the smuggler’s bible


“Could be the Bishop’s colors.” Toki stretches the cloth over his arm, trying to get it into the light, then holds it up in front of him. The fire shines through in uneven patches. “It’s old,” he says.

“Of course it’s old. The Bishop’s old. The war is old. This whole goddamned place is old.”

The men pass the spear-rent tabard around the sod cottage. The fellow they took it off of grins quietly in the corner. It’s impossible to be sure after so long, but Byrhtnoth thinks his mistake might have been standing with his back to the door.