Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1996): Season 3, Episode 3 - The Raven in the Foregate - full transcript

Abbot Radulfus brings a hard-nosed new priest for the parish, who (among other acts) refuses absolution to a pregnant girl who is then found dead. He quickly becomes so hated that no one is too sorry to see him dead. But Cadfael must not only identify his killer, but determine whether the girl was a condemned suicide or innocent murder victim -- and his findings may keep the girl's body out of holy ground.

(Bell tolls)

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Mentes tuorum visita


(Excited barking)


Despatched without trial or chance of absolution.

But, Father Abbot, the man was
obviously a traitor to King Stephen.

While this civil war lasts, Father Ailnoth,
all men are traitors to one cause or another.


Cynric, the church has never looked so well.

These Michaelmas daisies look beautiful.

They're Father Adam's favourites,
from his garden.

I hope Father Ailnoth likes them
when he arrives.

I want the church to look its best
for the new priest.

Yes, of course.

You know his appointment here
has to be formally approved?

But not by us.

The reason I came, Cynric,

I've still got some of that wine left
that Father Adam used to enjoy so much.

I thought perhaps you might like to share a cup
with me some time and we'll drink to him?

Well, I...

Oh, it's been distilled with herbs.

It's good for the blood.

Thank you, Brother. I should like that.

(Children laugh)

(Raven caws)


I'm sure Father Adam
wouldn't want you to cry for him.

I know, Brother.

But I needed to speak to him.

What's happened now?

He was the only one I could talk to.

Now there's no-one left.

You can always talk to me if you want

Oh, no!

(Softly) Don't tell her I'm here.


Who's there?

It's me, Catherine.

Ah, Brother Cadfael. Have you seen my sister?

Cynric said she was here

(Cadfael sighs)

Well, yes, she is here, Catherine.

Why can't you leave me alone?

Do you have to follow me everywhere?

Now, come along, you two. What's the matter?

- Eleanor...
- What is the matter with you two today?

- Nothing, Brother, we're fine.
- Well, you don't seem fine to me.

Cynric says the Abbot is bringing us back
a new priest today.

It is not Father Abbot
who is bringing the priest, Catherine.

It is God.


What is that?

Who can be hunting on Abbey lands?


This forest and all the game within its bounds
belong to the Abbey of Shrewsbury.

How dare you hunt here without my permission!

(Man screams)

- He is still alive.
- Is he?

(Horse neighs)

Do you think so?

And who might you be?

You will answer for this murder on Church lands.

He is a traitor to King Stephen,

and the Church would do well
to remember where its loyalty lies

I am Radulfus Abbot of Shrewsbury

and you would do well to remember
that King Stephen was not king last month

and may not be king tomorrow!

Lord Cassale,

I can assure you of the Church's loyalty.

I meant no offence, Father Ailnoth.

ABBOT: Offence?

- You know this...
- Father Abbot!

Lord Cassale is a loyal subject
of the rightful king

He has his duty, as we have.

This traitor had an accomplice.

Have you seen anyone?

AILNOTH: No Lord Cassale no-one

You will be damned for this.

And a good day to you, too, Father Abbot.

My lord, I saw a man
just a few minutes ago, maybe less.

And who is this?

My manservant.

He ran across the path behind us,
heading that way.

Well done, William.

Thank you Father Ailnoth

Since you're so eager to help, boy,

you can take the poor wretch
back for Christian burial.

ABBOT: Last night
I returned from Westminster with the new priest

At the legatine council there

it was determined that in the civil war

the Church should change allegiance
to King Stephen once more

The followers of Empress Maud
are proclaimed outlaws

While attending the council, I spoke with
Bishop Henry of Winchester himself, who...

...did us the honour of recommending
a priest of his own following.

Father Ailnoth.


I am satisfied that he is suitable and deserving.

But he is ready to give account of himself to you

I have several questions.

Father Ailnoth seemed... seemed to know
the Scriptures even better than Brother Jerome.

- The trowel.
- Brother?

You left the trowel in the fire!

(Bell tolls in distance)

Brother Cadfael, Brother Oswin.

This is William, Father Ailnoth's manservant.

Father Ailnoth has asked the Abbot
if there is any extra work for him in the Abbey

after his duties in the house and in the church.

Well, er...

do you think you could manage
to leave a trowel in a fire?

Oswin, that leaves you free.

You can go
and restock the medicines in St Giles.

- I know you've been longing to...
- Brother!

Come quick, Brother. It's Alfred.

We were pulling out the tree
It slipped back on his leg

Well, he's very lucky.

It could have been much worse.

Now, lie still.

Oh, Father Ailnoth. It's good of you to come.
But his wounds aren't that serious.

I'm glad to hear it, Brother,
but I did not know that anyone was hurt.

I came out to survey my fields.

Your fields?

This land belongs to my Church, does it not?

I think it does.

Well yes Father
But Father Adam's let us work it for years now

AILNOTH: Indeed?

It was nothing but woods and weeds
when we came here.

- And we've just finished ploughing.
- The Lord will reward you for your diligence.

Father Adam said we could work this land
as long as we wanted.

I cannot be held to any verbal agreement
you may have had with Father Adam.

What do you mean "may have had"?

I mean, I think, what I say.

We need the wheat from these fields, Father,

or we'll starve

What about our children?

You should not have had so many
if you cannot feed them.

Am I to pay
for your intemperate carnal feasting?

Father Ailnoth, surely some small compromise
can be reached?

It is my right to work these fields, is it not?

I think it is.

- Nevertheless, in the circumstances...
- What circumstances?

I do not recall asking for your opinion.

Please, Father, please.

I beg you.

Don't beg of a Norman, Alfred.

You Saxon filth.

Traitors all to King Stephen!



Father Ailnoth was within his rights

It's Church land to use as he will.

It's not a question of rights.

What about Christian charity?

His predecessor, Father Adam,
was far too lax on those who offended.

Alfred had not offended.

Who spares the sinner, condones the sin.

And what if they starve this winter?

It's better they learn their mistakes now
rather than risk their souls in the hereafter.

Brother Cadfael, I note your concern.

But the fact that Father Ailnoth
is known at King Stephen's court

makes this matter somewhat delicate,

You must speak to him, Father.

Father Adam was with us 40 years.

We must give Father Ailnoth
a chance to settle in.

We've all seen how he's settling in!

Enough, Brother Cadfael.

When you are Abbot, you may make
the decisions, but until then you will do as I say.

Brother, you said I could talk to you.

Eleanor, it is very late.

I know.

I'm sorry.

- But...
- Can't it wait until tomorrow?

Please, Brother.

I can't bear it.

Is it Catherine?

I want you to hear my confession, Brother.

Eleanor, I am not allowed to hear confessions.


I'm a monk, I'm not a priest.

Only priests can hear confessions.
Church law's very strict about that.

But we can talk if you want, by all means.

I don't want to talk.

I can talk to any fool in the foregate.

I want to confess so I can be absolved.

- Well, then, I'm sorry...
- Brother, this is serious.

Yes, it always is.

All I'm saying is that, if you want absolution,
you must go and find a priest.

But Father Adam is dead.

Father Ailnoth is your priest now.

But I don't like him!

He scares me.

Well, you can't just pick and choose
your holy confessor, like a loaf of bread.

And I wouldn't be your best advocate there.

Why can't you just give me confession?

What difference does it make?

You cannot just confess
to anyone that suits you,

and then expect everything to be as it was.

You must repent your sin with all your heart

to the proper authority,
otherwise it's meaningless.

You might as well demand absolution
from a tree.

I expect it's just another silly fuss
about nothing, anyway.

I'm sorry.



(Low praying in Latin)

(Door creaks open)

Hey, you boys! What are you doing still there?

AILNOTH: For a virtuous woman
is as a crown to her husband

But she that maketh ashamed
is as rottenness in his bones

Her feet go down to death.

And her steps take hold on hell!

Where the screams of the undead
shall pierce the sinner like a sword.

Where the lamentations of the damned
are without end

for their black hearts are ripped asunder

and cast into the pit of everlasting fire!

God is not mocked.

(Bell tolls)

A cheerful sermon, Brother.

Oh, Father Ailnoth, forgive me,
I sent a young girl to you last night.

What of it?

Er, well, I ask because she's usually here
in church with her sister.

But today, she doesn't seem to...

Brother Cadfael!

I will not tolerate
this endless meddling in my parish affairs.

If you persist,

I shall have to take it up with Father Abbot.

Who is she, Brother?

Oh, her name is Mary.

And that's her father?

No, no, both her parents are dead.

Her father in Stephen's dungeons,
and her mother from grief soon after.

No, that is Lord Giffard, her guardian.

Didn't he also fight for Maud?

Yes, he did.

But then he swore
an oath of allegiance to King Stephen.

To save his lands from confiscation.

You seem to have more education
than I suspected, William.

Oh, no, Brother.

Have you been long with Father Ailnoth?

No, I took up with him
just a few days ago, but er...

well, it seems longer.

I'm sure. Yes, but before that?

I worked for a noble lord,
but he was killed in the war.

On which side?

Well, I don't know much about politics, Brother.

No, you don't know much about hard work,
either, from the look of your hands.

What sort of work did you do for this noble lord?

I worked in the stables.

Oh, did you, now?


I must go now, Brother.

Look, before you go, William,

last night in the church,
did you see the girl, Eleanor?

This message is for you

The Empress Maud
has sent a spy to rally support.

He is known here as William,
the priest's servant.

But the priest is King Stephen's man.

He has nerve, clearly.

He needs help and asks you
to meet him tonight at the Old Mill.

Burn it.

Burn it!

It's treason!

It is not treason to wish to fight
for the true Queen of England.

Mary, do you not think
I've suffered enough for all this?

- I could lose everything...
- Some of us already have.

I know. I know, Mary, I know.

- I promised your father
- But it's our duty to help him, isn't it?

Look, I'd do anything
to get this foul pretender off the throne.

But we have to pick the right time.

This could be a trap

What would my father have done?

Something brave and clever.

Sometimes I can hardly remember him
any more.


- Ailnoth! Ailnoth!
- To the abbey!

Ailnoth! Ailnoth! Ailnoth...

There he is!

Stand where you are!

Go back!

Stand back!

Go back to your homes!

Turn back!

(Ailnoth bangs on door)

What is happening? What is this?

Unhand him!

He is a priest!


Who will give me an explanation?

We found her in the millpond.

She was a whore.

She was with child out of wedlock

With child?

She killed herself for shame

because he turned her out of the church
when she went to confess.

- She was a whore.
- She was no whore!

A drab.

A trull.

She dared not even name her impregnator.

To have given absolution to such a jade
would itself have been a sin.

I sent her to you to confess!

You filled her head
with wild distempers and false promises!

I did no such thing! She repented!

The letter of divine law admits no compromise!

(Catherine sobs)

Whether the doxy killed herself or not,

I would do again what I did
and God will be my judge, not you!

Nor this dung-stained rabble.



Look what you've done to us.

You brought him here!

I promise we will look into this matter.

Now, go home at once!

Go home!

Catherine, is it true?

Was she pregnant?

Whose are these fingermarks?

Father Abbot,
we must get this harlot out of the Abbey.

This needs calm judgment, Brother Prior.

Father Abbot...

suicide is a mortal sin.

She may not enter the Abbey.
She may not be buried in holy ground.

- Let her be taken to the mortuary.
- Out of the question!

There are signs of violence on her!

We cannot be sure she killed herself.

Have her brought inside.

Catherine, I'm so sorry.

I didn't know.

(Sighs) I didn't know.

She's been dead about two days.

So she died the night she went to see you?

Certainly not later.

And there is water in her lungs.

So she drowned?

No, she did not just drown!
Look at these marks.

Someone has held her arms tightly
so that she couldn't escape.

And thrown her into the water?

Or held her down under it.

There are other explanations for the marks.

But the point is, they were not there
the night she came to see me.


And after that,
we know that she went to see Father Ailnoth.

And after that, no-one saw her alive.

You're surely not suggesting...

I am suggesting that these are the facts.

Now we have to hear
what Father Ailnoth has to say.

What plague have we brought upon the town?

If she took her own life,

then she is damned
and must be buried in unconsecrated ground.

But if she was murdered

she may have Christian burial

and be at peace

Brother Cadfael

her immortal soul is at stake.

You must find the truth

You knew her well.

All her life.

She was no whore, she was a child.

Vain, trusting and generous.

And when she needed me...

...I sent her away.

Is that why you don't want to believe
she killed herself?

(Footsteps approach)

My lord.

WOMAN: Who found him?
- The miller found him this morning.

MAN: Where's the miller?

Come on!

Somebody fetch a ladder!

Stop it. Stop the wheel!

Stand back.

MAN: Someone get those children out of here.

Come on!

Father Ailnoth.

I beg your pardon, my lady,
but Brother Cadfael is out.

I know he is.

You needn't play the oaf, William,
or whatever your name is.

I saw your note to my guardian

I take it you know
Father Ailnoth is clogging up the millwheel?

Are you asking me if I killed him?

I don't think I care if you did.

I suppose that sounds callous?


Cadfael told me what happened to your father.

Did my guardian come to meet you last night?

(Chink of coins)
- Then you'll need this.

(Coins thud on the table)

My name's Mary.

Thank you, Mary.

Yes, he also drowned.

Thank heaven that it was nothing more sinister.

No, I didn't say that, Father Abbot.

There's a cut here to his chin

and he suffered a severe blow to his head
before he went into the water.

Not enough to kill him, perhaps,
but certainly enough to leave him helpless.


I am most anxious that this affair is settled

before the Bishop or King Stephen learn
how warm a welcome

their prot?g? received in our town

Until then Brother

you will put aside all other considerations.

I passed by the church
to see if Ailnoth's manservant had returned.

Yes, I want to speak to him as well.

This is where Eleanor was found.

And Father Ailnoth over there.

He could have been killed anywhere upstream
and floated down on the current.

Indeed, yes, so we'll have to search
the river bank upstream.

His staff and his cap are still missing.

They may tell us something.

But I think Eleanor was killed right here.

- Why?
- I found this.

I think it's hers.

Proves nothing, Cadfael.

And I don't think she was killed.

For heaven's sake,
everybody liked her, she'd no enemies.

People aren't always killed by their enemies.

If we find what happened to Eleanor,
I think we'll find what happened to Ailnoth.

Well if you want to waste your time
on an obvious suicide

CATHERINE: Yes it is hers

I have one just like it.

Perhaps it was torn off
as she struggled with someone?

Then wouldn't the string be broken?

But then why would she just cast it off herself?

Perhaps, at the end, she treated the Church
as it had treated her.

Those marks on her arms were made by a man.

Do you know who that could have been?

Did she say nothing when she came to you?

I'm afraid I really didn't give her
much of a chance.

She took her own life, Brother,
even if we both wish to believe otherwise.

But surely she must have told you
who fathered her child?

It was Ailnoth that drove her to her death.
Everyone knows that.

What does the father matter now?

Because if this man loved Eleanor,
he would have had good reason to kill Ailnoth.

And if he did not love her,
then he may have had cause to kill her.

How would I know? She was a whore.

We all heard the priest say so.

But we know that she wasn't

A drab and a trull, we all heard him.


She was ashamed.

She would not say who it was.

Well, then, why didn't you
just tell me that straight away?

That day in the cemetery

what was the matter between you?

It was nothing. We always fought.

Catherine, your sister's soul is at risk.

If she was murdered, then she's innocent
and may be given Christian burial.

You know how important that is.
I can't understand why you won't help me!

Well, you'd know all about that, Brother.

It wasn't me she ran to when she needed help.
It was you!

And you sent her straight to the devil,
and now she's dead and can't even be buried!

Where have you been?

I said...

...where have you been?

They say the King's priest
was murdered last night.

Do they?

Do they say who did it?


I shall have to tell them.

You went out last night.


Who says I did?

There's only one way
to make sure we come safely out of this.

- My name is Hugh Beringar.
- Ah, the Undersheriff.

No-one carries arms here
without my permission.

I have a warrant from King Stephen
to hunt his enemies in the Welsh Borders.

And then bring them back for trial, I see.

We're still looking for their ringleader -
a nobleman, Edmund de Balliol.

He may be in this area

My sergeant will take the details.

I applaud your diligence, Undersheriff.

Tell me, Undersheriff,

where can I find Father Ailnoth?

In the mortuary chapel. He died last night.

And how, precisely, did he die last night?

We're still trying to find out.

Perhaps you'll try a bit harder if we are here.

We'll deal with this ourselves.

Er, my lord...

Lord Giffard's in the castle.

He says it's urgent.


- What happened to your arm?
- I slipped on some stairs.

Or perhaps you tripped over one of your lies?

No, it's all right,
you're safe enough for the moment.

Whatever the Church might find it politic to say,
I prefer to remain neutral.

Well, you certainly fooled Ailnoth.

Did you kill him as well?

I think I should go.

No, I don't think that you did,
but I'd like to hear you say it.


Giffard and Beringar are coming for you.

If you're looking for Edmund, he's gone.

- Well, how long ago?
- Not long.

Organise a search.
He's got to be in the forest somewhere.

- You, take your men...
- Why didn't you tell us before?

Because I thought it was a trap

to test my loyalty to King Stephen.

To see if I would help a spy of Maud's.

But when I heard that the priest had been killed
obviously it was him

Why else would he run away?

Why should he kill Father Ailnoth?


Ailnoth was his protector here.

He didn't know he was sheltering a spy.

Oh, but he did. I told him myself.


the spy sent me a letter telling me who he was
and asking me to meet him at the Old Mill.

Well, I was appalled at how cruelly deceived
Father Ailnoth was, he being the King's man.

So I went to the church

and I told Father Ailnoth what had happened

and he went charging down to the Old Mill
to confront him.

The spy.

Well, we all know what came of that.

And what did you do then?

I went home.

I'd done my duty.

Sergeant, take Lord Giffard back.

And get every spare man affer Edmund

Do you believe Giffard?


Eleanor was found at the Old Mill.

The stories are beginning to converge

Cynric, is that you?


I often come out here just to find a little peace.

Do you find it here?

I came to see you today.

The church seems very sad, somehow,
without Father Adam's flowers.

Father Ailnoth didn't like them.

I was wondering if you were there
when Eleanor came to confess to Ailnoth?

Father Ailnoth didn't like me to stay
after my work was done.


- Sorry, Brother, I can't help you.
- Nor can anyone else, it seems.

I've spoken to all the foregate.

No-one seems to know
who might have made Eleanor pregnant.

No-one can think
who might possibly have wanted to kill her.

And no-one saw her after she left Ailnoth.

In fact, no-one saw anything.

They all saw one thing, Brother.

They all saw the Abbot's new priest
dishonouring the memory of Father Adam.

Cynric! You cannot blame Father Abbot.
He did nothing.

All that evil needs to flourish
is for good men to do nothing.

That's what the Church says, isn't it, Brother?

Good night, Brother.

You'll be safer here than on the run.

The forest is full of soldiers.

- Whose is it?
- It's my guardian's.

Well, at least if I get caught here,
he'll get the blame.

You mustn't be too hard on him.

He knew they'd suspect him of killing Ailnoth.
He had to blame you.

I mean, you could always run away.

He didn't know you were going to warn me?

He's been very good to me.
He was my father's best friend.

(Bird call)

Well, your father was a great man.

You knew him?

My father did, and liked him.

Of course.

They must have fought together.


They fought and died for Empress Maud.

Do you have any family left?


I'm sorry.

No. I have to get back.

I forgot to thank you for saving my life.

You'll only go and lose it somewhere else,
I suppose.

(Bird screeches)

Just where have you been all this time?

I got lost in the forest.

Do you know what, Mary?
I think you're lying to me.

You lied to me

How could you betray Edmund like that?
He never hurt you.

He was fighting for the cause
you're supposed to believe in.

You warned him, didn't you?

Why shouldn't I?

You went behind my back.

Look at you.

With your clothes all filthy!

There you are, rolling in the hay!

- Get off me.
- You whore!


(Cadfael sighs)


I'm sorry for what I said to you this morning.
It was wrong.

No, I'm afraid it was not wrong.

Then it was cruel and I regret it.

How did you know it was me here?

You always smell of herbs.

She looks very peaceful.

And beautiful?

Everyone always said she was beautiful.

I used to envy her.

But it was a cruel gift.

She lived in her dreams.

But is that reason enough to drown yourself?

I can't believe that.

I can't just abandon her soul.

It's not for her soul you're doing this.
It's for your own.

Yes, perhaps you're right.

But I can't give up now.

Not till I find the man who fathered her child.

He did not kill her.

He would have given his life for her
if she asked.

You know who he is, don't you, Catherine?

You must tell me

I will take you to him.

Here. I can smell it.


We are in the clearing?


What are we doing here?

The stench. Can't you see?

See what? I can't see anything, it's so dark.

It's here.

You must see it

I see it.

He is the father of Eleanor's child.

Catherine tells me that her sister's lover
has been dead this past month.

So he could not have killed
Father Ailnoth or Eleanor.

Can we be sure she is telling the truth?

Well, she has never before lied to me.

But, I confess, this affair is complex.

It's not complex at all
for those not personally involved.

Father Ailnoth was murdered by his servant.
The girl, Eleanor, took her own life.

No-one witnessed her death.

No-one can know what was in her mind
when she went into the water.

- Or who was with her!
- Oh, come, come, Brother Cadfael.

Well, there's still no explanation
for those marks on her arms.

This is nothing but wishful thinking
from a guilty conscience.

Brother Prior.

We can no longer delay a decision.

Let her be buried quietly
after Father Ailnoth's funeral tomorrow.

Yes, but where, Father Abbot?

In unconsecrated ground, Brother.

With the other lost souls.

In the meantime, return to the task I set you.

Solve the priest's murder

before Lord Cassale does.

CADFAEL: Can you reach the cap?


Thank you.

Well, it seems this is where Ailnoth went in.

His cap was caught on a nail down there

and his staff poking up through the water.

My dog could have found those.

What in God's name have you been doing?

Well, we couldn't see them.

The river was too high.

In the last day, the level has dropped,
leaving them in plain view.

It appears the water has washed them clean.

Now we have some indication of where he died,

we can afford to search the area
more thoroughly, on both sides of the river.



Oh, yes.

Those of a man, heavy perhaps, who stood here
long enough to sink into the mud.

Ah, but when?

If it was that night,
it could be the murderer waiting for Ailnoth.


- Then it must be Edmund.
- Who is, of course, conveniently missing.

There is nothing convenient in this,
Lord Cassale.

And he was not the only traitor in Shrewsbury.

You cannot hang everyone in the foregate on
the assumption that one of them might be guilty.

I was simply saying you should question
certain suspects with a little more vigour.

Ralf and Alfred are no longer suspects.

(Riders shout and yell)



Good fields, Alfred.

- Fertile.
- My lord?

And where's your cousin?


- He's gone to Uffington for the day.
- Uffington?

By God, these peasants know how to live!

Well, never mind.

You'll do.

Mary, I must speak with Edmund.

As Ailnoth's manservant, he may be the only
witness as to what happened

when Eleanor went to the church
the night she died.

I must find out what happened.

Now, if you know where he is, please help me.

I won't give him away.

Well, how should I know where he is?

Well, the last time I saw him,
he was running off with you.

Well, he just ran away into the forest.

Yes, that's exactly
what everyone would expect him to do.

He would have been far safer for now
to be hiding somewhere round here.

I'm sorry, I can't help you, I've got to go.

(Alfred groans)

Come on!

(Alfred cries out)

Go on!

I like a nice fire.

Tell me about Father Ailnoth

I've done nothing, my lord.

I beg you, believe...


You killed Father Ailnoth
so you could get back on the Church fields.

I didn't, my lord.

I swear.

Perhaps you didn't. Perhaps it was Ralf.

No, my lord.

He was with me.


What are friends for?

Put the pokers in.

Edmund, it's me - Mary.

You can't stay here any more.

Cassale's men, they're all over the forest.

I'm scared they'll find you.

You're right. I have to rejoin Maud's army.

But there's only one thing
I've really been waiting for.

And that's you.


I want you to come with me,

marry me,

as soon as we're safe over the border in Wales.

Well, there it is.

And I'm not even asking you for a dowry.

(Mary laughs)

I want you to come with me
because you want to.

Do you love me?

Yes, I do.

How do I know that?

If you don't come with me, you'll never know.

You'll spend the rest of your life

wondering what would have happened
if you'd taken this chance.

I don't know.

You're asking me to leave my home,
my guardian,

everything I've known
to follow someone to war. I just can't.

I can't.

There's something I have to tell you.

I didn't make the connection before,
but now I have.

It's about your guardian.

No, my lord.

I beg you.

Tell me how Father Ailnoth died.

- Please...

Please, my lord. I didn't kill him.

It was Ralf!

He went out affer the priest

It was Ralf.

Thank you.


(Cries out)

(Alfred groans)


- Are you alone?
- Yes.

You followed Mary, I suppose?


You're a very unusual monk.

And you're a very unusual manservant.

What do you want from me?

What do you care about Ailnoth?

I care about the truth.

I'm here because I hope you can tell me
what happened between Eleanor and Ailnoth.

Were you at the church that night?

- Yes.
- Well, then, tell me what happened.

Please, Edmund!

Well, why not?

She wanted Ailnoth to hear her confession.

But he was in a bad mood
about Cynric's flowers,

which he said had no place in his church
and he ordered me to destroy them

(Prays in Latin)

When the girl arrived
she interrupted his devotions

She forced him to speak to her

He could not avoid it

She was pleading with him

Who sullied you?

Begging for absolution

- It's my fault.
EDMUND: She was hysterical

...Satanis, Spawn of Nicodemus.
- He said you'd absolve me.

CADFAEL: Did they fight?
Did he grab her arms at any time?

EDMUND: No, he never touched her.

CADFAEL: Did you see anyone else
around the church that night?

Only old Cynric sulking about his flowers

And what happened
when Ailnoth arrived at the Old Mill?

I suppose Giffard's been telling everyone
I killed him.

Whereas, in fact, you are quite innocent?

Oh, no, it was me.

Why should I deny it? Tomorrow I'll be in Wales.

But how can you be so calm, Edmund?

It's a terrible sin.

You may escape Beringar and Cassale but... killed a priest.


The man I killed, Brother, was a political zealot
who attacked me without warning

and would have handed me over for torture
and death without troubling his conscience.

No, it was an act of self-defence, Brother,
and I shall answer for it before God.

When I went to meet Giffard at the Old Mill
that night Ailnoth was there waiting for me

He had found out
my allegiance was with Empress Maud

Who's there?


He went for me with his staff like a demon

Saxon filth!

The struggle was so fierce I was sure
the old bridge would collapse beneath us

And then it happened

I struck him
and the rotten plank snapped under him

He was skewered on the timbers

God knows I didn't mean to kill him

He was like a man possessed.

You seem disappointed.

Well, I had hoped that the mystery of Ailnoth's
death would have led me to Eleanor's,

but now it appears there is no link.

Anyway, your feet are too small.

For what?

Oh, for some footprints I found.

Why did you throw him into the water?



I didn't throw Ailnoth anywhere.
I left him stone-dead on the bridge.

How did you know he was dead?

Well, he must have been.

Edmund, Ailnoth drowned.

Not when I was there.

In a moment, Ralf,
my two horsemen are going to tear you in two.

In the name of Father Ailnoth of Holy Cross,

by the powers vested in me,

I sentence you to death.

Have you anything to say?


It's as well for you he's still alive.

He murdered the priest.

His cousin admitted everything.

Take him to the dungeon.

We can hang him as well tomorrow.

I'm warning you, Ralf,

we want the truth.

After we... took Eleanor's body to the Abbey,

I kept thinking what he'd done to us, the priest.

And God help me,
I said to myself, "This is enough."

And I went after him.

When I got to the church,

I heard these voices,

and it's the Lord Giffard telling the priest
that his manservant's a spy.

GIFFARD: I just felt you ought to know
I just want to do my duty

RALF: The priest's saying
he's going to the Old Mill

He's going to confront the boy himself

I shall meet him there. By God, I shall!

RALF: Then it came to me.

I knew I could get rid of Ailnoth out there
in the dark, in the middle of nowhere,

and the spy would get the blame.

So, I ran out to the Old Mill, hid in the trees
and waited for Ailnoth to come by.

Then I saw him

CADFAEL: Who? Ailnoth?

Someone else was already out there
by the Old Mill

CADFAEL: On the far bank?
RALF: That's it

- Just standing.
- Our footprints.

And what did he look like, this man?

It was too dark to see.

So I'm in the trees,
when Ailnoth comes storming past.

Well, I let him pass.

I couldn't do nothing
with somebody watching like that

Next thing, his servant comes by.

I thought I'd have Ailnoth all to myself out there
but by now it's like market day

So I go back to Alfred's

and tell him to shut up.

I didn't want to get mixed up in their quarrel.

God knows I would have killed the priest,
my lord.

I meant to...

But I didn't.

Then why did Alfred say it was you?

Well, he knew what I went out to do.

Next thing you hear is, the priest's dead.

Well, what would you think, my lord?

On my life, Brother,

I'm telling you the truth.

I was wrong to grab him like that,
I admit that now.

It was precipitate. Thoughtless, even.

- Thoughtless?
- Yes.

The King would never forgive me
for pulling him apart like that.

He'd have him brought back to London,
for a fair trial and a damn fancy hanging.

Not bad for a peasant from Shrewsbury.

You'll not take him anywhere.
It was obviously Edmund.

Who is, of course, not here to be punished.

- Is that Ralf's fault?
- That doesn't matter.

This is a crime against King Stephen
and it must be avenged.

And it must be seen to be avenged.

That's the point isn't it Lord Cassale?

Well, at least we begin to understand
what happened here, if not why.

Edmund left Ailnoth for dead
but he did not kill him.

And how do we understand that?

Well, if by some chance I'd spoken
to a traitor like Edmund last night,

you wouldn't wish to know about it, would you?

- No.
- No.

So, Edmund and Ailnoth fight,
here on the bridge,

while Ralf slips off home through the trees.

Edmund knocks Ailnoth senseless,
then he too runs away,

leaving Ailnoth here alone and helpless,
with a man standing over there.

The man who drowned him.

And why would he drown Ailnoth?

Well, we have to assume
that he hated him enough to commit murder.

Well, we know who hated him enough for that.

Ralf, Alfred, Giffard and Edmund.

And you've exonerated all of them.
Who does that leave?

It leaves the man who loved Eleanor.

The man who lost her.

The man who lost her has been dead a month,
Cadfael. His skull is in the forest.

You're refusing to see the truth.

Eleanor drowned herself
because Ailnoth refused to give her absolution.

Forget her


What you're saying is true.

The poor girl did take her own life.

I've been blinded
by my need to believe that she didn't.

I've been deceiving myself.

But I've also allowed myself to be deceived.

When Eleanor died, here in this place,

she left behind a man who lost not only his lover
but his unborn child.

Grief brought him here.

And fate brought Ailnoth to him.

So this is where he took his revenge.

Cadfael, the man's dead.

Oh, yes.

As Lord Cassale would say, how convenient.

There's yet another
who suffers by Eleanor's loss.

Someone who has misled me.

You've been lying to me, Catherine.

And now Ralf will hang.

- I cannot help Ralf.
- Oh, yes, you can, but you won't.

You know more about Eleanor's death
than you're telling.

And her death is the key to Father Ailnoth's.

She killed herself, I tell you.

Yes, I think perhaps she did.

Perhaps I've been looking for a murder
where there was none.

But that still leaves questions unanswered.

- Let me out of here.
- Who made those fingermarks on her arms?

- I don't know.
- Hm? Who is the father of her child?

He is dead. I showed you.

No, you showed me an old skull, nothing more.

And because I trusted you,
I failed to ask myself the obvious questions.

When Eleanor became pregnant,
why were you so angry?

- I wasn't.
- That's a lie.

You were angry
because you were in love with the father.

But that's another lie.
You're still in love with him.

- No.
- Another lie. Why else would you protect him?

- I'm not protecting him.
- And another lie.

It was him out by the Old Mill, wasn't it?

- No.
- And he drowned Ailnoth like a puppy.

- Stop it!
- Whose life is worth more than Ralf's?

- Leave me alone.
- She took him away from you, didn't she?

- No.
- Yes, she did.

Your beautiful sister, she stole him away and
left you with nothing. And he abandoned you.

Is he worth Ralf's life?

He never wanted me.

She was so beautiful.

Everyone loved her.

Who would look at me?

She used to laugh and tell me he was ugly.

But I loved the sound of his voice
and his kindness.

And he killed Father Ailnoth.

I know it now. You would never lie for a man
who murdered your sister.

But you would lie
for a man who killed Father Ailnoth.

If hell is as bad as Ailnoth said,
then I hope he is in it.

What are you doing?

Where are you going?

My father's cape.

It's the only thing of his I have left.

Still, at least he didn't die for nothing.

At least he saved you money.


You begged for your life
in front of Stephen's Council of War

and sold my father
in return for your title and lands, didn't you?

And I never even wondered
why they let you out of prison.


All I had to do was swear an oath of allegiance.

I told you

I told you!

Who told you other?

Don't lie to her.

My father knew you

Admired you, even.

He told me all about you,
and about your betrayal.

I just didn't recognise you at first.

You seem so much older.

MARY: We'll be in Wales tomorrow.

Father Ailnoth knew better than anyone
the letter of divine law.

But behind the letter of the law
lies something just as great -

the spirit of the law.

When these two move in conflict,

only one thing can resolve it.

Human compassion.

I've just found one of your flowers.

You couldn't have declared
your love for Eleanor more clearly

if you'd shouted it from the castle.


There are clear footprints down by the Old Mill.

No doubt they will fit you exactly.

Tell me, Cynric.

It will help.

I didn't kill her, Brother.

I would have drowned myself
a thousand times in her place...

...fool that I was.

But the fingermarks?

When Ailnoth threw her out,

she was hysterical.

I tried to calm her.
I held onto her. I held her so hard.

She wouldn't listen.

She ran off...

...and found her own way.

She didn't love me, Brother.

She took pity.

Once, that was all.

And then...

...when she came with child,
I thought she would marry me.

I was so happy, it was like a gift from God.

But, no.

She couldn't marry me.

She would never have made a verger's wife.

Don't be too hard on yourself Brother

Save your blame for the priest
who sent her to her death.

But you will have to answer for his death, Cynric.

You drowned him.

No, Brother, it wasn't me.

The hand that drowned Father Ailnoth
is far beyond our laws.

It was a judgment.

But they'll hang me for it, all the same.

But it was you down by the Old Mill?


Father Ailnoth arrived alone

and in his wisdom and his mercy

lay in wait for his manservant

- And as I watched
- Judas!

Ailnoth attacked him with such violence

Ailnoth was unrelenting in his attack

But the Lord did not favour the priest

CADFAEL: But what happened then?

Go on, Cynric.

In the struggle,
the priest had fallen through the rotten planks.

The manservant fled

The priest was leff wedged
between the rotten timbers on the bridge


Oh God help me

He made no sound. I knew he must be dead.

A blow from his own staff had silenced him.

Cynric, help me.

Oh for the love of God


I went to the bridge.

But, before I could reach him,
he slipped through into the stream.


Help me!


Help me!



There was nothing I could do.

He was swept away on the river and lost.

Then it is Edmund who must answer for murder.

Why have we not heard this before?

This fool should have come forward.

Be grateful that he has.

Cynric has been a loyal and God-fearing servant
of the Church these 20 years past.

If you'd been less savage in your pursuit,
Lord Cassale, he would have spoken sooner.

I must take some share in the blame.

I, too, was convinced
that there was another hand in Ailnoth's death.

We should detain you no longer, Lord Cassale.

Be assured of our continuing loyalty
to King Stephen.

BERINGAR: Sergeant Cynric is free to go

Two tragic deaths, but no murder at least.

Yes, but that's of little comfort to those who must
bury Eleanor without Christian blessing.

I see your pain, Brother Cadfael.

But could you have prevented the child's
conception or the tragedy that followed?

Could you have made Ailnoth
less of an implacable spirit?


Nor could you have given the girl
the absolution she craved

Better to ask yourself now

is there anything that can be done
to heal the wounds?

(Abbey bell tolls)

CADFAEL: I'm glad you came

To Father Adam.

I wanted to thank you, Brother,
for keeping quiet.

What you did...

Truth and justice are not always
wholly compatible.

And Shrewsbury's seen enough death
just recently.

I pray that God understands.

God understands everything.

And I think He would agree,
you've been punished enough.

But there is something you can do in return.

You have been a fool.

Pining for a ghost

when Catherine needs you,

and loves you more than you deserve.



She would never have me.

Why not?

Because I don't deserve her.

Or anyone.

You are a fool, Cynric.

I asked her to come.

I knew you would want to thank her too

(Doors creak)

(Children playing)

(Bell tolls)

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