Silencia did indeed surprise the abbot by having a baby.
He couldn’t help but miss the sound of a baby crying, and the fact that Silencia had suddenly slimmed down after seeming to gain wait. But far from showing any disapproval, he welcomed the child. It was good to have some young life in the monastery, he said. He tactfully avoided the issue of how the baby came to be.
It was a girl, which Silencia called Ignatia.
She grew very quickly.
Yohanes found Cadfael in a trance at one point. He was just standing there staring at nothing for several minutes.
He wondered if the abbot was going a little senile – he was nearly an elder. But he soon snapped out of it and resumed his daily walk.
Meanwhile, Yohan found that his younger half-brother was favoured over him, by getting better clothing and more attention, even when Harold grew to school age.
It could perhaps be explained by Harry’s attitude to Yohan’s uncle, who Yohan didn’t even know.
Yohan had no idea what Harry was talking about. As far as Yohan knew, he had no uncle, only a father who was a monk.
Harold was a brat, but Yohan tolerated him. Yohan soon grew to a teenager.
He had the size to bully Harold, but he was of a peaceful disposition. Perhaps he would join his father in the monastery. He wasn’t entitled to inherit the paltry business Harry ran. That was for Harold when he came of age.
Yohan still couldn’t accept his mother hugging and kissing Harry, especially when Harry was half naked. It wasn’t decent.