Fragment One

The tap master whose name was Illian, spoke softly to me so that we would not be overheard even though it was frowned upon to hide one's words.  Only a couple lowly Manxmen sat over their tankards and discussed the small catch they yielded that day and wondered when the rain would begin.  Illian remembered as he spoke.

"He said he was from the Church.  I asked him what he wanted and if he would be drinking ale, but he looked at me and scowled." 

"That is not what I am looking for, tap master," he said dryly.  I am looking for signs of the devil." 

"I shook with fear when I heard these words.  I do not know the devil, I replied." 

"You would not know him if you were standing in his presence," said the churchman.  "I have heard rumors about this island, and I do not like to hear rumors, for the devil spreads rumors." 

"There is nothing here for the devil to want," Illian said awkwardly. 

"The devil wants everything," the churchman said firmly.  "I will be here on the island, wandering for some time.  I am looking for books.  If you see anything evil, find me." 

"What is your name?" the tap master asked meekly. 

"My name is Melanthros," the churchman replied.  Then he walked out with his black coat flapping wildly in the breeze. 

I gave the tap master a coin and then left . . .

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