Cadfael has a peculiarly strange case to solve when Prior Robert finds a dead man inside an old dirty sac. The monastery grounds are filled with pilgrims, mostly the lame and the seriously ill, who are there for Cripples Day hoping to be miraculously cured. As no one will admit to knowing the dead man, Cadfael gets the Abbot's permission to render the body down to the bones to see if he can determine how he may have died. He finds nothing definitive though a a mark on the skull may indicate a deadly blow. Among the penitents, Cadfael takes notice of two brother, one of whom is atoning for sins against his father and also a young man who is lame and who is particularly cruel to his sister who he blames for his current condition. There are other suspects as well as Cadfael sifts through what few clues he has to work with.
Did You Know?
Unlike most of the episodes in the series, the plot of this episode bears almost no resemblance to Ellis Peters' novel of the same name. Several of the characters share the same name as the characters in the novel, but their story arcs are entirely different and the murder victim is also entirely different. See more
When Cadfael handles the skull of the dead man, it is obvious from its weight in his hand and the sound that it makes when tapped, that it is made of plastic. See more