Piers looked up at him. 'You're new. What's your name?' 'Neythen, my lord.''Sounds like a terrible illness. No, more like a bowel problem. I'm sorry, Lord Sandys, your son has contracted neythen and won't live a month. No, no, there's nothing I can do. Sandys would have preferred hearing that to syphilis.
Neythen looked perplexed. 'My mum always said I'm named after a saint, not an illness.''Which one?''Well he had his head chopped off, see? And then he picked it up and carried it down the road a time. All the way back home, I think.''Messy,' Piers said. 'Not to mention unlikely, though one has to think of chickens and their post-mortal abilities. Did she think that you would inherit the same gift?'Neythen blinked. 'No, my lord.''Perhaps she was just hopeful. It behooves mothers to look ahead to this sort of possibility, after all. I'm tempted to behead you just to see if she was right.Sometimes the most unlikely superstitions turn out to have a basis in fact.
I don't know,' he said irritably. 'Is it meant to improve you?'She swiveled toward him, eyes wide with shock.'Because nothing could,' he added. Her mouth dropped in astonishment. Blotchy scarlet rushed her complexion. One would have thought he'd shot her.Oh dear God!He realized belatedly how wrong it had sounded.'No! God... that is to say.. nothing is necessary to improve you. Nothing could possibly make you better... than you already are.
As for the comparatively small class of violent crimes against persons, unconnected with any idea of gain, they were almost wholly confined, even in your day, to the ignorant and bestial; and in these days, when education and good manners are not the monopoly of a few, but universal, such atrocities are scarcely ever heard of.
Jules could have sworn there was a devilish glint in the shopkeepers eye. 'I find today I am in need of a bonnet.'Mr. Postlethwaite was silent. And then his eyes crept toward the marquess's hairline.'It will be a gift for a woman, Mr. Postlethwaite.''Of course, sir.' The marquess wished the 'of course' sounded a bit more sincere. He'd scarcely been in the shop for more than three minutes and already his dignity was fraying.
Hello, Bradley,' said Mom. She'd regained her composure after my outburst, and now raised her camera. 'Stand close.''No, Mom,' I said. 'No pictures.''But you're friend's here now,' she said, waving us together. 'Smile!''I don't need a picture with-' the flash snapped '-another guy. That's great, Mom, thank you. Send that one to Dad and tell him we're going steady.