The Passion of Agnes Part 5
I want to skip ahead by a day in order to share the explanation I received regarding the abduction of Beautoix and his men before I narrate the fantastic events that occurred the night of Samhain.Therese, who was soon to become the Order of the Sacred Hearts newest member, and I met during the previous nights revelries. Out of my mind, so to speak, with enthusiasm for our Goddess I failed to see her for who she really was. But I am getting ahead of myself.By the time she found me it was nearly twilight. I had slept most of the day and was wandering the grounds deep in thought when a strange and pretty young lady approached me and told me of our encounter on the Night of the Dead. I had been sorting through my somewhat unclear memories of the previous night and what she related struck something in me. Memories came to me. We were both anxious to speak at length, both desperate for some clarity. I offered to share my supper and she accepted.After our meal we sat in my cell, a lone candle between us lighting our faces from below, which always gives the teller of a tale a peculiarly frightening aura, or so I have found.Therese had the kind of brown hair that lightens considerably with exposure to sunlight so that in the winter they are quite brunette and in the summer often regarded as naturally blonde. It was abundant and thick. Her eyes were smallish and penetrating, of an ocean green, and they widened in amazement as she embellished on her strange and perilous journey to our convent and her febrile impressions of the night before. Her skin was a swarthy peasant tan but quite becoming to her as she bloomed in the springtime of youth. Her jaw was rather square which pleased me somehow. Her cheeks would hollow as her lips pursed into little o’s. Small freckles dotted her face. We formed a bond very quickly.We shared a bottle of wine. Our spirits heightened and our inhibitions lifted. We wanted to confide and allowed ourselves this prelude, talking of very little: life in a small village as a girl and the like. It can be guessed how interested I was when she told me of her abduction by my husband and his cronies. She spoke so elegantly as she told her story that she reminded me more of a princess than a peasant girl. There would be time to discover her secrets, I reflected. At my urging she seemed to slip dreamily into the already remote land of yesterday and began.Therese’s Tale Part 1I questioned every sister I could get to listen today as I walked the grounds, to find out what I could, but everyone turned from me. You are the only friendly person I have met Sister Agnes. Your Abbess still has not told me why I am here. You were the one I was hoping to meet. I am glad to have found you.” She clenched my hand and offered a pained smile. “I was so frightened last night I thought I would elvankent escort bayan perish. But when I encountered you I sensed a deep humanity and suffering and loss. It made me rethink what I had witnessed and now I yearn to know more. But let me go back to near the beginning.I’ll tell you one day why I found myself on foot, friendless, walking a lonely road away from my native village of X when Beautoix and his henchmen came upon me. Suffice to say I incurred a shame that the godly folk of our humble village could not countenance. Ostracized and without hope or prospects I faced the wide, grim world utterly alone. It is hardly surprising that the Devil sent these men to prey upon me so soon. I must have seemed a delicious and easy morsel to the Fiend.I was tired and hungry. It was still early morning and I had gone without breakfast. I had taken a path going north perhaps an hour previously. The sky was not quite lit but beginning to stain with pink. Church bells tolled in the distance. The birds sang canticles to their Creator as I walked through the dim forest, occasionally emerging onto open moors and fields. I am a solitary soul and such peaceful impressions soothed my troubled heart. I tried, with the aid of those bells, to find the village whence they came so as to find some benefactor, some good person for whom I could work who would not take advantage of me, at least not unduly.The quiet peace of that morning was broken by the sound of trampling hooves and the rough voices of five large rugged men plus the rather sad figure of your husband, their leader, horrendously ugly with pigsty breath, Beautoix. His men called him by his Christian name Gaston. They were all brutish and filthy. I tried not to look at them.I was summoning my courage to ask these men for a ride to the village or perhaps a crust or a bit of cheese to assuage my appetite when they surrounded me. Their cocky smirks and jeering remarks put an end to my hope that these might be godly and charitable men. I trembled since for the protection of the Almighty I was as vulnerable as a wounded fledgling. They asked in rude tones my name, the name of my village and where I was going. I was frightened to the point of speechlessness. In reply to their queries I only succeeded in whimpering like an imbecile. I ran but was caught by the one whom Beautoix particularly favors, Grimaldus, whose face is covered in scars. They bound me and loaded me onto a mule like baggage. They talked of me as if I was not there, giving frank appraisals of my body and face. They admired my looks but it hardly pleased me. In their arrogance they mistook my paralyzing fear for idiocy. They assumed that I was mute and devoid of understanding. The lowly state in which they’d found me doubtless contributed Escort emek to that impression. This was a grace from God and was to work to my advantage.I listened to them carefully and as they did not attempt to censor their speech I soon learned the object of their voyage.What I learned was more horrible than I could have imagined. I was not the only girl they had taken nor would I be the last. These men were professional abductors of girls. They had associates who worked the southern coasts, who knew traders from Africa and the East, where ships came and went constantly; I was to be sold into concubinage along with several other women from this very convent whom they had made a deal with your Abbess Clarissa to purchase. This is why they traveled to your nearby village of R. A meeting was arranged at the local inn where they would inspect the women and arrange a price with her. If this was not nefarious enough a project for these brigands many were inclined to not only break the deal and abduct the women without payment but to kidnap Clarissa herself, having heard of her legendary beauty.Beautoix however would have none of this plan although his objections were pragmatic rather than moral. Not being an adventurer like his men but a businessman, he reminded them that an eminent Abbess’ departure would surely be noticed whereas the girls whom she enrolled in her convent were usually poor and insignificant creatures like myself, abandoned by society and family alike, whom no one would miss.Around mid-afternoon as we were riding along M. Beautoix suddenly doubled over in pain. He quickly dismounted and propped himself against a tree. We all stopped and the men attended to him, I watching bound from my mule. They were all subsisting on the same diet so there could be no question of tainted food. Grimaldus suggested witchcraft was to blame, having heard stories of a coven in this area. M. claimed his stomach had always been made of iron yet he felt he was being jabbed there, as if with a knitting needle. He groaned in pain. After a few moments this pain subsided as quickly as it had come. M. brushed himself off with some embarrassment, remounted, and we continued. Very shortly after however he started to convulse and foam at the mouth. His neck twisted in an unnatural way that was disturbing to see. He fell from his horse, flailed on the ground and emitted horrible noises. His beady eyes exuded fear. We could all see that demons were possessing him. And then it stopped as if it never happened leaving everyone, myself included, very unsettled. They crossed themselves and uttered prayers. We were near the village and the inn by now and rode there in silence, I ever alert to a possibility to make my escape.Soon the inn of the appointed rendezvous came eryaman escort into view. The innkeeper and his wife came out to greet us, issuing instructions to the grooms with regard to the horses and mule. They seemed ill at ease. He eyed the men and I with trepidation while his wife, whose eyes I desperately sought to link with mine, stubbornly kept them fixed groundward.It was one of those inns one finds everywhere scattered about the French countryside: thatched roof, grazing poultry, the smell of manure, elderly caretakers, bedbugs no doubt, but the Inn Sauvois as you may or may not know possesses a spacious dining hall. To this hall we were led to be met by your Abbess Clarissa who sat serenely in an oak chair outside the heavy doors, wearing the accoutrements of her calling, hands primly folded in her lap, as if she had all the time in the world.I don’t know what sort of first impression Clarissa, the Abbess I mean, made on you Sister Agnes but as for me…(and here she sighed deeply) I must say I have never met anyone like her. Grimaldus whistled under his breath when he saw her. Her plain nuns habit never manages to suppress what Nature has so lavishly endowed her with, don’t you agree?” Here we both giggled like old friends. I was glad to note her naughty sense of humor.She noticed me right away and I quailed shyly under her appraisal. She hadn’t expected me and I could see an impromptu calculation taking place in the depths of her smoldering eyes. I know I blushed. I sensed that she approved of me somehow. The men said little in response to her inquiries about me, simply saying they’d picked up an extra whore on the way.She commanded the Sauvois’ in a voice smooth as velvet yet harsh as the cry of an owl. The couple met all of her little demands, and a whole host of them there were, with the utmost celerity, as if she were the true owner of the Inn! They fairly quaked in her presence.Clarissa led us into the great hall, the couple looking very anxious and unhappy but nonetheless servile. We entered and a shout of approval went up from Beautoix, who was feeling better now, and his ruffians. Entering last I saw five enchanting women, generously built and alluring, holding salvers on which were choice wines and jeweled goblets. They wore nothing but nuns coifs and crucifixes round the neck. I was shocked that they would blaspheme so merely for erotic savour.They were undeniably beautiful; I had never seen a womans nudity apart from my own.But I no longer felt sorry for the fate of these who, along with me, were to be slaves to some Mongol or Moghul or Sultan, seeing clearly now that they were simply harlots and the so-called Abbess nothing but a procuress, albeit a truly charismatic one.Under the Abbess’ supervision M. Sauvois spread a great feast. The whore nuns were to be our servants. I could hardly believe my eyes or my nose as dish upon succulent dish appeared at table: roasted capons, pickled duck eggs, suckling pig with thyme and mushrooms, leeks with almond milk, cinnamon and roses, a fried chicken dressed with capers and oysters. Bottle upon bottle of fine wine.