I... don't really know what to say about the chapter with the robbers! Except that maybe it seems a bit more fantasy-ish than most of the book thus far. I mean, the lone traveler, and the oddly-shapen bandits? Even in the current climate though, they couldn't send anyone with him, and an important relic? Yeesh.
Gee, Brother Francis losing to the bandit in single combat? Who could ever possibly see that coming?
Also, I was going to say that the ploy with the eyepatch/evil eye was a bit more sly than I'd have expected from Francis... but it sounds like it's a fairly old ruse by the monks in general. Oops.
And off to New Rome, where... we're still not really sure where it is. Although apparently on the same continent. Although I could have sworn earlier it talked about seas separating Utah from New Rome. Hum.
The suits of armor definitely underscore the medieval...ity...ness... of the society, but standing totally still like a Beefeater in it? Damn.
It's weird to see the book suddenly put the music in the terms of "First Tenor," "Second Tenor," etc.! Makes the story seem... more artificial. I'm not sure how to explain it.
"His Supreme Unctuousness"... heh.
Yeah, threaten to excommunicate any bandits. I'm sure that's.. uh... reaaaaal great security, there. I think I'd go with the motionless suits of armor, myself.
One thing about Francis' past, it's certainly taught him patience. I'm sure waiting a day or two for the robber to show up isn't as big a deal to him, after his seemingly endless fasts!
I... wait... what? I just... I mean...
The ending of this chapter is... certainly... unexpected? And abrupt? And very fast-forwardy?
So much for Brother Francis!