The problem with killing saintly mothers is that they may leave young children behind them, and a great deal of this book deals with the three young children of one such woman. Master Nicholas Clere, who stood behind the counter, did not move a finger. He was a tall, big man, and he rested both hands on his counter, and looked his customer in the face. He was not a man whom people liked much, for he was rather queer-tempered, and as Mistress Clere was wont to remark, 'a bit easier put out than in. ' A man of few words, but those were often pungent, was Nicholas Clere.