Tales of Old 44 – Because it is Written
Summary: By Lesley Lodge Read by Kevin Harty In my experience, those who beg for mercy seldom deserve it. They’d told Wayland these were the last words Rebecca heard, before she died and night after night those words and her desperate gasps hunted him through his nightmares. That year, though, fate was to offer him up a full revenge. Revenge is, as they say, is a dish best served cold. Summer of 1647 it was, a period of some small respite from the English civil war, at least in the county of Essex. Wayland, the village blacksmith, had returned from his service with the Parliamentary forces. His young son, a crouched, smoky shape in a corner of the smithy, was watching the sharp white sparks fly into the soft fleshy-red of the furnace. Neither spoke – the boy sensing perhaps that his father was somehow trying to hammer out more than the molten iron. Thirty roughly-formed pike points lay waiting because Wayland still couldn’t bring himself to work the finer stuff. Instead, he pounded on, absorbed. Only when he rested the hammer did he hear the disturbance outside. The smithy door burst open and the sudden light threw a shaft of fizzing dust across the coke-dark smithy. Instantly, the boy drew back into a corner. Three men crashed in, only to stop short, squinting through the light. These men were not built strong like Wayland; they’d grown up pale and spindly, like rye sprouts under a bucket.