By Sophy Burnham
One woman's unforgettable quest for freedom, love, and god.
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Extra resources for The Treasure of Montsegur: A Novel of the Cathars
The white light was so intense, the bliss so ravishing, that I had no power or even need to form my questions into words. 38 Sophy Burnham Neither did she answer me in words, but filled my mind with knowledge so that without a care I approached the bed. The dying woman was awake, eyes glittering feverishly, though I don’t know if she could see the luminous beautiful form that directed me to place my hands upon her head. I could feel the heat pouring off my hands. Not for a moment did I think about the plague, for the bed was no longer a pallet of dirty straw but was shining with its own cool, glowing light.
By the time the two girls were clattering downstairs (Jeanne hopping as she pulled on one shoe), the palace was abuzz. Already the experienced, older men were stomping with much shouting through the castle, helping the lads and cursing broken armor; and the grooms were 46 Sophy Burnham readying the horses and the grounds. Already, this early in the morning, the peasants had come in from the fields and the tradespeople were setting up stalls to sell ribbons and sweet tarts, braces of rabbits and meat pies, and all the foods and toys a festival-goer likes to see.
Thank you,” she whispered. She reached up to touch my hand. “You are forgiven,” I whispered. ” I cannot say how long it lasted—a minute, an hour, a movement of the sun across a hayfield—but gradually the interior singing stopped, and slowly my spirit sank back into my body, and the Light withdrew some of its great power from me, leaving me still flaring with fire but back in my own trembling body once again. The room was so dark that I could hardly see. That’s how I gave the consolamentum. At first pearl light, when the shapes in the room emerged gray against the darkness, I saw that the old woman had died.