“Time is tricky. Even if everything went according to plan and Diana took Matthew back to the first day of November in 1590, it may still be too soon to look for a message from your husband. And you wouldn’t have found a message before, because Philippe hadn’t met my niece yet.” Sarah paused. “I think Tabitha’s eating that book.”
I agree with Sarah — time is tricky.
In this chapter, we flash forward to the library with Ysabeau. As I mentioned yesterday, the calendar gets funky as Diana and Matthew travel back to London after their time at Sept-Tours. Lucky for us, we get to spend Christmas back at the chateau. The chapter is short and doesn’t have much for us to puzzle out, so I am going to leave you with a wee tidbit from another chapter and get back to celebrating the holiday.
Philippe went to the shelves and picked out a volume in a worn leather binding. “This is one of our favorite stories, The Song of Armouris. Ysabeau and I have simple tastes and enjoy stories of adventure. We are always hiding messages in this.” He stuffed a scroll of paper down the spine between the binding and the gatherings of vellum. A folded rectangle fell out of the bottom as he worked it into the tight space.
Okay, I cheated. This quote is from Chapter 13, but I love the note passing so much that I absolutely can’t help myself.
The Song of Armouris is a Byzantine story loosely based on the Byzantine-Arab conflict. The story follows a young man – Armouris – as he completes feats of strength and secures peace between his people and the Saracens. The poem probably dates from the 11th century — only two full copies of the manuscript survive. One can be found in St. Petersburg and one in Istanbul. I love to think of Philippe and Ysabeau reading this story to one another by the fire.
“Anomalies,” Ysabeau murmured. “Philippe was always looking for anomalies in the world. It is why I still read all the newspapers. It became our habit to look through them each morning.” Her eyes closed against the memory. “He loved the sports section, of course, and read the education columns as well. Philippe was worried about what children would learn in the future. He established fellowships for the study of Greek and philosophy, and he endowed colleges for women. I always thought it strange.”
“He was looking for Diana,” Emily said with the certainty of someone blessed with second sight.
Philippe and Emily aren’t the only ones who believe that anomalies reveal time travelers in our midst. There’s a whole spate of them in history, including blips in Charlie Chaplin films showing people using cell phones and a hipster in a photo from 1941.
Lucky for you, we all got to be time travelers today. Have you checked out Episodes 1 and 2 of A Discovery of Witches TV on Shudder and Sundance Now. You can stream both channels on Google Play, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV. Tell us what you think about the episodes in our Facebook group or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you and yours a merry merry holiday and can’t wait to catch up with you (and Matthew and Diana) tomorrow.
Cait and Jen