“Where is he?”

“My Lady. . .”

“Answer me.” Her words were preemptory and her face cold. My heart ached under the burden of the news I was about to give her.

“Perhaps you should sit down.” I encouraged her. She sank into the gold gilded chair behind her. She stared straight ahead, steeling herself for what she guessed would be coming. Her face was calm, but the slight tremor of the muscles of her jaw and the heaving of her breast gave away her great distress.

“Well, where is he?” She queried again, her eyes finally meeting mine. She must have read the look of death that lingered there and she buried her head into her hands. When one has been in a battle, seen the atrocities of war, the bodies lying where they had been flung, with no regard for the sacrament of life, seen the hate and the destruction it causes, it always shows in the face of he who has witnessed it. I knew she saw that look in my eyes. The despair, and the sorrow. I prayed to God she could not see the guilt. For it was I who had been his guard. I who had been set to watch for those who wished to own his life. I who should have seen the arrow flying towards him and shielded him with my shield or even myself if necessary. The weight of my deed weighed so heavily on me that I wished to bow down and die.

“Noooo. . .” It was a moan, whispered but with such depth of agony it stole the breath from my lungs. I knelt beside her and laid my hand on her shoulder. She sagged against it, trying to draw as much strength as she could. Suddenly she stood and swayed slightly before righting herself. “The people, I must see to the people.” Her voice wobbled but strength emanated from her being. Strength, not of her own, but something she drew from within herself. A strength that could only come from God. She turned and strode from the room and I watched her in awe.

“Dear God be with her,” I breathed. Only he could comfort her now.


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By His Grace,