And so it was that Tavish and the two girls, his daughter Tammy and her lover Bernie, found themselves in the office of the saturnine Almoner, Brother Bede, just as the Father Abbot sidled in, with an air of sleek insinuation; at sight of the dishevelled visitors, clearly a family down on their luck, whose rag-covered bodies were considerably better fed than the normal beggars who found their way here in the hope of some sustenance in return for unpaid work in the gardens and orchards, or in the kitchens, laundry or shit-house if they were really unfortunate, or even in the Father Abbot's bed if they were especially pleasing – these were certainly a cut above that, and the Abbot's eyes were drawn unerringly towards Tammy – of the two, slightly the younger, the prettier, but also the smaller and least likely to deter Sir Parlane's advances; and the other, the darker, more sultry, had that strong look that stirred the Abbot's interest, and he spoke to the father, or uncle; perhaps, he wondered idly, the whoremaster but . . . . . and in that aposiopesis his thoughts seemed to hang in the air and all eyes turned to him expectantly: “aha!” he said brightly, “two fine daughters you have here, my son, and we can certainly benefit from their vigour today, will you oblige me in permitting them to follow me to the duties which await them while Brother Bede constructs a complot for fair recompense with you?” and without giving time for Tavish to question or reply, expertly steered the two girls through the door and well away from ears that did not need to hear what might be said next; the fair girl he almost pushed into his own office where Sir Parlane sat idly at the desk, the dark one he directed into his own cell – rather larger than average – with instructions to sweep and tidy it and then await his imminent return, and so quickly made for the kitchen to direct the first small girl-child towards the chamber where he knew MacFarlane's Man Doubleday would be cooling his heels; and that done he almost ran back to his own cell in time to find Bernie sitting on the bed, having completed all her tasks and looking up at him expectantly for further orders!