Roger the traveling chapman should be on his way home to medieval Bristol after a nice summer's peddling. But a request from his duke to escort a bride en route to her betrothed takes him toward Wells, where the groom and his brother have vanished. Roger links the disappearances to the discovery of ancient scrolls written in a strange language. But as he deciphers the archaic tongue, he concludes that a still-greater mystery lies at the heart of the brothers' disappearance. AUTHORBIO: Kate Sedley, a mother and grandmother, lives in England with her husband.