The ordeal was over, but the risk had not yet passed. "A rich girl noticed me," Gwenda said, and she could hear the shrill fear in her own voice.

Pa's small, dark eyes flashed anger. "Did she see what you did?"

"No, but she told the others not to squash me, then the knight picked me up so I could see better."

Ma gave a low groan.

Pa said: "He saw your face, then."

"I tried to keep it turned away."

"Still, better if he doesn't come across you again," Pa said. "We won't return to the monks' hospital. We'll go to a tavern for our breakfast."

Ma said: "We can't hide away all day."

"No, but we can melt into the crowd."

Gwenda started to feel better. Pa seemed to think there was no real danger. Anyway, she was reassured just by his being in charge again, and taking the responsibility from her.

"Besides," he went on, "I fancy bread and meat, instead of the monks' watery porridge. I can afford it, now!"

They went out of the church. The sky was pearly grey with dawn light. Gwenda wanted to hold Ma's hand, but the baby started to cry, and Ma was distracted. Then she saw a small three-legged dog, white with a black face, come running into the cathedral close with a familiar lopsided stride. "Hop!" she cried, and picked him up and hugged him.

Excerpted from World Without End by Ken Follett. Copyright © 2007 by Ken Follett. Excerpted by permission of Dutton, a division of Penguin Group (USA). All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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