Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1996): Season 2, Episode 3 - A Morbid Taste for Bones - full transcript

Ambitious Prior Robert and self-serving novice Brother Columbanus instigate a trip to Wales to bring Saint Winifred's bones back to the abbey. Welsh Brother Cadfael is co-opted as translator. When a local bigwig opposes letting their saint leave and winds up dead, Cadfael must both prove the innocence of a foreigner and determine whether the little Welsh girl wants her bones left in peace.

(Bell tolls)

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Mentes tuorum visita


Spiritu sancto


My first bleeding.

(Drips echoing)


You know we're not allowed to touch blood.

Now, fetch a lay servant.

And hurry! Hurry!

Brother Cadfael!


Help me, Oswin!

Don't spill any more.

Now, take it to the blood pit
and dispose of it at once!

Hold his head...

while I try and get this poppy juice
down his throat.

It has calmed him before.


Has he had another vision, Brother Cadfael?

His soul is most wondrously open.

Or his head is weak through loss of blood.

Do you deny the benefits of blood-letting,
Brother Cadfael?

That it calms the body, and therefore the soul.

I think even in the House of God
there is danger in excess.

I'll leave the poppy juice there.

Though I doubt he'll need any more of it.

But can someone sit with him?

I-I will stay with him.

You may leave me.


...are you well, Brother?

I have seen a wondrous sight.

She was so beautiful.

Pure white and gold.

You have seen the lady?

I can feel her radiance still.

The one you've seen before?

She beckons me,

as if she would transport me into blessedness.

Brother Columbanus...

did she say her name this time?

Is her name Winifred?


Brother Columbanus, that is her name, is it not?

Saint Winifred?

Saint Winifred!

(A brief knock, then door opens)

Father Abbot, a most divine mercy.

Brother Columbanus is recovered?

More than that, Father, much more than that.


I am blessed above all men.

He cried out the name "Saint Winifred".

The martyred virgin, Father Abbot,
who lies at Gwytherin in Wales.

She beckons me.


- She told him she is uneasy in her grave.
- Saint Winifred

Father, this is the saint I have told you of.

Who lies neglected and forgotten by the Welsh.

Yes, thank you, Prior Robert.

I do recall our many conversations
on the matter.

Does it not seem to you
that we are being divinely guided here

when a gentle saint visits us in person?

She wishes to be here in Shrewsbury

You will recall the Cluniac monks at Wenlock
have recently placed sacred relics on their altar

and its renown grows because of it.

It is true that many pilgrims visit them.

Father, I pray that we may undertake
an expedition, without delay,

to take up Saint Winifred's sacred bones
and house them here,

where she may both rest at ease
and bring glory to our house.

Where is the "glory"
in digging up a young girl's remains?

If the Welsh took better care of her,
she would not call us to her rescue.

But then you are Welsh, Brother Cadfael,
so no doubt feel some shame in this yourself.

I feel no shame.

It is not I who am using Brother Columbanus.

Brother Cadfael, enough!

I would speak with you.

Have a care with visionaries.
They are not always biddable.

- I am her servant
- Brother Cadfael!

I will not call Brother Jerome a liar
and nor will you.

Nor will you accuse Prior Robert
of pride and envy.

He is my right hand, and your master.

Saint Winifred's naming may be deemed
convenient, but it may be truly miraculous.

Brother Columbanus may have seen her.

I share your lack of appetite
for disturbing a sacred lady's bones.

Yet if she is neglected, perhaps it is God's will.

Not only to the glory of our house
but to the great benefit of pilgrims,

whom she will never touch where she lies now.

But, surely, she may touch all who pray to her,
near or far.

An expedition will be mounted.

And you will be part of it.

I, Father?

You have Welsh blood
and a knowledge of the world.

Brother Prior has neither.

He will seek the necessary permissions from
Prince Owain and Bishop David on your way.

But I give you this, for safekeeping.

The journey being long and uncertain,
there may be need of funds.

Let your Brothers' eyes be raised to heaven,

but pray keep their feet on the ground.

The success of this enterprise is in your hands.

Thank you, Father.

May the Lord protect you, Brother.

May the Lord protect you, Brother.

Thank you.

- May the Lord protect you
- Brother Columbanus...

- May the Lord protect you
- Brother Columbanus?

Have you still got the poppy juice I gave you?

Why, yes, Brother.

Though I shall have little need of it
in the presence of Saint Winifred.

Is all ready?

Er... yes. I... Oh, um, except Brother Oswin.

God's business can't wait for the unprepared.

Father Abbot has given his blessing.
We leave now.

(Whistling, bleating and barking)

(Horse neighs)

(Roll of thunder)

(Horse neighs)

No, Father!

- No, no, no!
- Sioned...

Why do you persist?

Why does he persist?

Because you were matched from birth
and he loves you.

Yes, and I love him - as a sister!

He must be content with that!

No, my little spitfire.

None of us can be content with that.

As my only heir, you have a duty to me
and to this house!

I will see you married,

and married well before I die.

And I will see you die, Father,
before I marry Peredur.


Just go home to your kennel,
faithful bloodhound!


You see, Peredur!

She's definitely softening.

I think, sir, you are too indulgent.


A father should be obeyed



...obedience, like a woman's love,
must be earned.

If there are obstacles in your path,
it is for you to remove them.

My Lord Rhysart, forgive me.

Father lanto.

(Laughs) No wedding service yet, I'm afraid.

I thought you would wish to know, my Lord...

The English monks?

Are now but two valleys away.

They will reach Gwytherin tomorrow.

Then they must have...
the welcome they deserve.

(Rattling approaches)

Tell your oxen to close their eyes, too.

(Sioned laughs)

Have a care.

I just mended these.


(Chatter of adults and laughter of children)

(Dog barks)

(Cockerel crows)

(Horse neighs)

Saint Winifred... has called us here.

Do you know or care where she lies?

We know.

And care.

Straight on and up the hill.


RHYSART: Aye here

We know the spot.

Bishop David and Prince Owain
may approve of your enterprise,

but Saint Winifred does not belong to them.

She was born in Gwytherin.

Died in Gwytherin

And has kept us safe ever since.

Why should she now wish to leave us
and be carted away to an English abbey?

You ask that, when this is how you honour her?

She was a country girl.
She rests in country soil. Welsh soil!

Do you even know her story?

I know that she was murdered for her piety,

by a young prince
to whom she would not yield her honour.

Aye, he sliced her head from her shoulders.

Whereupon the miracle:

Her head grew back again

and she stood up alive

while he melted into the grass like wax in a fire.

Though thereafter she performed sundry
miracles of a tender and merciful nature,

you would do well to mark
the moral of this story

Which is?

Those that seek to lay hands on Saint Winifred...

are apt to perish.

(Murmurs from the crowd)

Do you doubt the truth of the omens
that have beckoned us here?


I do not doubt that this holy Brother
has experienced portents.

I just tell you he has been deceived, as all
you English have been deceived - by devils!

Saints do not seek honour for themselves.

Lord Rhysart, I respect, I commend,
your eloquence and your devotion,

but we are not so far apart.

We both hold a blessed saint in high esteem

Let you and I retire into this chapel here
and speak quietly, man to man,

and avoid this... this rising sin of anger.

Then, having had my say fairly,
I will speak no word further.

You shall be at liberty to sway your people
as you think fit, without challenge.

FATHER IANTO: That is reasonable.

Is it not, Lord Rhysart?

Very well.

Where's the money Father Abbot gave you?

The money, give it to me!


Lord Rhysart,

both Church and State are on our side.

And you know better than I
the duty a nobleman of Wales owes to both.

But I... I appreciate that by Saint Winifred's
departure, Gwytherin's loss is great.

That I own freely,

and would seek to make due reparation.


to Gwytherin?

And to you, if you will withdraw your opposition.

It is yours...

...if you will persuade the parish
to give up the saint.

To be used as you think fit,
for the benefit of Gwytherin.


You dare offer to buy our saint?

To buy me?

And in this holy place!

No, no. You mistake me.

One cannot buy what is holy.

I-I merely offer a gift in gratitude
and compensation.

I have listened to what these English monks
have to say.

And this is my judgment

I am confirmed a thousand times that I was right
to oppose the sacrilege they desire

I pledge my opposition
to any attempt to remove Saint Winifred's bones

to the death!

You have till dawn tomorrow to leave this place,


(Man whispers in Welsh)

Spare me your pious disapproval,
Brother Cadfael!

He might have listened to an argument
that appealed to his generosity, but this!

Where do your allegiances lie, Brother Cadfael?

You seem to be more Welsh than Benedictine.

You needed Rhysart's approval,
not his contempt!

I will not be thwarted by an upstart lordling!

We leave when I say, not Rhysart.

Impious man, to disdain our noble Prior
and threaten us with violence?

He should be excommunicated.

No, indeed, he should be struck down!

FATHER IANTO: Pray speak not so

The Lord Rhysart is both honourable
and devout.

Brother Columbanus,

you will keep vigil here tonight.

Gladly, Brother Prior.

Brother Jerome, you will keep vigil also.

Father lanto,
you will find us lodgings, if you please.

And pray remember,
Saint Winifred has summoned us here.

Those who defy her will...

...must face the consequences.

Let your Lord Rhysart ponder on that.

You are Bened?

I'm Brother Cadfael. This is Brother Oswin.

Father lanto directed us to you.

He said two, not three.

I lodge with Father lanto.

Brother Cadfael, we'll speak tomorrow.

Brother Prior...

Rhysart will be back at dawn. Never doubt it.

And if the rest of Gwytherin
should learn what passed between you...

Alms, Brother. I offered alms to Gwytherin.

Do not underestimate the danger we're in.

Seek Rhysart out, then.

Speak to him, Welshman to Welshman.

That is what you're here for, isn't it?

Well, there'll be little chance of that
till his temper's cooled.

Then let tomorrow bring what it will.

Hmm. Brother Columbanus?

Your food and wine, Brother.

It'll be a long night.

We remain till Brother Prior summons us.

My food and wine?

It is but a small sacrifice.

I'll take no refreshment
till our case has prevailed.

I could have sacrificed thus also.



(Lowing of cattle)


(Sudden flapping of wings)

Father! Father!

No! No, Sioned. Leave him alone.

No, he has things to tell us.


Brother Jerome.

Brother Prior summons you immediately

Have our prayers been answered?

Not unless you prayed for murder.


The saint's vengeance

Did I not say her wrath would fall upon those
who stood in the way of her desire?

Saint Winifred has shown her displeasure!

And her power!

This arrow didn't come from heaven,
Brother Prior.

Look at the angle of it

Up from under his ribs into his heart.

This was a human assailant.

Someone with a short bow...
crouched close by in these bushes.

Avenging saints
make use of earthly instruments.

That "instrument" is still a murderer.

BENED: There is something should be said

The arrow... The blue feathering...

It is the outlander's


And it is well known he has been
at odds with Rhysart on a certain matter.

SIONED: Over me

Say what you mean.

But Godwin could not do this.


Who can say how far a man
may step outside his nature for love?

- I thought you were supposed to be his friend.
- I am his friend.

I say what I believe of myself as much as of him.

Well, this... this Godwin must be questioned.

It's clear he had some motive.


You speak of motive, Brother Prior?

When every soul in this parish knows what store
you set upon to get Saint Winifred away from us.

My father told me of your "gift".

BROTHER PRIOR: Take care girl

You put your soul in grave peril.

And the rest of you, why do you delay?

The evidence is plain to see.

Your Lord Rhysart died by Godwin's arrow.

Find him!

The Prior is right.

Godwin should answer.

Could a Welshman do this?

Let the outlander prove his innocence, if he can.

(Man speaks in Welsh)

(Man speaks in Welsh)


Godwin, for God's sake.


- What?
- They're coming for you.

(Distant shouts)

Rhysart's dead.


You are blamed Godwin

- Sioned cannot save you
- Sioned?


(Angry shouting)

Was it Godwin I saw yesterday,
leaving his ox team?

Is it so wrong to love a man who is not Welsh?

Godwin has escaped.

Well, perhaps that is all to the good.

Godwin's arrow didn't kill your father.

Now, you see here, on the ground
where his back was, it's wet with blood.

And yet the arrow

...didn't pass right through his body.

And look at this shirt.

There, you see that hole?

Made by a knife

Rhysart was stabbed in the back.

BENED: But the arrow...

It was pushed in, by hand, from the front,
after he lay dead.

But if Godwin's arrow did not kill my father,

well, then, whose knife was it?

You monks all carry knives.

And two of you were close by in the chapel

Brother Prior.

Mea culpa, I am to blame.

Brother Columbanus?

- I desire to make confession.
- What are you saying?

You can feel no guilt, no more than I.

We were in the chapel all night, keeping vigil,
until Brother Oswin came to fetch us away.

Yes, we were there to pray earnestly for amity
and peace but my flesh was weak

I had not been half an hour kneeling in prayer
when I fell asleep on my arms.

And to my endless shame,
I must have slumbered till long past dawn.

The next thing I remember is you, Brother,

waking me
and saying Brother Oswin had arrived.

And now instead of peace there is misery
and death because of my sinful failing!

So, Brother,
did you spend the dawn in reverent prayer

or sneak out while this Brother slept?

Stand back! You speak
more poisonous blasphemy than the girl!

- Shall we see if your knife has blood on it?
- I...

I swear it is not so.

By Saint Winifred?
You take that lady's name in vain too often!

Bened! Bened!

If one of you has murdered Rhysart,

you can forget about Saint Winifred's grave
and prepare your own!

Bened! Is this justice?

To blame those we hate without proof?

You are as suspect in this as we are.

All of you!

Rhysart told you to go.

Now I am telling you to stay

You will stay until we have our proof.

And then you will feel the edge of justice!


You have no authority, over me,
any more than had Rhysart.

Now, you take him home!

You mourn him decently,
and save yourselves from further sin.

Brother Prior, will you face reality?

We cannot turn our backs on this.

Nor should we.

I-I am not usurping your authority.

But if we want to leave here with our lives,
let alone Saint Winifred's bones,

we must find out the truth of this.

Our deaths under these circumstances
would not be martyrdom.

Now, be gracious to them, and give me time.

Three days.

Give me three days.

Men of Gwytherin,

we have nothing to hide

and therefore nothing to fear.

I have decided that we will spend
three more nights here.

And in that time stand further vigil and offer
constant prayer to Saint Winifred that she may

she may reveal to all

that our purpose here is both right and blessed.

Brother Cadfael?

We shall stay.

You have my word.

Sioned, where will Godwin be now?

I do not know, Brother.

(Cries of waterfowl)


You are the Welsh monk?

Brother Cadfael.

I saw you slipping away when the hue and cry
was raised against Godwin.

Did you have a hand in is escape?

He's my friend.

Oh, you acted from pure loyalty, then?

Not from knowledge?

Oh, that Godwin's arrow didn't kill Rhysart.

- Who says so?
- I say so.

There was a knife wound in his back.

Then I'm justified further still.

Godwin could no more stab Rhysart in the back
than could I.


Why should he kill?

Rhysart was his staunchest ally,

urging his case with Sioned, day in, day out.

Oh, so he and Godwin were rivals?

Oh, impatience, then?

Or perhaps despair?

If it was impatience, it was the outlander's.

Is it true that he is heir to a manor in England?

His father owns some land in Cheshire,
or so he says.

Godwin was forced to flee, though.

Caught poaching the Earl of Chester's venison.

That was two years ago.

Rhysart gave him work.

But clearly not his daughter's hand.

How could a Welsh Lord
marry his daughter to an outlander?

Custom and kinship will not allow it.

And Rhysart took the role of Welsh Lord
most seriously.

Oh, yes. Yes, he certainly spoke
with great passion against our enterprise.

His voice was heard first and last in all things,

He was a big-hearted man,
but given to high-handedness.

I see.

And had you suffered in that respect?

Aye, we had a dispute.

Concerning a field beyond the river
and some livestock.

Which I would have settled long ago had not
Rhysart tried to use rank and browbeat me.

When, of course, in truth
there was little difference between you.


I'm a smith, a craftsman.

He was just a farmer,
though he liked to play the mighty landowner.


Oh, no, Brother...

A few yards of pasture?

A few lost cattle?

Would I kill for that?

If what we see as justice is denied us,
who knows what we will do?

"A man may step outside his nature."

Peredur's words, not mine.

No, you must stay here.

I'll bring you all you need.

Godwin, when all is settled...

How long must I live out here like an animal?


You are no longer an outlander servant

That bond is now dissolved,
by my father's death and by my consent.

Whatever else,
there is now no reason why we cannot marry.

Only think of that huh?

Do not fear.

There is no proof against you.

Well, Brother Cadfael,
it seems perhaps Rhysart spoke the truth.

You were guided to Gwytherin by devils.

I've washed him, Brother.

I trust that is in order.

Of course.

I doubt he had much more to tell us.

Then why are you here?

I followed you today,

to Godwin,

and I heard you speak.

A less open -minded man than I
might suspect you of complicity, hm?

That you and Godwin saw the advantages
of your father's death and so arranged it.

- How dare you!
- You said you didn't know where Godwin was.

- That was a lie.
- Well, could I trust you then? Can I now?

Can I trust you?

If I had a part in my father's death,
let his blood rise now in accusation.

Let it spout forth red upon this hand
and brand me a murderess!

Or is that not enough for you?

Do you not share such time-honoured beliefs?

That a body may give forth blood
when touched by its murderer?

What I believe is not the point.
Do you believe it?


You see, no blood rises.

And will Godwin
dare to undergo such a challenge?

Would your holy Brothers?

You have seen fit to spy on me,

but it is clear the murderer is one of your own.

Let them be tested as well as Godwin!

Do you deny the possibility?

That a holy Brother could kill?


We are none of us holy because we say we are.

But I pray God you are wrong.

Test them.

What is this?

Who can say, Brother Prior?

You have a prayer, daughter?

Yes, Reverend Prior.

I ask that for the ease of my father's soul,
if he has offended Saint Winifred,

which was never his intent,

he may be allowed to lie these three nights
of your vigil before her altar,

in the care of those who keep watch

And I ask if they will spare
one prayer for his soul -

one only in a long night of prayer.

I hope that is not too much to ask?

Very well.

Brother Cadfael,

attend to it.

W-What is this?

It is my father.


Your Reverend Prior has promised
you will pray for him.

Yes, gladly...

And I would ask for one more kindness, also.

Before you pray for him,
will you lay your hand upon my father's heart

in token of reassurance and forgiveness?

Daughter, I have no doubt
your father was a religious man,

but he died violently

And as such a death
brings the health of his soul into question,

I am not fit to pronounce in this case.

I'm sorry.


Did ever a fish wriggle so on the hook?

He was afraid

He knew my father's blood would rise
and prove his guilt.

He is the murderer.

He has proved that he could be.

But there are others yet.

Brother Oswin, what are you doing?

Um, laying a blessing on Lord Rhysart,
Brother Prior.

Well, why do you shake so, then?

What is this?

Explain Brother Cadfael

Has not Brother Jerome told you,
how he feared to touch my murdered father?

Do you dare?

You seek to put us to some pagan test?

And you are party to this?

Time-honoured Brother Prior

not pagan.

Lay your hand upon my father's breast
if you're innocent of his blood.

I will not!

Brother Cadfael, you exceed yourself.

Is there no profanity you will not sink to?

If it were not for your profanity,
my father'd be alive!

Leave here. All of you.

- Brother Cadfael.
- Brother Prior?

You have found no murderer
and half your time is gone.

Make the most of what is left.

And when you stand vigil tonight,

ponder your future.

In this quest, and in this vigil, Brother,
we are greatly privileged.

The history of our Abbey
will record our names and...

Brothers and generations to come will envy us.

Yes, if we ever get back to Shrewsbury,
alive and with Saint Winifred.

Do you doubt it?

We are accused of murder, Columbanus.

You as well as the rest of us.

Murder is an earthbound crime, Brother,
and we are not on earthly business.

Even though we're not on "earthly" business,

our success would please you, wouldn't it?

To bring glory to Saint Winifred,
that is my only pleasure.

So you've no ambition, then...
for a Bishop's mitre?

Do any in our Order?

Indeed they do.

To some, saints and martyrs have uses
that you have never dreamt of.

I dream only of the light...

of being drawn to God.

There's holiness in the air.


And elder blossom.


Shall we lay a blessing on the Lord Rhysart?

Brother Columbanus?

Mercy of Christ

My Lady!

One of these days, boy, you'll get drawn into
that light of yours and never come back.

(Cockerel crows)

Is his soul truly transported, Brother Prior?

Oh, Brother Prior,

I have known such bliss

How did I come here?

Have no fear, Brother.

You were keeping night watch
in Saint Winifred's chapel with Brother Cadfael.

Do you remember?

I was translated out of night's darkness
into a glorious light,

to a world far beyond my deserving.

And though weak and unworthy,

I am to be the instrument of reconciliation
and peace.

She was there

in the chapel

Our blessed virgin saint.

She moved
in a miraculous shower of white petals

and sweet odours came from her robe
and her long, golden hair.

And did she speak?

In words of such sweetness, Father.

She approved our enterprise.

And then, oh, marvellous goodness,
she laid her hand on Rhysart's breast,

as his daughter begged us to do
in token of mere human forgiveness

and gave him divine absolution

You tell a greater wonder than we dared hope.

Even the lost are saved.

And when she had given him grace,

she bade me speak out to all men in the place,

both native and stranger.

"Where my bones
shall be taken from the earth " she said

"there'll be an open grave provided

and in this grave let Rhysart be buried

that his rest may be assured
and my will made manifest."

People of Gwytherin,

do you hear the word of Saint Winifred?

It seems a most diplomatic vision Brother Prior

that gives you what you came for
and tells us to bury Rhysart.

And suspicions with him.

You have engineered this.

- This is a trick.
- Columbanus is no trickster.

Perhaps not.

But what of these two?

Are they as honest as they are holy,
these "men of God"?

Have a care, Bened.

You are close to blasphemy.

You take their side now, Father lanto?

I take neither side.

Can we believe that Saint Winifred

is looking favourably
upon this continuing strife and hatred?

Or that she wishes that
her sacred self be argued over

like a marrow bone by dogs?


if Brother Columbanus doth not speak her will...

...she will make it clear.

Let us trust her.

We will bury our dead.

Your wisdom is a fine example to your people,
Father lanto.


though you may remove
our saint's bones from the earth,

they stay in Gwytherin...

until Rhysart's murderer is revealed

I will show you where she lies.


Et mortua es in saeculum septimum.

Factum est silentium in caelo quasi mediora.

Et viae septem Anglos

vistam in conspectu Dei.

Et datae sunt septem tibi.

BROTHER PRIOR: Brother Jerome.

(Chanting continues in background)

S-Steady. Steady, boy, gently.

I'll finish it.

So deep, Brother Cadfael.

Can she really be here?

I'm not certain of the rightness, Brother, but...

it will be wondrous to encounter a saint.

In nomine Patris

In nomine Patris

We have found her.


Leave her to me.

Pass me a linen sheet.

She shall not come out of here bone by bone,

but whole woman, as she went in.

We must wash away the soil, wrap her afresh.

If we rob her of this Welsh earth,
she may crumble away in our hands.

If we're wise, we'll wrap her just as she is
and get her into the reliquary,

out of this air, as quickly as we can.

Fix the seals.

Make all fast.

She'll hardly escape now.

With this sacred duty done,

it is time to attend to the other duty
that the saint has herself laid upon us,

and bury the Lord Rhysart honourably.


We have missed you.

I'm going to ask you something.

One last gift I wish to give my father.

And I would like you, Peredur,
to be the one to give it.

You have been like a son to him.

Will you lay this cross upon his breast,
where the arrow pieced him?

I want it to be buried with him.

It is my farewell.

Let it be yours, too.

Come, my son,

do not keep the dead waiting

We know you share Sioned's loss.

So do we all.

He cannot accuse me

I am not guilty of murder!

(Suspicious murmurings)

Then of what are you guilty, my son?

I did not kill Rhysart.

I found him dead.

You were right.

He was stabbed in the back,

not shot by an arrow in the chest

My crime was to push in the arrow.

You sought to place the blame on Godwin?

I thought he would run,

take himself back to England where he belongs,
and leave us all alone.

I never wished him worse than that.

I thought with him gone, in time, you'd...



Give him blessing.

He won't accuse you of more than is your due.


Bury him.

But if the man who killed my father
can hear me now,

let him beware

He will pay yet.

(Echoed voices) There has been murder here
and murder is the devil's work

Are they as honest as they are holy
these "men of God"?

That "instrument" is still a murderer

No indeed he should be struck down!

My Lord Rhysart!


They were taking him home but...

Please! I'm sorry.

I fear he may do himself injury
if we cannot quiet him.

Oh, please!

- Where are Jerome and Columbanus lodged?
- In the yard, but... they're not here.

Oh, Godwin, forgive me.
Inever meant you harm.

This is where they sleep.

Now, somewhere Columbanus has some...

poppy juice... in a glass phial.

I gave it him before we came from Shrewsbury.


What's wrong?

Well, it's three-quarters empty
when it should be full.

He's had no need of it.

Last night's transports were of the quieter kind.

Is there still enough for Peredur?

Well, hopefully, mixed with a little mead.

So, the saint is ours.

Lord Rhysart buried.

An end.

Could we not leave straightway for Shrewsbury,
Brother Prior?

No, it's nearly night.

We can't blunder about in these Welsh hills
in the dark.

We leave at dawn.

And let those who try to stop us answer to God.

Brother Prior, if we are to stay until tomorrow,
might I still make amends?


I have not yet done penance
for my night of slumber in the chapel.

Pray, let me keep vigil here tonight.

- Again?
- Very well.

Should I not go with him, Brother Prior, that
the humility of our devotion may be doubled?

No, no, no. Brother Columbanus has earned
the right to honour the saint in solitude.


the monks of Shrewsbury do deal in peace
as well as arrogance

Yes, I'm sorry we brought so much turbulence
to you here, Father lanto.

Brother Cadfael, you are not the cause of it.

No, but neither have I found the truth,
which might prevent more bloodshed.

And I have very little time left.

Peredur will recover, though.

Confession is a bitter medicine,
but in the end it's more healing than this.

Brother Cadfael, Jerome is returned.

Oh, forgive me, Brother,
I hadn't realised you'd be at prayer.

It is the hour of Vespers, Brother.

Where is Brother Columbanus?

Preparing himself.

He goes to the chapel tonight
to keep a Ione vigil over his Saint Winifred.

"His" Saint Winifred?

Oh no longer yours or ours?

You would think he owned her, and she him.

I tell you, Brother, I am beginning to feel that
she is the well spring not of love and grace

but of jealousy pride and hate

I mean, how many lives have been lost or spoilt
since she called us here?


Because she did not call us here

as you well know.

Brother Jerome, Rhysart's death
seems to be on your conscience.

Why is that?

Did you strike the blow?

Did you?

As good as.

As good as?

You heard me say that it was his due -
for his rebelliousness.

For refusing a bribe?

No, for gross defamation of our Reverend Prior.


So in a flash of rage you wished him dead
and now you blame yourself?

Is that how these things work, do you think?

That God's will is driven by fits of human pique?

You take too much upon yourself.


perhaps there is something else.

Something you've not said.

Something that connects you with this crime
in a more definite way than prayer?


This phial... do you know it?

Columbanus keeps it in his scrip.

It's poppy juice.

You gave it to him.

Have you ever seen him use it,
here, in your lodgings?


- Have you taken it out of his scrip at any time?
- No.

Then why is there enough gone from it
to put a man to sleep for several hours?

Perhaps, faint from fasting,
he drank it by mistake.

Was ever a man more sanctimonious
in his self-denial?

Or more selfish?

The first night of our vigil, for example,

he brings me food and wine
and yet he takes none for himself,

not one bite or drop

Just kneels in pious prayer watching me eating
and drinking as if I were some sinful glutton

I tell you, Brother, if Columbanus is touched
by God, I am glad to be merely human.

What has happened?

You know the truth, Brother?


We have much to do, and little time.

Ah Brother Columbanus

Brother Cadfael.

I have been charged to bring you fresh light.


Do you know, we've used every candle
in Gwytherin in our constant vigils.

Of course, I do appreciate
that you are the saint's chosen one,

and that it's your right, nay, duty,

to spend what is hopefully our last night here
in solitary contemplation.

But if I could mortify my bones,

just for a few moments.

Thank you.



Do you feel the saint's presence?

I feel it as never before.

Can it be that I might share the light
that you have known?

Oh, blessed lady.

Columbanus, she is here with us.

Tell me I'm not mistaken.

Look into the light.

You can see where I cannot.

Look into the light and tell me she is near.

Columbanus, is it so?


You see her?


If only I were worthy, for I do not.

But I hear her

Columbanus, I hear her.

Such sweetness of voice

But she talks to you Columbanus not to me

Columbanus, do you hear her?

She is troubled for you

She does not understand

She asks the reason for your penance when
you did not sleep that dawn of Rhysart's death.


she says you did not sleep

Your flesh was not weak

She draws nearer.

It was Jerome who slept during the vigil,

though he has no recollection

because it was the deep,
drugged sleep of a man given poppy juice.

Jerome slept... did not.

Blessed Virgin, I am your true servant.

She sees you Columbanus

She reads your heart

Speak the truth

I beg you, for your soul's sake.

Speak out

Rhysart defied the will of God.

Speak plainly.

Say out what you did.

Say it

Let her understand

You fasted
but you brought food and wine for Jerome.

Did you pour poppy juice into his wine?

I did.

He's a fool.

Not worthy

He feels nothing.

Touches nothing.

His soul is petty, earthbound.

He would not have understood

so I needed him to sleep.

And... while he slept?

I stole out to the forest path
and lay in wait for Rhysart.

Sweet lady,

he was your enemy not your friend

He was profane.

What did you do, Columbanus?

I struck him, with my dagger.

I struck him dead

For you, dear lady.

And then rejoiced.




You were to be witness, not avenging angel.

(Door closes)

SIONED: Godwin take care!

CADFAEL: Sioned, stay back.

SIONED: Godwin no!

GODWIN: Did he not kill your father?
- Off, boy!

Do you want the law to have a real hold on you?

He's foxing. He's a master of it.

His neck is broken. He's dead.

Now, why are you here, boy?

I asked him to stay close.

Well, help me shift him out of sight.

I do not see the difficulty.

I never meant to kill him,
but I feel no guilt about it.

He's carrion.

He was sick in mind.

A sickness fed by a zeal
the like of which you or I will never know.

Have pity,

even for him

His soul will have need of it.

Pity or not, he killed and now is dead.

And I suppose you think that because
we banded together to expose a wrong,

the world is going to clap us on the back?

Our only proof of Columbanus' guilt
is his confession.

Yes. Which you and I both heard.


But which he will never now repeat.

And there is no other proof.

If we accuse Columbanus, we cause a scandal

that will smirch not just our Abbey
but the whole Benedictine Order.

You are afraid of scandal?


But do you think those in authority
will stand for it?

Because if you do, you're both fools.

Prior, Bishop, even Prince, will unite against it.

This will be pronounced an unlawful killing

by a desperate fugitive
already wanted for another crime.

In short you'll hang

So give up all idea both of you

of telling anyone the truth...

...until I say so.

Justice must be arrived at by a different route.


go and gather elder blossom,
as much as you can.

We shall have white petals and sweet odours.

And you, Godwin, must do some digging.

Oh don't worry it'll be easy work

The ground has been freshly turned.

I hope she will not mind my father's company.

Let Saint Winifred and Lord Rhysart
rest together in peace.

For ever.


What of Columbanus?

Strip him.

Brother Prior...

...forgive my tardiness, I overslept.

You've had your three days, Brother Cadfael,
and more.

You have found no murderer.

Your time has expired fruitlessly
as I knew it would

We leave for Shrewsbury now.

And do not,

do not wave the flag of "truth" in my face again.

Saint Winifred's will is clear

If Gwytherin is not content
it must seek justice without us

And Father Abbot

shall learn of your excesses.

We are leaving now, Father lanto.

We have kept our word.

You tell your people to let us pass.

Brother Prior, we are come from holding council.

There is not a man nor woman here
does not now believe

what is in the chapel is yours to take.

Do so with our blessing

Well, then, the men and women of Gwytherin
are, are to be commended on their good sense.

Come, let us relieve Brother Columbanus
from his vigil.

Is it possible, Brother Prior?

He has been most marvellously favoured.

This time he truly has been taken
into the light of inexpressible bliss.

Behold, the Virgin Saint has found
Brother Columbanus worthy above all men.

Da misericors Deus

ut haec salutaris oblatio et a propriis
nos reatibus indesinenter expediat

et ab omnibus tueatur adversis

Per Dominum.




Let us take up this...

...blessed burden...

...and praise God for the weight we carry.

Who would have thought her slender bones
could weigh so heavily?

Another miracle, Brother?

The weight of the Saint's worthiness
is caused to be demonstrated.

Go in peace, Brother Prior.

We go in joy, Father.

In joy.

God bless you, Brother Cadfael.

And this for Godwin's sake.

For shame, Brother Cadfael.

Even now your behaviour...

Is unseemly, Brother Prior?

When you speak to Father Abbot
of my "excesses",

will you return his bag of coin to him
or shall I?

Brother Cadfael, may I ask a question?

You may ask anything, Oswin.

Do you really believe
in the miraculous power of...


Well, Brother Cadfael? Answer your novice.

Was your doubting of our rightness
not misplaced?

Will our Saint not reach out
to those who need her?

Oh, indeed, Brother Prior.

I understand she even still works miracles
in Wales.

(Bell tolls)

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