“The gold found upon a hill was buried in the days of Saxon kings,
was buried with great urgency in the night,
was buried in a hiding place not divulged in sufficient detail to enable the recovery of the loot of man.
The gold found was traded in exchange for goods destined for distant lands,
was brought by sailing adventurers with an eye to gain,
with an eye to acquiring
the metals of the day,
the cloths of the day which would stand the heat of battle,
which would not still a thrust,
a swipe across a chest,
a poke within an eye.
The scavenged gold was divided,
was cut according to the greed,
according to the value perceived,
according to the barter,
according to the need,
according to the supply at hand.
The scavenged gold was exchanged according to the hour,
according to the urgency,
according to the schedule of a ship that did not venture far from land.
The scavenged gold was not able to be continuously divided for small purposes,
became stuck at a certain size,
became then destined for the gold smith who could keep a secret of supply.
The scavenged gold was often encrusted with a pattern that attracted an eye
to behold a likely brooch of dressage,
a possible head band of decoration in the hair,
a statement of an emblem in design which spoke of an extreme of wealth,
a repository of wealth that would not corrode away,
a distant glistening in the candle light which spoke of the livery of wealth worn solely to impress visitors deemed
of much importance.
The scavenged gold was saved up for a melt,
was for offers when laid upon a table,
was available for the use of man.
The scavenged gold was not a source of happy memories,
was oft considered plunder,
was oft considered loot,
was oft considered tendered for enticements for immoral acts.
The lives of those which this gold touched were both blessed and cursed by the encounter.
As a family increased its wealth so they had assistance in their labours.
As they shrugged off the poverty of their locality so their status changed.
As they enhanced their prospects so they received:
favour from a priest,
favour from a nobleman,
favour from a sailor referred in his quest for gold.
The family increased its trade in what was readily to hand:
what had been brought from distant shores in the Roman days,
what had been sacked from the villas in the times of trouble -
when there was no law -
when there was no accounting for the wayward behaviour of man -
when the resentment bred from long subservience put mercy out of mind,
what had appealed as a commodity of value at the port of call of a voyage rich in the trade goods of
the English lands.
The lands which yielded lead with tin and clay;
iron with silver and gold -
always had an empty vessel waiting for the filling of its hold.
The timber of the oak lands had started to be sought in greater numbers:
as the trade routes so demanded,
as knowledge was established,
as skills were learnt to build and handle ships out of the sight of land.
The family then began to purchase,
as a merchant does,
what had been brought by the newcomers from a foreign land who sought a place to call their own,
what had been crafted for nobility afar -
as it was so looted from the fields of slaughter -
as it was so offered to those about to begin a journey:
so it did meet the need for concentrated wealth.
From what was offered up as payment for a trade,
from what was offered up by the new traders who carried wealth within their pockets:
did the flow of gold remain in cycle with the ebb and flow.
The family sought to acquire what had been deposited in veins:
from where the Roman slavers used coercion to enforce labour in the mountains in conflict with a foreign tongue of
from where the artisans of the veins of God converted what they worked into the spoils of man.
As the family was ennobled,
so the children were enriched,
so the children married well,
so the children came to own the land acquired at the pleasure of their father’s king.
For a measure of the grain,
as harvest from a field,
did the family place bread upon the shelves of cupboards which were bare -
instated on their land,
where the snowfalls of the seasons furrowed the brows of many.
Subsequently did the patron remember his indebtedness to service on a field which did not end in death;
did the patron honour the terms of service offered to the one who accepted:
who had a sword to wield.
The wielder of the sword was a man of stature,
was a man of strength,
was a man who wore the cross of patronage upon his chest.
The wielder of the sword was a swordsman of renown,
had built a reputation for the thrust and parry,
had learnt when to retreat,
had learnt when to advance,
had learnt when to place his feet securely so to stand his ground.
The wielder of the sword was to receive the felling blow of a two-handed battle axe
which cleaved with deadly force from a strike of desperation -
which started on the ground when a back was turned.
The patron’s death upon his bed followed within two months -
in the same autumnal season of the year;
brought the widow of the wielder no recourse for recovery of the patron’s debt now lost within a grave,
brought the widow gradually to the need to sell her wealth as patronage was lost.
So the circle of entanglement was completed:
with the deaths of her father and her brother as they were hung upon a tree,
with a broken family with the absconding of her uncle -
with the bags of ill-begotten gain.
As the theft of the gold pointed to the corruption of the family members,
so others were convinced of a wider plot -
wherein the whole family were involved.
Faith smiled in earnestness upon the widow of the wielder who remarried in the presence of a cross,
in the commitment to her faith,
in the vowing of her loving groom -
a groom without the taint of scandal,
with his lands intact.
This in the time when enemies would still scheme the downfall of the dowager,
would wish to lay her in the dust,
for the betrayal they believed she had wrought on their relatives at court.
As the story was retold,
so the facts were enhanced.
As the years passed into centuries so came the loss of history:
of the scribing of the details,
of the family involved,
when fire consumed the parchments with the records of the day.”