Spoiler – Merlin and Shakespeare

From An Isle Full of Noises – the Merlin Chronicles Volume 3

Excerpt (subject to editing!) from the chapter I am currently writing:

Chapter 9 To be or not to be

‘Ye all recall that blizzard Christmas last?’ the scrawny tanner’s apprentice was saying to the other men at his table as Merlin put a mug of ale in front of him. ‘That gang that tore down the Theatre northside and stashed the timber in Peter Street’s warehouse?’ He was getting nods and ‘Ayes’ from his companions and Merlin paused. ‘They carted it all over here and a new theatre is going up.’

Not sensational news but the next day he took a stroll in that direction. It had been a cold spring and there was mud everywhere. He easily found the foundation around and upon which workmen were crawling, climbing, kneeling, pounding, carrying. To one side was a foul ditch, and all the rest was a marsh.

‘It looks not promising,’ a voice murmured.

He turned his head to see a man of about thirty, brown hair thinning on top, brown eyes gazing intently at the construction as though hoping to conjure it into a theatre. His accent was from the west. Not Cornwall, but Warwickshire. ‘Not an easy task,’ Merlin replied. ‘But an admirable one.’

The man met his eyes. ‘You are fond of the theatre?’

Merlin nodded. ‘Are you involved in this?’

‘I am one of the Chamberlain’s Men troupe and everything I own is invested in this theatre.’

‘Then I hope for your sake it goes well.’

‘My humbles thanks, sir.’

‘The Chamberlain’s Men, eh? Are you a player then?’

‘A player and a writer.’

‘Are you William Shakespeare, sir?’

The man bowed slightly. ‘At your service, sir.’

Merlin put out his hand, ‘It’s an honour to meet you, sir. I’m Colt Sadler.’ It was a name he had taken years ago because of its connection to horses. ‘I have seen your plays. They are astounding. Your Richards and Henrys – I feel that I know them.’

The man’s face lit up in a shy smile. ‘Many, many thanks, sir.’

‘Oi, Will, hie thee hither!’ came a shout from the construction site. ‘Ye’ve no time for gabbling!’

More to come!

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