The Height of Absurdity: Red Leicester 13.3

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5 February, 2019 by katelaity

The Height of Absurdity 1

Tansy sighed. ‘Do you not know the king associated with that area?’

‘Henry the Eighth?’ Now that I was thinking of cheese, I could not stop my mouth from watering. Damn infernal substance! Who can resist it?

‘Why did you say Henry?’ Tansy asked with a little bark of laughter which nettled me a bit.

‘It’s quite a reasonable answer.’

‘Based on what?’

I coughed. ‘Back in school, I used it as my default response and I always managed to scrape a pass on old Fizzywidget’s exams, so Henry it is for me.’

‘That man was obsessed with the dissolution. Admittedly, so many treasures were lost…’ Tansy trailed off then regarded me with a pertly raised eyebrow. ‘You got me off the subject. The king I am thinking of is Richard.’

I paused to think. ‘Second? Was he the one with the monkey?’

‘Third.’

I wracked my brains. ‘Winter of discontent?’

Tansy’s eyes widened. ‘You remember some of the bard? I am shocked.’

‘Didn’t you trod the boards as Richard one year? I seem to recall that line.’ I felt an unusual sense of pride and accomplishment that was, inevitably, destroyed almost at once.

‘Well, that is the first line of the play. Should I assume you stopped paying attention shortly thereafter?’

I decided to go for distraction instead of responding. ‘I don’t recall him being associated with Leicester. York wasn’t it? Are we heading in the wrong direction?’ I looked out the window idly and did my best to stifle a yawn. Train travel always made me unaccountably fatigued. Also ravenous. I knew we should have brought some nibbles along with us.

‘That is where his life begins, but not where it ends. Do you not recall his plaintive cry, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse”?’

‘Oh yes, of course. I remember you charging about on the stage as that Muggins or whatsit threatened you with his wooden sword. You died beautifully, Tansy. Quite an art.’ When in doubt flatter was my general trick with the ladies. Sometimes it even worked.

I think perhaps Tansy’s brow softened a little. In any case she went on with the aim of her thoughts. ‘The king dies in Bosworth Field which is near to Leicester. The story was that his body was taken to the town for burial but then the trail disappears. The fox spirit in my dream last night suggested the legends are true and we may find the body of the king in Leicester.’

‘But do we wish to do so?’ I shuddered. ‘He must be in quite a state now. Whatever would be do with him?’

‘This is for posterity, for history—not for something to prop up in your morning room!’

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