Glastonbury Abbey is renowned as the cradle of Christianity in England, and widely reputed to be the last resting place of King Arthur, being the mysterious Isle of Avalon (a few years ago someone made a good case for Whithorn in Scotland, but he was ignored). Whether or not the stories are true, false or simply exaggerated beyond all proportion, the stories have made this little town a veritable tourist trap. It is to the mighty ruins of Glastonbury Abbey that our story's opening takes us, and to a group of suckers - sorry, tourists. It is the last guided tour of the day, and the guide wants to go home.
"In 1191," the guide informed fascinated tourists, "the monks at Glastonbury Abbey are supposed to have found the grave of King Arthur. Before the Reformation, this was marked by a massive black marble tomb. More recently, it's been marked by a sign on a stick over there." He pointed, still very bored. In all probablity, he was reflecting, the monks had been in the same tourist-conning business as he was.
The tourists gasped in awe, and the guide followed their gaze. What he saw astonished him.
There, by the grave of King Arthur, was a figure in strange armout, three javelins by his side. As they watched, another figure, this one in dark, monkish robes, appeared, as if from thin air. Extending his hand, he levitated a silver ball.
"I am Merlin," he intoned solemnly. "The time is almost come."
The guide started forward, no longer bored.
"Hey!" he declared, "you can't perform 'ere without a ..." and he got no futher, thus removing the possibility of word confusion over license-licence. The figure in armour threw a javelin, which stuck him through the heart.
"Arthur will return!" 'Merlin' exclaimed, as he and the man in armour faded from view. The Javelin remained very much in the guide, however. Several people screamed, and all thoughts of jolly tourism were quite forgotten. From no-where, the voice was heard again:
"Arthur will return!"