My eyes adjusted to the dim light as I surveyed the room. A substantial bed, small table, narrow benches, and a single chair came into focus. Through the carved uprights supporting the bed’s canopy I spied a doorframe that connected this chamber to another room. Light spilled from it onto the coverlet and floor in a misshapen golden rectangle. The walls were covered with the linen-fold paneling that I remembered from the few times I’d visited Matthew’s home in present-dayWoodstock. Elaborately herringboned bricks lined the chimney, their outlines sharpened by the fire’s flames. They looked right, too. Such ornate brickwork would appeal to the stonemason Matthew had once been. Tipping my head back, I saw the ceiling – thickly plastered, coffered into squares, with a splashy red-and-white Tudor rose picked out in gilt in each recess.
‘The roses were obligatory when the house was built,’ Matthew commented drily. ‘I can’t stand them. We’ll paint them all white at the first opportunity.’
My gaze returned to my husband and I smiled with sudden excitement. ‘I really did it. I didn’t mess it up, or take us somewhere else likeMonticello, or—’
‘No,’ he said with an answering smile, ‘you did beautifully. Welcome to ElizabethanEngland. . .’
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from SHADOW OF NIGHT by Deborah Harkness. Copyright © 2012 by Deborah Harkness