King Charles of France has announced that he is confiscating Aquitaine, and Prince Edward has sent for knights and men-at-arms from England to assist him in opposing the French king. Lord Gilbert Talbot is required to provide five knights, twelve squires, and twenty archers and men-at-arms, and he wishes his surgeon--Hugh de Singleton--to travel with the party, leaving Hugh's wife Kate to oversee the castle in their absence.
It won't be an easy journey. Among the party will be Sir Simon Trillowe, Kate's former suitor, who had once set fire to Hugh's house. After a brawl on the streets of Oxford, Sir Simon had nearly lost an ear; Hugh had sewn it back on, but when it healed crooked, Simon blamed Hugh for the disfigurement.
Finding himself in the company of his old nemesis, Hugh resolves not to turn his back on the knight--but it is Sir Simon who should not have turned his back.
Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years--thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he chaired the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel retired in 2003. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.