A Christopher Radcliff Short Story
A FREE short story introducing readers to Elizabethan academic and intelligencer Dr Christopher Radcliff, hero of the historical thriller, The Incendium Plot . . . Cambridge on the morning of a day in April, the year of Our Lord 1569.And Christopher Radcliff, Doctor of Civil Laws at Pembroke Hall and recruiter of clever young men to the service of the Earl of Leicester, is amongst a crowd of excited townsfolk and university scholars gathered on a field to watch a game of foot ball. It is to be played between the apprentices of the town and pupils of the colleges and it is hoped it will reconcile differences between town and gown. Bets are placed, wagers made. On the field long-standing animosities surface and violence breaks out but not before the college team is victorious, thanks to the skill of a Pembroke Hall man, John Groom.
Later that day, Radcliff is summoned to the senior tutor’s rooms. It transpires that John Groom has been locked up on a serious charge of assault – he’d nearly caused a cobbler’s apprentice to drown. If found guilty, Groom would be expelled from college and face imprisonment. But Christopher smells a rat. He believes the charge to be the fabrication of someone with a serious grudge against the young man, and yet it does seem as if Groom is hiding something. Enlisting the help of his friend Edward Allington and his wife Katherine, Dr Radcliff knows the truth lies somewhere within the infamous den that is Slegge’s gaming house…