Saturday, August 6, 2011

23. Departure

 Breakfast was served from eight to nine o'clock and was not a formal affair.

Each  monk came, ate and left as he liked and there was no ceremony or order to be observed.

Starry and I ate together. Master Walter came up to us as we sat.

 "Friar Crab and Starfish," he said quietly, "you have heard the surprising news. You may wish to leave the monastery soon or you may stay for a period of retreat if you like."

"What will happen to Friar Kew?" I asked.

"We have a standing committee which takes care of infractions of the rule. It is their task to make such decisions. To me it seems that Friar Kew's motives were mixed--a truly altruistic desire to help his old friend and a selfish wish to perform a miraculous cure using the Blue Star, but I am only one member of the committee and it has yet to meet. I will inform you of our decision when it is made."

"Starry and I have been discussing what we should do, and we have decided to leave soon--right after breakfast, if you approve."

"You may leave whenever you like without parting formalities. Please take the robes with you as mementos of your stay here. I will ask the kitchen staff to prepare some traveling rations for you to carry. We are grateful for your help--though the mystery rather solved itself--your presence here and your willingness to come to our aid was very helpful to me personally and I will not forget it. If we can ever be of assistance to you, you can be sure we will do what we can.

"I will be involved with duties regarding Friar Crispus for the rest of the day, so I will not be present to bid you farewell. So let me say now, thanks and farewell."

Starry and I saw Friars Montague, Lophius and Fugu separately at different times during the breakfast hour and very quietly said our goodbyes to each of them.

Shortly after breakfast then, we picked up the food Master Walters had had prepared for our journey and left Moonlight Monastery on its cliff behind us.

We did not see Friar Kew again.


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