M3 Gerraint: Trouble in the Dock, part 2 of 2

That evening, after Gawain had left, Bedivere saw to the horses and then went to sleep in the next room where Uwaine also slept, and Uwaine snored away.  A man just thirty-three should not snore like that, Gerraint thought, as he snuggled under the covers and turned on the side that had never been cut.  He just got comfortable when Enid spoke in his ear.

“Now, tell me the real story.”

Oh, that was mean!  Gerraint grumbled, turned to his back and sat up a little in the dim light of the dying fire.  “What do you want to know?”

“Everything.”  She took the opportunity to snuggle up against him.  He did not mind that so much, but he hardly thought he would get everything out before he began to get other ideas.

“Merlin,” he said.  “As always, his agenda is hidden.”

“Why do you call him Merlin?”  Enid asked for the hundredth time.

“That is too long a story,” Gerraint said.  “Let us just say it is another name, like my other name, Goreu.”

“And how did you know all of that about the Lord’s Supper?” she wondered.  “You have not ever been an especially pious man.”

“Yes, well.  The storyteller helped a lot.  He did his masters at Princeton, you know.”

“Whatever that is.”  Enid shrugged with a smile.  “But what about Meryddin and hidden agendas?”  Enid loved a good mystery.

“Let’s see.”  Gerraint had to pause and think a minute.  “In ancient times, long before the Romans, before the Celts themselves came and took possession of the islands, back in the days of the gods, Danna and her children brought certain treasures to the islands.  They were eventually listed as thirteen treasures, though not everyone’s list included exactly the same ones.  On nearly every list, though, was a cauldron.  It was Dagda’s cauldron, sometimes Ogyrvan’s, that is the Giant, not Gwynyvar’s brother, sometimes Pwyll’s.”

“Pwyll?”  Enid asked.

“Lord of the underworld.  A god of the dead,” Gerraint said and Enid shivered and drew herself up closer to him.

“Anyway, it was said to have miraculous powers of one sort or another.  For one,” Gerraint chuckled.  “It would not cook the meat of a coward, though I suppose some Christian cleric will turn that into the meat of a sinner.”

“Yes, I know.  You don’t like the idea of the church rewriting history.”

“I don’t like anyone rewriting history,” Gerraint said rather gruffly.  “It is what it is and was what it was, and people can learn from it, be inspired by it, be enchanted, or whatever as they choose, but they ought to be about the business of making history, not rewriting what is already said and done.”

“Meryddin.”  Enid reminded him and gently laid her hand on his chest and tapped softly.

“Hmmm.”  Gerraint looked down into her lovely, sparkling brown eyes, but he finished his telling first.  “Merlin, Meryddin if you insist, never disguised the fact that he was no great lover of the Lord.  He preferred the old ways and the old gods, but people, even Arthur understood that and respected that out of deference for his age and wisdom of earthly things.”

“Not to mention that he was related to the old gods,” Enid interjected.  Gerraint nodded.

“I think this was his last salvo in that war.  There is nothing he would like more than to see a return to the old ways, a falling away of Christianity, and a collapse of the system back into warring tribes and petty Chieftains.”

“You don’t mean that, literally.”  Enid got in his face.  She was asking for it, and he gave it to her; but he did mean that.  He always felt that Meryddin was connected to the Masters in some mysterious way and he knew the Masters were determined to skew reality and history to make it come out the way they wanted.  If this bulwark of early Christendom could be torn down, history might be significantly changed, and this was just the right time to do it.  The old ways were barely a scratch and a generation beneath the surface.

Later, Enid sighed.  “I was thinking how odd that Gwynyvar’s sister gave birth to such different sons.  Gawain is the good son and Medrawt is a lot like Pwyll, I think.”

“Is that what you were thinking while we…”  Gerraint did not finish his sentence.

“No,” she said assuredly.  “Only I know Gwenhwyfach had nine years between sons.  I hope Guimier will not be so different from her brothers, being so much younger.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Gerraint said.  “Gawain is from Lot’s first wife and Gwenhwyfach’s boy had a different father as well.  She had an unhappy affair some twenty years ago.  You can thank Meryddin for that one, too.”

“Not long before you and I had some misunderstandings,” Enid said.  “By the way, did I tell you I am glad that is all cleared up?”

“A thousand million times, and me, too.”  Gerraint gave her another small, soft kiss.  “And, no.  I won’t say who Medrawt’s father was.”

“I’m not asking.”  She got deep down in the covers.  “Just hold me.”  Gerraint was obliged to turn on his side where the scar was, but he did not mind so much.


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