Study Guide

Crispin: Cross of Lead Chapter 8

By Avi

Chapter 8

  • Asta's son creeps back to the church and knocks on the door of Father Quinel's little room.
  • The priest is glad to see him and takes him into the church so that if anyone comes, he can claim sanctuary. This is a medieval thing: If criminals could make it to a church, they were considered under God's protection and could not be apprehended. Of course, there would always come a time when they would have to leave the church…
  • Asta's son tells Father Quinel he didn't steal the money, and Father Quinel tells him most people in the village don't believe the steward.
  • Asta's son tells Father Quinel about the conversation he overheard in the forest, and the priest guesses that's why Aycliffe is out to get him.
  • Father Quinel identifies the stranger as Sir Richard du Brey.
  • Father Quinel tells Asta's son he must leave or Aycliffe will kill him. He has two options. He can join the church, but since he doesn't have the fees to pay for his entry into a religious order, he really has only one option. He has to make it to a city and survive there for a year and a day, after which time he will be considered free.
  • Asta's son has also been declared a wolf's head, which means he's no longer legally human and anyone can kill him on sight. So that's great.
  • Father Quinel reveals that his mother christened him with the name "Crispin," and that she could read and write. Both of these revelations are real shockers for Asta's son.
  • The two plan that Asta's son—ahem, Crispin—will try to make it to a city, but he'll need some supplies. Father Quinel tells him to hide in the forest for another day and meet him at Goodwife Peregrine's the next night, where they will give him some food and other protections and will tell him about his father.
  • He gives Crispin his mother's cross of lead, which has some writing on it, though Crispin cannot read.
  • Understandably, Crispin feels understandably confused.

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