Crispin: The Cross of Lead Chapter 30 Summary


Chapter 30 Summary

The little village is called Lodgecot, and Crispin realizes immediately that it is almost exactly the same as the place where he grew up. The peasants are poor, and they work extremely hard. They live in the same kinds of huts and wear the same kinds of clothes. The children are dirty—more dirty even than most of the animals.

While walking through the fields toward the village, Bear looks around alertly and comments that Crispin’s pursuers do not seem to be here. Then he commands Crispin to play the flute. The boy obeys, and the pair enters the village noisily and cheerfully. They march directly to the church, where a priest comes out to meet them with a frown on his face.

When Bear arrives at the church, he kneels at the priest’s feet. Crispin stops playing the flute and stands nervously in the background as Bear makes a respectful speech. He pretends that he is Crispin’s father and that the two of them are on a pilgrimage to Canterbury to do penance for their sins. Then he asks permission to sing and dance before the villagers.

The priest looks slightly more cheerful after this speech, but he does not grant his permission immediately. First he demands to know whether Bear sings religious music. By way of an answer, Bear sings a pious song. When he finishes, he stands with a humble posture and waits for the priest’s decision.

The priest blesses Bear and allows the performance to continue. The townspeople gather around, and Crispin plays music while Bear dances. A one-eyed young man runs off when Bear teases him in the middle of the performance, but everyone else appears to have a wonderful time. Near the end, Crispin grabs Bear’s hat and walks through the crowd accepting pennies and bread from the villagers.

After the performance, Bear and Crispin go into the church and take communion. Crispin prays, and Bear bows his head in an attitude of prayer. Then they share a bit about their travel plans with the priest, who tells them to beware of a mad boy from a nearby village who robbed his master’s house and killed the village priest. The priest does not seem to suspect that Crispin is the boy the people are searching for—but the one-eyed young man steps into the church and stares ominously during this conversation. This worries Crispin, who makes a mental note to talk to Bear about it later.