Adam sighed and opened the gate to the churchyard, looking towards the sea, calm and silver in the pale light of the new dawn. The fog had left during the night, though a few drifts of mist still clung to the river itself and the water-meadows that bordered it.
On an impulse, Adam decided to walk in the churchyard a little, looking for signs of spring. He was not disappointed. Here shy violets peeped from near the wall. There were the first leaves of the primroses that would soon spread themselves between the grave markers. Soon there would be daisies, wild carrot and all manner of other flowers to delight the bees. What men designated a place of death, nature ever filled with abundant life. There was a lesson there.
Just then, his foot struck something and he came close to losing his balance. It was a man's leg. Looking down, he saw where it protruded from behind a headstone near the churchyard wall. Not just any man's leg either. This leg wore a fine silk stocking and had an elegant shoe at the end of it, adorned with a silver buckle.
Adam bent to look closer, then straightened as he saw that a well-dressed man was lying just out of sight from the pathway. There was no need for haste. Adam was doctor enough to know at his first glance that the man was far beyond mortal help.
Resting his backside on a convenient table-topped tomb, he considered the situation with care. A man of perhaps five-and-forty years was lying dead in this churchyard. How had he come to be lying thus? How had he met his death? Neither question seemed to offer a route to an answer.
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