Blas nearly skipped with excitement. “What do you mean, heading for trouble?” Blas said. “Tomorrow we’ll pack for new deliveries, right Sal? I can’t wait to see the Western provinces.”
When Brother David stopped walking, he turned to face them. He needed to make the seriousness of this meeting clear to both Sal and Blas. He carried the smallest gift, the wooden box, out of sight, tucked under his robe near his chest. “Br-brothers, we will stand together before the B-bishop,” Brother David said. Sal never heard David stutter so much. “I w-will present him with these g-gifts from our labors. I cannot be c-certain we will b-be allowed to d-depart together,” Brother David said. Before they could ask any questions, Brother David turned away and entered the corridor leading to the Bishop’s chamber. Wearing his plain grey robe, he walked past the vestment closet filled with silk shawls used only by the highest-ranking holy men. He nodded to the sentry guarding the door, and the three companions—Brother David, Sal and Blas—were allowed to enter.
“Your G-grace,” Brother David said. He stood before the Bishop, whose chair sat on a two foot-high pedestal in the center of the room. A strip of deep blue carpet with golden emblems served as a boundary between the Bishop and the others.
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