Crispin: The Cross of Lead Chapter 35 Summary


Chapter 35 Summary

Bear leads Crispin into a big room that is dimly lit with tallow candles placed on narrow shelves in the walls. The place stinks of stale beer and sweat. The floor is made of wood and strewn with rushes.

As he and Bear walk further into the room, Crispin sees a long counter covered with mugs for ale. Behind the counter is a big woman in a grease-stained dress. On her leather belt hangs a rosary and a leather purse that appears heavy. She has a flat nose that looks like it has been broken more than once, and her cheeks are pink but sunken. When she sees Bear, she grins, displaying a toothless mouth, and hugs him. He calls her the Widow Daventry.

The Widow Daventry begs to hear stories about Bear’s adventures. He tells her about finding Crispin, but naturally, he leaves out the detail about Crispin being a wolf’s head. Bear is vague about Crispin’s background, saying only that the boy is an orphan who had to leave his home village. To Crispin’s surprise, Bear adds that the boy is a talented performer. This pleases Crispin, even though he feels a bit jealous at meeting someone who apparently knows his friend better than he does.

As the conversation continues, the Widow Daventry says that Lord Furnival has just died. Crispin is surprised not only by this news, but also by the fact that Bear already seems to know. It turns out that this was clear to Bear from the black cloths hanging all over town. Crispin feels a bit put out that his friend did not share this information sooner.

Referring to the death of Lord Furnival, the widow says that it will only help the plans of Bear's brotherhood. Furnival left no heirs, so all of his holdings have passed to the Lady Furnival, his widow. The government of the city and the land around it will remain in her power unless she remarries, which she probably will not do. However, her hold on the land and power is not totally secure. Lord Furnival was well-known for chasing women, and he is believed to have one or more illegitimate sons. If one of them gathers an army and marches on the city, he might manage to claim the Furnival holdings for himself.

After the Widow Daventry explains all this, the conversation falls silent for a moment. Crispin shivers. He believes that a sudden silence means that Death’s Angel is nearby.