Book 4, due before Santa.

I hope to have book four completed just before Christmas.  Father Steel makes another foray onto the mean streets of Edinburgh.  A little snippet to start us off!

November, thought by many to be the autumn, is the cusp of the long Scottish winter looming ahead and the beginning of the grey, grinding misery that makes many Scots emigrate. Of course those of us who stubbornly remain have built up a resistance to the weather. It manifests itself as a miserable look on every face as I walk up Princes Street, once the premier shopping place outside of London but now, not so much. The dull sky and the constant threat of rain has my coat closed tight, collar up and hands shoved deep in my pockets. I wander aimlessly just soaking in my first Saturday morning in the Capital since my enforced incarceration on retreat.

I am refreshed, apparently, after two weeks of post-convalescence retreat with the friars. A large country house given over to an order of wealth-abhorring secluded clergymen is not my idea of a good time but the stillness has definitely recharged my spiritual batteries. The beard on my chin is part of my new look to stop me being recognised by the press after my rather public showing in Perth not too long ago. It is very much salt and pepper as the grey from my head is replicated on my chin. Distinguished I would like to call it. So far I haven’t needed the fake nose and glasses to complete the new me but they are always an option.

The Bishop has given me the remainder of the year off from my special duties and I am glad of the rest. I know that my body has taken a beating this year and I need to take more care of myself. I might even join a gym or take up running. Not very likely but you never know, after all, I am a new man.

Moving along the street in Edinburgh is about rhythm. You need to feel the wave as it slides along the street, and get your pace just right to not end up apologising for bumping into everyone or having to veer away from impending collisions. I am getting into my stride, slower and shorter than usual, and focusing on not much at all except a growing desire for a coffee and a cake. I let my eyes slide over the sea of people, all miserable looking, and just soak in the sights and sounds.

I still haven’t decided on the title but it will be named soon!

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