ImageHe raped her in a drunken state and never thought to hear from her again, Esclarmonde thought. She vowed she would never let this happen to her.

            The next morning he drew with a chalky substance a picture on a stone relief of two knights on a horse, Sigillum Militum Christi, the sign of the Knights Templar, a seal of the Warrior for Christ. Without another thought of the abbess he raped, he mounted his steed and rode away not knowing that he had impregnated Na, my mother.  After a few months, she began to show her pregnancy and because of her position at the nunnery, she left and returned home to her family. It was a long and difficult journey to her village. Na was exhausted and ashamed of what had befallen her. Her family took her in but her countrymen shunned her. In her distress, she gave birth early to twins, a boy that she Loup and a girl, Esclarmonde.

            Weakened by the shame of pregnancy and the journey to her parent’s home up north, Na Ermingarda died giving birth and Loup and I were given to a wet nurse, I was later told.

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