05 December 2012 @ 10:42 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Second - Section the First - The Student 947 AD  
For the next three days, I all but lived in the Tamworth Library, looking through book after book and enjoying every minute of it! So much so, that when on the third evening Father stated that the Conference was over and we would be leaving the very next day.

“Don’t you think we could stay a little longer?” I asked, pleadingly.

Father shook his head. “I’m afraid not, Geoffrey, I do have a parish to look after and by the time we arrive back in Monmouth I’ll have been gone nearly a fortnight.”

I sighed and knew better than to ask if perhaps Mother and I could stay behind, Mother would never agree to such a thing because I could tell she was still nervous about being her in Mercia.

Seeing the look on my face, Father patted my shoulder. “Don’t despair, Geoffrey, you’ll see plenty of libraries in your time.”

“But there’s no libraries like Tamworth’s in Caerleon,” I was trying not to whine, it was a rather unbecoming habit. “There’s only private libraries and we don’t know anyone with one.”

Father put up a hand. “Ah, well, it just so happens that we do, now. Bishop Grigor of Abertawe happens to have a private library.”

I looked up at him, my eyes widening. “He does? Which one is he?”

Father gave a chuckle. “I’ll introduce him to you tomorrow before we leave.”

“Can we a least stop by the library? So I can say goodbye to Librarian Bede? He’s been very good to me letting me see all the books I want.”

Father patted my shoulder. “Well, perhaps, it depends on timing. You could always write him a thank you letter, however, put your skills to very good use.”

“I suppose.” But I still hoped I would see Bede.

As it turned out, though, I did not, however the very next morning as was stood in front of the Bishop of Tamworth’s house waiting for our carts to be brought around, Father brought me over to a tall man with dark hair.

“Bishop Grigor, this is my son, Geoffrey.”

“Ah, young Geoffrey, your father mentions you often, a very proud father indeed.” Bishop Grigor put out his hands and we shook.

“Thank you, sir, um…” I trailed off, not sure what to say back since I had only just heard of him and it seemed quite rude to mention his library the moment I met him!

“I’ve hardly seen you during this visit, Geoffrey, your father mentions that you love to read?”

“I do, sir,” my face brightened, since he had brought it up now I could speak about it too.
“Father told me you have a library too?”

“I do indeed, although it is nothing compared to the library here. I do my best with collecting.”

“I’d love to see your library, Father can I go and see it?” I blurted out, which I shouldn’t have done, no-one had suggested and I had put Father on the spot.

Luckily for me, Father looked more amused than angry, in fact he and Bishop Grigor exchanged a look before he spoke. “Well, if neither Grigor or your mother has any objection I don’t see why not.”

“Well, let me put your mind at ease on one part of it, lad,” Bishop Grigor looked at me. “I’d be pleased to show an interested party my library.”

Now all that was left was to convince Mother, which would be easier said than done, although on the other hand, Abertawe was in Caerleon, so she couldn’t be uncomfortable on that account. She seemed to want to return home as quickly as possible, and since I wanted to be on her good side, I decided not to plead once more to stop by the library on our way, but instead intrusted my letter of thanks to Librarian Bede with the Bishop of Tamworth who promised me that it would be delivered.

As we left the city, I looked at Father and he catching my glance turned to Mother.

“My dear, Geoffrey and Bishop Grigor have got to talking,” he began.

Mother must have heard about Grigor’s library because she turned to me with a smile. “And let me guess, he told you all about his library?”

“Yes, Mother,” I nodded. “And…um…he said I could come and see it. Now. I could continue travelling with him to Abertawe, I mean.”

Mother raised her eyebrows in surprise and shot my father a look. “And you wish to do that? Without either your father or me? ”

I paused, it was true I had never gone anywhere without either of my parents, and more often than not, both, but I was almost thirteen years old. I had heard that the knights of Mercia began training their pages at that age! And here I was having never been away from my parents?

Besides, I really wanted to see Bishop Grigor’s library.

Mother still looked slightly uncertain, but then she sighed. “I suppose I cannot keep you tied to my skirts forever, very well, you may go. But I hope you will at least accompany your old parents to Monmouth.”

I laughed and leaned forward to hug her. “Of course I will, Mother!”

And I was more than happy to.
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