“Happy Birthday, Duncan!” Thomas Cardiel, Archbishop of Rhemuth, held out a small package wrapped in linen and secured with a purple ribbon.
“Another gift?” Duncan took the package from the older man and shook his head. “How am I supposed to be a humble priest after receiving all of these gifts?”
“Well then, I guess I’ll keep that flask of Old Ballymar for myself.” Alaric Morgan flashed is cousin a wicked grin. “We wouldn’t want you to be spoiled, now would we?”
“Let’s not be hasty, now,” Duncan replied quickly. He placed the package on the table before him, carefully untied the ribbon, then unfolded the cloth. Inside was a very old book. “It’s a Book of Hours! Wherever did you get this, Thomas?”
“I got it from the Bishop of Stavenham,” Archbishop Cardiel replied. “He found it in an old trunk in one of the storage rooms in the cathedral. It was damaged in a fire during the time of the old Regents. I had the cover repaired and thought you might like to add it to your collection of old works. There’s an inscription on the back of the faceplate.”
Bishop Duncan McLain carefully opened the book and turned the faceplate. He studied the faded writing then read it aloud.
“To my dear Rose on your birthday. May you always find comfort and guidance in these words.” Duncan looked up from the page. “It’s signed ‘Papa’ and dated June 24, 918.” He turned several more pages, and smiled. “A birthday present for a birthday present! Thank you, Thomas.”