they would have been safe.”

“Unfortunately, they trusted no one other than themselves. They were liars and thieves and could not conceive of having confidence in the good intentions of others, let alone depending on them. They did not even bother to ask Brother Mongan to grant them sanctuary.”

“I presume that Brother Mongan told Ulpach the rudiments of sanctuary law.”

“Ulpach forced Brother Mongan to confirm the basic requirements, but it was obvious to me that Ulpach did not know those things he should have known. He did not know that there is a limitation on sanctuary that applies to those accused of taking a person’s life, nor that the abbot has eventually to resolve the granting of sanctuary given by one of his clerics. That surprised the fake Brother Mongan and confirmed to me that it was Ulpach.”

Brehon Morann was thoughtful.

“So Faichen Glas will be taking Ulam Fionn and his cousin Ulpach back north to the lands of the shy; Echach Cobo?”

Fidelma grimaced. “There is, of course, the attack and imprisonment of Brother Mongan to be dealt with, and the New Faith will doubtless have something to say on that before they hand the culprits over to Faichen Glas.”

Brehon Morann smiled indulgently at his young pupil.

“You have much promise, Fidelma. Indeed, you have promise of becoming a fine lawyer. But you relied on guesswork. Consider this … you might have been wrong in your interpretation of these events.”

Fidelma shrugged. “Yet as it turned out, I was not. I was confident in my own ability. I have heard it said, ‘The confident person may succeed, but the person who hesitates may lose all.’“

Brehon Morann knew that he had often quoted the proverb to his students. He smiled sadly.

“Proverb for proverb, Fidelma. ‘The end of the day is always a good prophet.’“

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