“Archbishop Paulinus tells me you have a pious nature. You and your ladies. He credits you with the late king’s conversion, and I’m sure he is right. Our mother, Queen Bertha, told me herself that God has a special task for you. Was she right?”
He’s laying a trap for me, pushing me away from the princes. I glance at Paulinus, who keeps his face expressionless.
“Your Majesty, dear brother, I’m merely God’s handmaiden. It was Paulinus…”
“Yes. You are right. God’s handmaiden. That’s you. Your ladies aren’t the only Kentish women without family. There are many women of high birth who lack the means to enter a convent in France. As God’s handmaiden, you must help them.”
“I? I have nothing.”
“But I could give you the means and receive God’s blessing for my generosity. Your archbishop and Archbishop Honorius agree. We need a women’s monastery where such useless women may go to live their lives in service to God—and you are the very person to lead the endeavor.”
“But…” What is he doing? No! I don’t want to lead a women’s monastery.
My brother keeps talking, and there’s nothing I can do.
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