The king isn’t present. He’s not jostling with the thanes. He’s not directing the woodsmen where to place the Yule log. He’s nowhere near his hall. I know he isn’t with the queen. In fact, since she told him of her child, he avoids her. The king’s absence is like a palpable, living thing—an abandoned heart ripped from its body.
I sense this is the time. He is ready to turn to God.
I make my way around men and animals to the king’s chamber. The entry stands open. I peer in to see King Edwin staring into the central fire. He sits on a bench, his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. He looks small and unsettled.
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