The body had been carried away, and only a small pool of dried blood showed where it had lain.
Baldwin stared down at it, shook his head and walked over to the garbage heap. There was a besom with a broken handle leaning against the wall, and he used it to fastidiously disarrange the rubbish and study the contents. 'Nothing here,' he said, throwing down the pole, and strolled back to the bloodstained spot. 'Why would someone take the head?'
'A very good question,' said Simon.
'I reckon he was from outside the port,' said Holcroft, 'and probably only came here to buy or sell something. It stands to reason he knew no one here.'
'If that is so, we shall soon find who he was,' said Baldwin. 'His stall will be empty, and somebody will report that, if only the man from whom he rented the space.'
'I've sent watchmen to see whether any stall is empty but it'll take time with so many to visit. And many stalls have more than one man to serve customers, so they may find nothing.'
'Well, let us see whether we can learn anything from the corpse. You are sure he was not local?'
'Not with his clothes. He must have been a foreigner, murdered by someone he met on the road. They argued; he died.'
'Why cut off his head?' asked Baldwin.
'To hide who it was?' Holcraft said, shrugging. Then his eyes widened. 'Maybe it was to show who it was! Perhaps someone wanted this man dead, and paid a killer to do it, but wanted the head as proof of his death!'
The ship Raedwald was buried in tells us that the Anglo-Saxons were great boat builders.
Although the wooden vessel has rotted away in the acid soil, we still have a good idea of how it was built, because the planks and rivets of its hull left a clear imprint in the sand. The construction is solid, and ingeniously put together. Recently, a replica boat of half the original size was built to the same design, and it sailed beautifully (see page 11). Raedwald's ship was a working vessel.
We know this because archaeologists discovered that the hull had been repaired. It's most likely that the ship was buried because it was either Raedwald's or at least closely associated with him.
Although it is highly likely, we do not know for certain whether the boat had a sail, because the central section had been rebuilt to make the burial chamber. There were also spaces for oarsmen probably 28 in all, 14 on either side, for when the wind dropped and human muscle power was needed to move the boat instead. The boat was a sea-going vessel, which could have crossed the North Sea or sailed around the British coast. It could have been used for a great many purposes. Anglo-Saxon boats carried royal passengers and their court and guards, and were also used to carry crops and cattle, trading goods, pilgrims and raiders. It was often quicker and easier to transport goods and people by sea rather than overland. Overland travel was made difficult and dangerous by the lack of good roads and journeys through neighbouring and potentially hostile kingdoms. Some of the treasures in Raedwald's grave came from as far away as the eastern Mediterranean.
To make frumente. Tak clene whete & braye yt wel in a morter tyl the holes gon of; sethe it til it breste in water. Nym it vp & lat it cole. Tak good broth & swete mylk of kyne or of almand & tempere it therwith. Nym yelkys of eyren rawe & saffroun & cast therto; salt it; lat it naught boyle after the eyren ben cast therinne ...