, brother,’ said Theodosia, ‘as I will ask all the monks at Jerpoint to do.’ Her words were meant to smooth an exit; Palmer could tell.
    He picked up her bundle, but Gerald grabbed her arm with his good hand.
    ‘Stop,’ said the clerk. ‘I summoned you here for a reason. I saw you writing

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