Paulinus motions for a servant to lay the gifts at the king’s feet, and leans over to lift them up for my husband’s inspection. A second servant assists in opening the parcel, and the two hold up a tunic of Byzantine silk shot through with gold embroidery. Edwin stands to inspect it more closely. I can see it is finer than anything at my brother’s court.
Edwin puts the tunic on, admiring the sleeves. Light from the fire dances on the golden threads. Paulinus holds out a gold medallion that hangs to the middle of the king’s chest. Paulinus snaps his fingers, and the servants display a thick silken cloak. The warriors send up a mighty cheer. A king with so much wealth will have to share some of it with them.
“Your Majesty,” Paulinus says, “I hope these gifts demonstrate the love His Holiness has for you. And they are nothing compared to the message he sends. These are treasures for this world, but His Holiness invites you to build up even greater treasure in heaven.”
I don’t think the king is listening. He appears fascinated by the tunic with its intricate workmanship
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