Naturally, Eleanor knows of St. Ephrem, the saint whose day is today. He wrote multitudinous, lyrical hymns that warned the populace of his day — the 4th century — against the deceit and wiles of unscrupulous people.
Aha! Eleanor thinks, with a little smile. She could most certainly use some of those hymns to spur herself on in her battle against the scurrilous William of Litchfield, he who sloshes his wine on the high table in his eagerness to lean closer to her. ‘Tis quite difficult to quell the nausea she feels upon even seeing him, much less having to sit at table with him, or even having to share a wine goblet with him. ‘Deceitful’ and ‘unscrupulous’ are the perfect words to describe this cur — actually, ’tis a slur upon all dogs to call William a cur. She knows he waits with anticipation for his poor hapless wife to die in childbirth so he can marry Eleanor. Heavens forfend! Eleanor can barely countenance the thought, and she would rather be a slavey in the kitchens than be wed to the spittle-flecked William.
Whom she would really like to marry, she admits to herself, is that Lord Hugh, he of the intense blue-eyed gaze that holds her rapt. Wiles and deceit are not her methods; she must rely on luck and fortune to bring him her way. If only he felt the same about her, but he seems to be quite taken by her younger sister Mary….Oh, readers, what can Eleanor do?