By James R. Kristofic
Read by BJ Harrison of The Classic Tales podcast
Hiram knew his father, Jonah, could not refuse the Looking Men on the
night they asked him to help kill William the Reeve.
Jonah had been the first villager of Corfe to speak to the captain of
the Looking Men, the one called Sir Ethan the Red Greaves, after the
Looking Men and their tall war-horses arrived by the main road to
examine the first deaths from the Black Hand. The wandering friar of
Corfe, a red-faced, balding man who had summoned the Looking Men, rode
behind them on a bony mare. The friar had briefly addressed the free
peasants who’d gathered at the mill and promised he would explain all
in the morning after the Looking Men had rested. Hiram knew what
everyone else knew about The Looking Men: they served the Church and
bore scars from the Crusades to the Holy Land. But they were also
knights loyal to their King Henry of England, so they could be
trusted. And the friar promised they had come for the good of Corfe.
But the friar had died that night when the Black Hand had laid itself upon him.