I aAx not say, distinctly, what roused me next morning. My faculties were 
all in a maze, my body cramped and stiff a old leather -- no doubt due to 
the wetting Of the previousevening, or my hard couch -- while the 
darkness bewildered and numbed my mind. Yet, indeed, I awoke, and, 
after all, that was the great thing. I awoke and yawned, and feebly 
stretched my dry and aching arms -- good heavens! how the pain did fiy 
and shoot about them! -- and rolled mystiff and rustyeyeballs, and twisted 
that pulsing neck that seemed, in that first moment of returning life, like a 
burning column of metal through which the hot river of my starting 
blood was surging in a hissing, molten stream. I stretched, and looked and 
listened as though my faculties were helpless prisoners behind my numb, 
useless senses; but, peer and crane forward as I would, nothing stirred the 
black stinness of my strange bed-chamber.

Nothing, did I say? Truly it was nothing for a time, and then I could have 
sworn, by all the rich repository of gods and saints that the wreck of 
twenty hierarchies had stranded in my mind, that I heard a real material 
sound, a click and rattle, like metal striking- stone, this being followed 
immediately by a star of light somewhere in the mid-black void in front. 
Fy! 'twas but a freak of fancy, the stretching of my cramped and,


aching sinews, but a nucleus of those swimming lights that mocked my 
still sleel~y eyes. I covered them with my hands, and groaned to be 
awake; I stros7e to make point or sense out of the wide flood of 
remembrance that ebbed and flooded in thunderous sequence through 
my heafL; and then again, ob~ trusive and clear, came the click! click! of 
the unsc~cn metal, and the shine of tha great white planet that burned in 
the black firmament of my prison bohind it.

1 staggered to my feet, stretching out eager hands in the N7oiLl space to 
touch the walls, and tried to move; and, as I did so, n1y'knees gave way 
beneath me; I made a wild grasp in the darkness, and fell in a loose heap 
npOI1 the littored, dusty floor. Lord! how my joints did ache! how the hot, 
swift throes that monopolized my being shot here and there about my 
cramped and twitcing limbs! ' I rolled upon the -lust-dry earth of that 
gloomy ch,lmber, and cursed my last night's wetting; cursed the salt-sea 
spray that could breed such fiery tormonts; and even sent to Ha les my 
errand and my scrip of victory, the whi~h, he ;~Yer, ~ was cheore1 to 
..atP' in its bronze case, now a,un then, with a movefnout or a spasn1 Ot 
pain, kZlocked ao7,ainst my bare ribs as illough to up'~rairl me tas a 
lagg.`rc1 efilb,-tssy for Iyinu7 sleepi7lg nere whii3 .`'1 n~3U wake I to 
kllow my ii~ii,~=s. I rose again, with rara tli~1ol~ltJ7, but successfully t,!ois 
time, anf) pec~ref1 and listell~d ~ill the danci'rg colors in my e-yes iilled 
iha C1I~L~ty air Witil giddy' spinning SUllS and constelLttious, aufl tha 
ma7~ing tide of wal,efulness, fiooling the chanilels of my veins, cheated 
my ears to fancy soma hidoous storm was rag7iTlg up above, and 
thu~ldar-bolts were tearil~,~, shrieLi )~, furrows down the trcrmbling 
sides of mou~liains, aut1 tm the rivers Or the world (so hideorls was that 
shocking sound) were tumbling heachong in wild confusion intO the voi I 
middle of the world.

1 stui'lied my cars a.ld shut my eyes, and h~rned sick and faint at that 
infernal tumult. ~ly head spun and throbbe~i, and my light f~ et folt the 
world giving undci them. I had

early fahen  when, OnCG again, jrlst as my spinning brain was growing 
nnnlb, and the close, thin air of that place failed to answer to tl.a nc~eLls f~ 
mill new vitality, there CamG that cii; \' click! again, and the blessed wl.ita 
star that ~ followed it. ' Tl.:s time th,Nt g.ean1 of '.one `~as broal al.1 st~ ~ 
~`n On either side, as ic shD!I3, ~vl~iLc zi~zlg rs.`s I.~3w oii~ .tUfl ftoorl so 
NYl-it upon the hiar k tablat ot ~rnY prison. Al~' and a~r.-Ni; !~t of nectar, 
of real, divine nectar, of sweet, wLiito cDur~try air, came in from that 
celestial puncture!

I leaped to it and knelt, and put my thirsty lips to that r


{u~~ences and c'sr,thk the simplo ambicl~t air th~it (~ams throllgh, as 
tholl~ h I were some thirsty piIgrim at a gushing streaill. An.l it revived 
me, cooling the rising fas er of my blo 3d, and numl3i~q,r, like the sss-eet 
sedative it was, the pairils, that SOOil l'itn IESS keen r.~~nd throbr3t.d less 
SttOllg, iand, in a few mor3 minlZte`;3, went `,rently away into the 
dist.t!lce nuner its boncficollt touch. :MiZyhap I fainted or sle~3t for scme 
little time, oversshenned by the stress of those few wal~illD n~Dments. 
N'i, hell I loolted '.~p agrain ial'S was challged. I myself was new atnd 
fresh, and felt wit~ every pulse the strol~g life beaLing firm itull gentlo 
withiu me; and myprisoncell -- it was no more a Brisolll

There Wit3 a gap bigger than my fist ssvLere the star had beeil, with great 
fissures marking the outline of one of the stones that hitd supported the 
tOpmO~ slaSi~, and through the gap a peeLj of coulltiy-side, of yellow 
grass and saL)phiro seil, of pearly svaves nsl.3ing in sLImll~er l:'layfmlloss 
around a golde

shore, and overhead as sLy of delightful blue.

I was grateful, al~sl unlerstood it all. The storm hiad gone down dsllring 
the night, and the SUll nQtl riSf.ll; thest~ i.;ere good folk outside, Wh0, 
SOy iStlillD ChilllEE', 1;!3t'5V of my shelterii~gplace, and hatl come cit ly 
to rcli-ase me -- a happy chit~3ce, indeed. Aild ~t was tl-leir strs~llg bl' .ss 
a~3d crowb.strs wotLit~g on my mstssive walls that let in the light and -- 
~lone tr~o soon -- refreshed me with a dristught of olster Sair. Fool thitt I 
ss as to let all utleass night a.n~l r~ £alt-se,a scaking clond my wit!

I was so pleased at the prosLject of specdy releiZse that I wi-~s on the 
pOint of ciming out to cheer my lusty iriends at their work and show the 
pri3.3ller lived. l~ui, had I done so this book had never been writteit. That 
shout was all but uttered -- lNy mouth wiZS close to the orifice through 
which came the pleasant gleim1 of dEtylight, when voices o; nlell outside, 
Sp_.t'~in;, one to another, £ell upon my ear.

'lly St. George," I heard one fellow say, "and every fichd 5n heil! theY who 
ouilt this I31itc3e surely meant it to last till jungrlrent. nere we hitve 
be~On hea\-ing at it since near dayligilt, alMl not lIIOVOC1 it StOllO.=

',Yh! itnd if you stand gaping there," chimed in another, "we'll no~. bave 
moved one '3y TuEsility weeb. On, yo~i'~ h g3 let's see something of this 
strength you brag of -- why, even now I S:LW iZ slli,.3v3 i:til I tWim~te in 
tilD olgi~Hing there. This crih may provr3 (h., er irdle of oLlr foFtu33c3s' 
m.^y mal~e us r ic her ~nc~u tilau any str;`tting sherit~s, n3~d ic~ 
oml3e3~se ns for a do2cn disal~l30intun;.3its. 'i'c) it ag`~il3; a'~d y~m, 
liarry, staun re~ with the q~edges to put them in when we do lift."


I pricked my ears at this, as you will guess, for there wae no mention of 
me expectant, and only talk of wealth and recompense. I listener3, and 
heard the sulky workman take again his crowbar. I heard him call for a 
drinl~, and the splash of the liquid into the leathern cup sounded 
wonderfully clear in my silout chetmber; then, as though in no hurly to 
fall to, he asked, "Whett of the spoil we hase already, mates? A sight of 
those baubles would greatly lighten our labor, I thin k,"

":I!~Tow, as I had a man for rmy father," burst out the first speaker, 
"never did I see so small a heart in so big a body! Show hi~ll the swag, 
Harry! rattle it under his grecdy nose; and when he was done gloating on 
it perhaps he'll turn to and do something for a breakfast."

At this there was a pause and a moving of feet, as though men were 
c~llecting round some common object. Then came the tinlile of metals, 
and, by Jove! I had not yet forgotten so much of merchant cumling in my 
soldiering but that I recognized the HlusiC of gold and silver over the 
base clink of lesser stufl~. They tried and sampled and wrung those wares 
over my heLL{1; a~id preserltly he who was best among them said:

"A very pretty haui, mates, and, wisely disposed of, enough to furnish us 
woll, both inside and out, for a long time. These circlets nere are silver, I 
take it, and will run into a. swcet iagot in the melting-pot. Yon boss is a 
brooch, by the pin, tlild of goli3; thot~gh surely such a vile fashion was 
never forged .,i~'ce Shcm's h mmer last wect silent."

"\~~'haL, gohl, sir?'

"Av' else, old bullet-costard? Dost thou think I come ;o~iu I anfl 
prize cursed devil-tlaunted mounds for lumps of cla~r? The brooch is 
gold, I say; and the least of these trinl~ers'j (`vLereon there came a sound 
like one playing with brac~~let tnd I5augle) -- "the worst of them white 
silver. To it, tiiCIl, goor1 fellows, again! Burst me this StOIly crypt, and, if 
it prove s~ich a coffer as I h.lve a right to hope, before the day is all hour 
older you shall dowr1 to yonder town, and there get drunk past 
expectation and your happiest imaginings."

"So, my frlenrls," I mused, "'tis not pure neighborliness that brings you 
ttlus early to my rescue. :Never mind; many a good deed has been done 
i~l search of a sordid object, and, whether you come for me or gold, it 
shall va~ltage me alike. I will Icilfl a hand on my side, since it were a pity 
to keep this big fellow from his breakfast longer than need be."

Yithile they plied spade and lever outside, I scraped below, and put in, as 
well as I was able, a stone wedge now and then,


~rhenever their exertions canted the great stone a little to one side or the 
other. The interest of all this, and because I was never apt. in deceit' made 
me somewhat reckless abollt showing too soon at the narrow ol~cnieg, 
and presently there came a guttural cry above, and a so~~r~ l as though 
some one had dropped a tool and sprung bacl:.

"Halloo, Stoutheart," calls`~1 the captaill's voice, "what now? Is it anothor 
swig of the iiask yos want to swell your shallow courage, or has thy 
puissant crowbar vierced through to hell?"

"Hell or not," whiaed the fellow, "I do think the fiend himself is in there. I 
did but stop on a sunden to peer within, and may I never empty a flagon 
again, but there was something hideous moving in the cryl~t' -- 
something round and shaggy, that toiled as we toiled, and pushed and 
growled, and had two flaming yellow eyes -- "

"Beast! coward! Ch, that I had brought a man instead of thee! 'Twas gold 
you saw -- bright shirling metal -- think, thou swine, of all it will buy, and 
how thou mayest hereafter wallow in thy foul delights. And wilt thotZ 
forego the stuLf so near? Gods! I would have a wrestle for it, tl-lough it 
were with the devil himself. (~xive me the crowbar."

A~,parently the captain's avarice was of stouter kind than the yeomall's, 
for soon after this the stone upright hegan to give, and I saw the moment 
of my deliverance was near. Now, I argued to myself, these gentlemen 
outside are obyious rogues, and will much rather crack me on the head 
than share their booty with such a strange-found claimant, hence I must 
be watchful. Of the two under-rogues I had small fear, but the captain 
seemed of bol~ter mold, and, ualess his tongue lied, had some sort of 
heart within him. So I waited watcl~ ful, and before long a more than 
usually stalnTart blow set the stone off its balance. It slipped and lea~~ed, 
then fell h~adlong outward with a heavy thun, and, turning over on its 
side, rolled to the edge of the slope, and there, revolving quicker and 
more quickly, went rumbling and crashing down through the brambles 
into the valley a quarter of a mile below. As it fell outward, a blaze of 
daylight burst UpOil nly prison, and, with a shout of joy, the foremost of 
the rogues dashed into my cell. At the same mome~~t, with such an old 
British battle yell as those monoliths had not heard for a thousand years, 
but sorely dazed, I sprung for~vard. We met in mid-career, and the big 
thief `;ent floundering down. He was up again in a moment, and, yelling 
in his fear that the d~evil was certainly there, rushed forth -- I close behind 


and infected his timorous comrade, and away they both went toward the 
woods, racing in step and screaming in tune, as though they had practiced 
it together for half a life-t~rne. The fellows fled, but their leader stood, 
white and irresolute, as he well might be, yet made bold by greed; and for 
a mon~ent we faced each other -- he in hisgreasy townsman fiuerv, a 
strong, suhen  thief from bonnet to shoe, and I, grim, ganut, and ragged, 
haggard, wild, nnshorn, standing there for a 2moment against the black 
porch of the old Druid grave-palace -- and then, wiping the sunshine from 
my dazzled eyes ~ nd sloopi~`g low, I ran at him. Many were the ribbons 
and trinkets 1

ad taken long ago at that game. I ran at him, and threw my arms round 
his leather-bclted middle, and, wiTh a good Saxon twist, tossed his heels 
fairly intO the air and threw him full length over my shoulder. lIe fell 
behind me like a tree on tha greens~r~ar.l; while his head, striking the 
buttress of a stoue, stullued him, and he lay there bleeding and insensible.

"Hoth! good fellow," I laughed, bending over him, "I am sorry for that 
headache you will have to-morrow, but before you challenge so freely to 
the wrestle you should know somewhat more of a foeman's prowess!"

Whell I turned to the little heap of spoil the ravishers of the dead had 
gathered and laid out on a cloth upon the stones, at ouce my nnood 
softened. There in that curious pile of trinkets were things so ancient and 
vet so fresh that I heaved a sigh as I bent over them, and a whiff of the old 
time canle back -- the jolly wild days, when the world was young, rose 
before me as I turned them tenderly one by one. There lay the bronze 
knobs from a British shield, and there, corroded and thi~l, the long flat 
blade that my rugged comrades once could use so well. There was the 
broken haft of a wheel-scyme from a chief's battle-car, and, near by, the 
grecu and dinted haruess of a war-horse. Hoth! howit took me back! 
howit mado me hear again, in the lap of the soft Plantagenet sea and all 
The insipid sounds of this degenerate countr~-sid, the rattle and huII1 of 
the chariots as we raced to war, iDe sparkle and elatter of the captaills 
galloping through ibe le fy B~itish woods, and then the SilOUt and the 
tumult as we nheeled into line in the open, aun, our loose reins on the 
stallious'neds and our trembling Javelins quivering in our ready hands, 
swept down npon the ranks of the reeling foeman.

There again, in more peaceful w~se, was a shoulder-brooch some British 
maid had worn, and the wristlet and rings of some red-haired flelen of an 
unfamous Troy. There lay a few link~ of the neck-chains of a lustrdeal 
warrior, and there


again the heall of his boar-spear. Here was the thill gold circlet he had on 
his finger, the rune pin of brass that fastened his colored cloak and the 
buckle of his sandal. Jove! I conld nearly tell the names of the vanished 
wearers, I knew all these things so well.

Ilut it was no use hanging over the pile like this. The ruffian I hafl i'f ned 
was bf ginning to move, and it served no purpose to rem.1in; therefore -- 
and muttering to myself that I W`iS a nearer heir to the treastlre than any 
among those thieves -- I selected some dozen of the fairest, most saluable 
trinkets, and put them in my wallet. Then, feeling cold--for the fresh 
morning air was thin and cool here above the sca -- the best cr~at from 
the ragged pile the rogues had thrown aside, to be the~lighter at their 
work, was chosen, and, with this on my back, and a stout stave in my 
hand, I turned to go. But ere I went I took a last look round -- as was only 
natural -- at a place tLat had given me such timely shelter overnight. It 
was strange, very strange; bot my surroundings, as I saw them in the 
white daylight, matched wondrotls poorly with my remembrauce Of the 
e`Tening before. the sea, to begill with, seemed much further off than it 
had done in the darkness. I lr.1\-e said that when I swam ashore my well-
remembered Bi;tish harhor had, to my eyes, silted up wofully, so that the 
l~noil on which Blodwen's stockades once stood was some way 1Zl) the 
valley. But, small as the estuary had shrunk last night, I had, it seemed, 
but poorly estimated its shrinkage. "l'ivas lesser than ever this morning, 
and some kitle were grazing among the yellow kingoups on the marshy 
flats at that very place where I could have sworn I came ashore on the top 
of a sturdy breaker. The greedy green and golden land was cozening the 
blue channel sea olit of beach and foreshore under my very eyes; the 
meadow-larks were playing where the white surf should have been, and 
tall fern and mallow flauntefd victorious in the breeze where ancient 
British keels had never even grated on a sandy bottom. I could not make 
it out, and turned to look at the tomb from which I had crept. Here, too, 
the turmoil of yestere'en and my sick and weary head had cheated me. In 
the gloom the pile had appeared a bare and 1ichened heap washed out 
from its old mound by rains; but, Jove! it seculed it was not so. I rubbed 
my eyes and pulled my peaked beard and stared about me, for the crypt 
was a grassy mound again, with one black gap framed by a few rugged 
stones jutting from the green, as though the slope above it lrad sliDped 
down at that leveler Nature's prompting, and piled up ea~ th and rubbish 
against the rocks, had escaladed


them ana marched triumE~hant up the green glacis, planting her 
conquering permons of bracken and bramble, mild daisy and nodding 
fo~glove, on that very arch where, by all the gods! I thought 1ast night 
the withering lightning woulel havo glanced harmless from a smooth and 
lichened surface. Well, it only showed how weary I had been; so, 
shouldering my cungel, and with a last sigh cast back to that pregncl~1t 
heap of rusty metal, I turned, and with fair heart, but somewhat shaky 
limbs, marched off inland to give my wondrous ZZeWs.

How pleasant and fair the country was, and after those hot scenes of 
battle, the noise and sheen of which still floated confusedly in my head, 
now sweetly peaceful! I trod the greelZ, 6eduned country lanes with 
wondrous pleasure, remembering the bare }~rench campag~ias, and 
stood stock-still at every gap in the blooming hedges to drink the sweet 
breath of mnrning, coming, golden-ladell with sunshine and the breath of 
flowers, over the rippling meadow-grass. In truth, I was more English 
than I had thought, my step was more elastic to tread these dear domestic 
leas, an/l my spirits rose with every mile simply to know I was in 
England! And I -- a tough, stern soldier, with arms still red to the elbow in 
the horrid dye of war, and on a nasty erraun, pulled me a flowering spray 
from the coppices, and smiled and sung as I went along, Inow stopping in 
delighted trance to hear out the nightingale that, from a bramble athwart 
the thicket-path, sung most enrapturedly, and then, forgotful of my haste, 
standing amaze`.l nnder the flushed satin of the blooming apples. "Jovo!" I 
laughed, "here is a sweeter pavilion thau any victor prince doth sleep in. 
Fy! to fight and bleed as we do yonder, while the sweetness of such a tent 
as this goes all to waste UpCI1 the wind!" And I sat and stared and 
laughed until the pric7.; of conscience stirred me, and, reluctant, I passed 
on again. Then over a flowery mead or +wo, where the banded bees 
swung in busy fashion at the lilac cackoo-flowers, and the shining dew-
drops were charged with a hundred hues, down to a sunny, babbling 
brook thst sparkled by a ;yellow ford. There I would stand and watch the 
silver fingers of the stream toy and tug the great heads of nodding 
kingcup, watch the flash of the new-come swallow's wing, as he shot 
through the by-ways between the mallows, and be so still that e'en the 
timid water-hen led out her brood across the freckled play of sunshine on 
the watel, and the mute kingfisher came to the broken rail and did not 
fear me. "Surely a happy strearn," I thought, "not to divide two princely 
neighbors. What a blessed current that can keep its native color and 
chatter thu.


Df Hower s and sunshine, while yon other torrent runs incamadine to the 
sea -- a corpse-choked sewer of red ambition!"

Then it was a homestead that, all unseen, I paused by, watchi~oa~ the 
great sleek kine knee-deep in the scented ychow stra~v, the spangled cock 
defiant on the wall, the tender doves a-wooing on the roof-ringe, and 
presently the swart herdsman, with flail and goad, come out frorl-l 
beneath his roses and stoop and kiss the pouting cherry lips of the sweet 
baby his comely mate held up to him. "Jovel" I meditLIted, "and hore's a 
goodly kii~gclom. O~rl, that I had a realnl with no polilics in it but such as 
he has!" and so rmusing I went along from l~ath to path and hill to hill.

At ono timG my feet were turned to a way-sifle rest-house, where a jllg of 
wine was asked for and a loaf of bread, for you will remember that saving 
a handful of dry biscuit, wl~ich I broke in my gaunflet palm and eat 
between two charges, I had not broken fast since the morning before 
Crecy. The master of the tavorn took up the COiil I tendered and eyed it 
critica;lly. He held it in the sun, and rallg it on a stone and spat upon it, 
then, taõ<ing a little dust from the road, rubbed diligently until he came 
down throagh the green sca-slime to the metal below. It was true-coined, 
plunlp, and full, though certainly a trifle rusty; and this and my grim, 
commanning figulo in his door-way carried the day. He bror1ght me 
wine and cheese and bread, whercon I sat on a corner of the trestle table 
mHnching them outside in the SUN under shadow of my broal felt yokel 
hat, with the quaiilt iml sign getltly creaking overhead, and my moldy, 
sea-stained legs dangling under me.

1 was in a good mooA, yet thoughtful somehow, for had not the king 
especially warned me not to part lightly with the precious news 
wherewith I was freighted? And if so be that I must be reticent in this 
particuLar, yet again my heart was surely too full of my victorious errand 
to let me gossip lightly on trivial matters; thus my bread was broken in 
al)3tracted silence, and, when my beaker went now and again into the 
shade of my hat-l)linl, 1-drank mutely and proffered no ~ign of frienrlship 
to tho~e other country wayfarers who stood about the honeysucl,led 
door-way eying me askance after the manner I was so used to, and 
whispering now and then to one allother.

I sat and thought how my errand was to be most speedily carried Otlt, for 
you see I might trunge days and days afoot like thi3 before good ltlek or 
my oun lilr,b3 brought me to the footstool of IDd`Y2lrd's royal wife, and 
gave me leave to burst that green and rusty case that, with its precious 
scroll, stil


dangled at myside. I had no moneyto-buya horse -- the banglos tal~en 
from the Clypt thieves would not stand against the value of the boniest 
palfrcy that ever ambled between a tinlier's lega~aun last ~light's infernal 
wetting had made me into the sorriest, most moldy-looking herald that 
ever did a kingly bidding. "Surely," I thought, as I glanced at my 
borrowed clay-stained rustic cloal<, my cracked and rotten leather 
dor~bict, my tarnished hose all frayed and colorless, my shoon, that only 
held together, methougilt, by their p.ttching of gray sea-slime and in un, 
"surely no o~le will lc~,d or loan me anything like this; they will laugh at 
my knigllEly gage of honorable return, and SCOtlt the faintest whispor of 
my errand!"

Thus ruefully reflecting, I had finished my frugal lunGlleon, yet still scarce 
knew what to do'atld mavbe I had sat dubious like that o'1 the trestle-
edge for ncar an hoal, uhe`r, l006ing Up on a suclde~~, there was a 
l~loon~ing little maid of some three tender years standing in tha sau 
staring hard upor~~ me, her fair blue eyes a-shino with wonder, and the 
straucis of her golden hair lifting on the brecze like gossamers in Julle. She 
had in one rosebun hand a flower of yellow daffodil, and in fault of a 
better introduction proffered it to me. My stern soldier heart was melted 
by that maid. I took her flower and put it in my bclt, and lifted the little 
o'`e on my Lnee, then asked her why she had looked so hard at the 

"Oh!" she said, poirlting to ~;llere some older children were watching all 
this from a safe distance, "Johnnie and Andrew, my brothers, said you 
were sulely the dovil, and, as they feared, I came mvsolf to see if it v;ere 

"And am 1? Js it true?"

"I do not know," said the little damsel, fixing her clear blue eyes tlpOI1 
mine -- "I do not kUGw for certain, but I like you! I am sorry for you, 
because you are so dirty. If VOtl were cleaner I could love you " -- and 
very cautiouslv, watching my eyes the while, the pretty baby put out a 
petal-soft hand and stroked my grim and weathered face.

I could not withsttltld such gentle blandishment, and forgot all my 
musings atld my haste, and 1<issed those pink fii~gers undel the siladow 
of my hat, and laid myself out to Will that soft little heart, and WOI1 it, so 
thac, when presently the wondering mother came to claim her OWlI, the 
little maidell burst into SUCh a headlong shower of sil\'er April teals that 
I had to perjure rmyself with false promises to come again, and evou the 
gift of my last coin and another kiss or two scarce set me free from the 
sweet investigator.


But now I was aroused, and stalked down the green COUIltry road full of 
speed aDd good intention. I would walk to the royal city, si~lce there 
were no other way, and these fair shires must havt growh expan~sive 
si'~ce the olden days if I could not see a march or two while the sun was 
up. IZastward and north I knew the court shoull lie, so bent my steps 
through glades and COmillOnS Wit tl the lIliLlaa)' SlU1 bthind my better 
shoulder. But the iourney ~V,!,3 to be shorter than seemed likely at the 
outset. 1tfter asking, to no purl~ose, my road of several rustics, a 
venorable wa~farer was chanced upon, ambling down a shady gull~7.

This quaint old fellow sat a ro~~:rh little steed, one indeed of the poorest-
looking, most k~lock-l,~~ectl beasts I had ever scen a gentleman of gentle 
quality astride Of. Antl, in truth, the rider was not better l~ept. He wore a 
great wide-spreading cloak of threadbare stull, fallir.g from his shoulders 
to his knees in such ample folds that it hal;L hid the neek and quarters of 
his steed. Below this mallile, splashed with twenty shades of mun and 
most quaintly patched, you saw the pricks of rusty iron spurs on old aDu 
shabby leather boots, and just the pOint of a frayed black leather 
£cabbard peeping under his stirrup straps. The hat he ~~ore was broad-
b~-imnled and peaked, and looked near as old as did its wearer. 1~ nder 
that shapeless cover was a most strange face. I do not think

ever saw so much and various writ upon so little parchment as shone 
Upon the dry and wrinkled surface of that rider's features. There were 
cunning and closeness oll it, and yet they did not altogether hide the 
opelmess of gentle birth and liberal thought. Now you would think to 
watch those shrewd keen eyes aglitter there under the pent-house of his 
shaggy eyebrows, he was some paltry trader with a vision bounded by 
his weekly till and the inEruct of his lying measures, and then anon, at 
some word or passing fancy, as you came to know him better, 'twas 
strange to see how eagle-like those optics shone, and with what a clear, 
bright, prophetic gaze the old fellow would stare, like a steer-man 
through the dim-lighted gloem of a starry night, over the wide horizon of 
the visiouary and uncertain. He could look as small and meail about the 
mouth as a usurer on settling day; and then, when his meod changed, and 
he fell thoughtful, tha gentle melancholy of his face -- the goodly soul that 
spoke h~llilJd that chargeful mask, the strange dissatisfaction, the 
incompleteness, the unhappy longing for something unatinillable there 
reflected, made you sad to look upon it.

I overtook this quaint rider as he rode alone, my active feet


being more than a match for the shaky limbs of that mean beast he sat 
upon, and, coming alongside, observed him unnoticed for a mintlte. Truly 
as~uaint a fellow-traveler as you could meet! His head was smlk, and his 
grizzled white beard fell o\Ter his chest; his eyes Nvere fixed in vacant 
stare on sme vision of the future, and his lips moved tremulously now 
and again as the thoughts of his mind e£caped unheeded from between 
them. Was he poet? \Aias he srer? Was it a black past or a red, rosy 
future the old fellow babbled of? Jove! I was not in very good lkind 
myself, and I fancy I had read now and again, in the wonder of those who 
saw me, that my face harl a tale to tell. But, by the great gods! I was neat 
and pretty-pied beside this most rusty gentleman; my face was as soid as 
a curd-fed bumpkin's, eempared to those eloquently absent eyes, that 
fine, mean protile, there, in the slouch of the big hat, and those busy lips.

"Good-morning, sir," I said; and as the old man 1ooked Up with a start 
and saw me, a stranger, walking by his side, all the fervor and the fancy 
died from oR his face, the fine features shut upon themselves; and there 
he was, the meanest, shallowest, most paltry-looking of old rogues that 
had ever pulled od a cap to his equal.

He returned my first light questionings with a suhen  suspicion, which 
gradually thawed, however, as his keen scrutiny took, apparently, 
reassuring stock of my face and figS~re, and we spoke, as fellow-travelers 
~vilJ, for a few moments on the roads, tha weather, and the prospect of 
the skies. Then I asked him, with small expectation of much advantage in 
his ans~ver, "which was the best way to court."

"There are many wavs, my son," he said. "~rOu may got there because of 
extrtme virtue, or on the introduction of peculiar wickedness."

"Ah! but I meant otherwise -- "

"Shining wisdom, they say, brings a man to court -- or should. And, God 
knows, there is no place like court for folly! If thou art very bEautifu1 
thou may come to it, and if thou art as ugly as hell they will have thee for 
a laughingstock and nine-days' wonrler. Anaximander went to court 
because he was so wise, and Anaxippus because he was so foolish; 
Diphilus because he was so slow in penmanship, and Antimachus because 
he wrote so much and swift. Ah, friend! many are the ways. Polypemon 
lived by plunder, and, because he was the cruelest thief that ever stripped 
a wanderer by green Cephisus, he came under the notice of kings and 
gods; ay, and Clytius i~s famous because he was so faithful;


and the patriotic Codrus because he bared his bosom to the foe, and 
Spendius for a hundred treaoheries, and -- "

"~o, no!" I cried, "no more, sir, I entreat. I did nof mean to play footpad to 
thy capacious memory, and rob your mind of all these just comparisons, 
but mlly to ask, in ordinary material manner, which was the best way to 
the palace, which the nearest road, the safest footpath for a hasty strallger 
to our good queen's footstool. I have a royal script to rleliYer to her,"

"What, is it the queen you want to see? NYhy, I am bound that road 
myself, and in a few minutes I will show vou the pennons glancing among 
the trees \N'hele they be camped."

"Where they be camped?" I exclaimed, in wontler. "I thought that was 
many a mile from here -- in fact, sir, in the great city itself, and yet you say 
a few minutes will show us the royal tents."

"Oh, what a blessed thing are youthful legs! And were you off to distant 
Westmirrster like that, good fellow, 'to see the queen,' forsooth, with 
nothing in thy wall~t, and as little in thy head?" And the old man eyed me 
under his sloaching cap with a mixture of dorision and strange curiosity.

"I tell you, sir," I answered, "I come on hasty business; I am a messenger of 
the utmost urgency, and if I am afoot instead of mounted it is more 
misfortune than inclination. What brings the queen -- if, indeed, we are so 
near her -- thus far afield?"

"Praise Heaven, young man, there is fZO one who knows less of the 
goings and comings of her and hers than I do. I hate them," he said, 
sourly; " a lging swarm of locusts round that yellow jade they call a queen 
-- a shallow, cruel, worthless crew who staun in the way of light and 
learning, and laugh the poor scholar out of faoe and heart!" 1\un, 
muttering to himsclf, my cormpanion relapsed into a moody silence as w-
e breasted the last rise. But ott a sunden he iooked up with something like 
a smile wrinkling his withered cheel<, and went on: " But you do not 
laugh -- you have some bowels of compunction within you -- you can be 
as civil to a threadbare cloak as to a silken doublet. Gads! fellow, there is 
something about thee that moves me Yery strangely. Art thou of gentle 

"I have been of many qualities in my time, sir."

"So I guessed, and something tells me we shall see more of each other. 
There is a presence about thee that makes me fear -- that puts a dread 
upon me, why I know not. And


then, again, I feel drawn to thee by a strong, strange sense, as the Persian 
says one planet is drawn toward another,"

1 let the old feilow ramble on, paying, indeed, but cold notice to his 
chatter, since all my thGughts were on ahead, and when at last! we came 
out of the hazel dingles, there, sure enough, down in the valley was a 
white road wUlding arnmlg the trees, and a stately park, a goodly hotlse 
of many windows, and amid the fair meadows among the branches shone 
the white glean of tents, and overhead the flutter of silken tags anrl 
gonfalons, and now and then there came the glint of steel and gold from 
ollt that goodly show, and the blare of trumpets, and more softly on the 
afternoon air the shout of buiy marshals, the neighing of steods, and the 
low marmur of many voices.

Oh, it was a pretty scene to sce the tender country-side so fresh and green, 
and the rolling meadows at our feet dusted thick with gold and silver 
dowers all blended in a splendid web of tissue under the shilling SUN. 
And thele the flush of blossom orl the orchards streal,ed the fair valley 
like a sunset cloun, and here the bronze of bunding oaks lay soft in the 
hollows, while overhead the blue canopy of the sky was one unbroken 
roof from verge to verge.

We two looked down upon that scene of peace with different feeling for a 
space, then, making my friendly salutation to the dreamy pedant, "Here, 
sir," I said, "I fear we part forever,"

"Not so," he said; " we shall meet onoe more, and soon."

"Well, well! Soon or distant, we will mect again in friendship;" aun, with a 
wave of the hand, off I set, delighted to think chance had so favored me, 
and all impatient to tell my news. I did not stop to look to left or right, but 
down the glen I ran into the valley, scaring the frightelled sheep and oxen, 
and stopping nDt for fence or boundary until the broad road svas 
reached, and all among the groups of gaping countrymen and basy 
lackeys leading out the steeds to water ir the meadows round the royal 
camp I slackened my pace. The broad park-gates were open, and ;nside, 
amid the oaktrees around the great house, gay confusion reigned. There, 
on one hand, were the fair white tents bri;,rllt with sil6 and golden 
trappings, and, while a hundred sturdy yeomen were busy setting up 
these cool pavilious, others spread costly l'NgS about their porches, and 
displayed within them lorchy furnitule enough to dazzle such rough 
soklier eyes as mble. There in long rows beneath the branches were 
ranked a wondrous show of mighty gilded coaches with empty shafts 
atrail, all still dusty from the road, and hurrying grooms were covering 
these over


for the night, while others fad and te,:lded a squadron of sleek fat norses, 
whose beriljbo~~ed manes and glistening hides so well filled out, struck 
me aniazed wl~en I recalled those poor, raggt~d. mundy ch,l!gtrs 
whereorl we had borllo down tht }lOStS of l'hilij~'s chivt.iry two days 
bcfore. 1~ll about the glOBn were grQUljS Qe gCntitmUn and 
ladies, itn~ I oveeheariI, ag I Inushed by, soule o; them sptal~ing Of 3 
SIJiOndid show to be giVEI1 that night ill the court of the great hol~se 
near by, and how the proud owner of it, thus honored by the great 
queen's presence, I ad l~eggared lr,m alid his for many a day in making 
prcparation. It wlS most probable, for the white-haired st~~eschal was 
toaring his S1~0\N'y locks, entreatiag, imploring, a~llit1 a surging, unruly 
In.tss of porters, cooks, and scullious, while heaps of provender, vats of 
wine, and migmy piles of food for men and horses littered all the 
rearward avenue.

But little I looked at all these things. Clad like man~mlnother countl yman 
come there to sce the show (only a liltle more ragged and uncouth), I 
passed the outer wickets, a ld, ,skirting the groups of idlers, strode b.,ldly 
out across the tri~n inner lawns and breasted the wide sweep of stops that 
led to the great scutcheoned door-way. 1\ll down these steps gilded 
fellows were lolling irl splendid fi!~ery, who started up and stared at me, 
as, nothing noticing their gellble presence, Inow hot upon my errand, I 
bounded by. At top were two strong yeomen, gay in crimson and black 
liver.y, of mosc quaint kind, with rampant lions worked in gold upon 
their breasts, and tall, broad-bladed halberds ill their hauns. I'hey made a 
show of barring the way with those mighty weapons; but I came so 
unexpected, and showed so little hssit. tiOIl, they faltered. Also, I had 
pulled of3 my cap. and bctter me!1 than they had steplled back in fear an,1 
wonder from a glance of that grim, stern face that I thus did show them. 
Past these, and once inside, I found the queen was receiving the country-
folk, and up the waiting arcnue of these good rustic lie~ es I pushed, 
brushing through the feeble fence of stewards' marshalingrods hold out 
to awe, and, nothing noticing a score of curly payes who threw 
themselves beloia me, I burst into the presence chambcr. lIoth! 'twas a fine 
room, like the mid-aisle of ia great cathedral, and all about the walls were 
balmers and bannerets, antlers of deer, and goodly shows of weapons, 
and suits of mail and hal~less. And this splendid lobby was t}iro~~god 
with courtiers in silks and satins, while ruffs and stocks and mighty 
collarets, and pearls and gems, and cloth of gold and sarsanet glittered 
everywhere, and a gentle incen~


of lovely scents mingled with a murmur of courtly talk, went up to Zhe 
fair carved oaken ceiling. Right ahead of me was a splendid crimson 
carpet of wounrous pile and softness, and at the far end of that stately 
way a dais, and on it, lightly chatting amid a pause itl ~he royal busiIless -- 
the queen!

She was not the least what I had looked for. I had pictured ~,dward's 
noble dame, the daughter of the kaightly house of Hainanlt, as pale and 
pron`'Z and dark -- the fit wife to her warlike husband, and a meet 
mother to her son. But this ono was lank and yellow, comely enough, no 
doubt, and tall, with a mighty proun light iZ1 her eyes when occasion 
served, and a right royal bearingr, yet still somehow not quite that which 
I expected. what did it matter? Was it not the queen, and was not that 
enough? (1ods! what sho~lld it count what color was her hair, SincE my 
master fowld it good enough~ And, in truth, but I had something to say 
would bring the red into those lack-luster cheeks, or Philippa were unlike 
all other women. Therefore, with a shout of triumph that shocked the 
mild courtiers, brandishing my precious scrip above my head, I leaped 
forward, and, dashing up that open crimson road, ran straight to the 
footstool of the royal lady, and there tdropping on one knee -- 

"Hail! royal mother," I cried.

"TiZanks!;' she said, sardonically, as soon as she regained her composure. 
"Thanks, gentle maid!"

"Madame," I cried, "I come, a herald, charged with splendid news of 
coDquest. But one day since, over in famous France, thy loyal Erlglish 
troops have won such a victory against mighty odds as lends a new luster 
even to the broad page of l:i.uglish valor. But one day since, in your noble 
general's tellt -- "

But by this time all the throng of courtiers had fonun their tOt~gUES, and 
some certain quantity of those senses whoreof my sunden entry had 
bereft them. Wrhile a few, who caught the meaning of my word, and, 
stopZ, ing not to argue, thought it was thP. news indeed of a victory that 
glittering court had long looked for, broke out i~ltO tumultuous cheering 
-- waving scarf and handkerchief, and throwing wide the lattices, that the 
common folk without might share their noisy joy, those others who stood 
closer around, and saw my ragged habitiments, could not believe it.

"You a herold!" exclaimed Cnf' urizzled veteran in slashed black velvet 
over pRaZ'IV Satifl. "'Z'.,U '.1 messenger chosen for such a~l erra~rtl! 
Nna~ia~Ile," h ~ crif CI, drawing out a long rapier from its selvet case, "-
ifo iS S0fUf' m.iJman, some brain


sick soldier. I do implore your grace to let me call the guards,"

"An assassin! an assassin!" cried another. "Run him through, IJord 
Fodringham! Give him no chance or parley!"

"Tis past belief!" exclainied a dainty fellow, all perfumed iace and golden 
chains. "Such glad tidings are not trusted to base country curs."

"~ fool"' " A rogue!" '` 1( graceless villain!" they shouted. "Stab him! drag 
him from the presence! Fy UpOtl the billmen to let such scullions in upou 
us!" And thick these pretty peers came clustering on me, the while their 
ladies screamed, and all was stormy tumult.

I'p, then, I jumped to my feet, and hot and wrathful, shaking my clinched 
fist in the faces of those glittering lords, broke out, "By the bright light of 
day, sirs, he who says I have a better here in this hall, lies -- lies loun and 
flatly. Do you think, because I come clad like this, you may safely spend 
your shallow wit UpOll me? I tell you all, pretty silken spaniels that you 
are! Yes, Fodringllam, with the gilded toothpick you miscall a sword! you 
there, sir, who reek of musk and valor; and all you others who keep so 
discreetly out of my arm's reach -- I tell you every one that, in court or 
camp, in tilt or tourney7 I am-your mate. Ah, sirs, and this rusty country 
smock, blazoned by miry wa~s and hasty travel; this mundy tabard here, 
because 'tis upon a herald's breast, is more honorable wear tt~an any 
silken surtout that you boast of. Gods, gentlemen! if so there be that any 
one here in truth misdoubts it, let me entreat his patience; let me humbly 
crave the boon that he will hold his mettled valor in curb just so long as I 
may render th.^.t message which I surely have at this royal footstool, and 
then, on horse or foot, with mace or sword, I will show him my 
credentials!" But nolle o£ that glittering throng had aught to say. Those 
bold, silkon lordlings pushed back in a wide circle from where I stood, 
fierce and tall in my ulundy rags, and fumbled their golden dagger-knobs, 
and stunied with drooped heads the dainty silk rosettes upon their cork-
heeled shoes.

After waiting a moment, to give their valor fair chance of answering, I 
turned disdainfully from them and, bending again to fair Queen Philippa, 
"Madame," I said, "these noisy boys make me forget the smooth 
reverence that I owe your grace, yet, surely the noble daughter of 
Hainault will forgive a hasty word spoken in defense of soldier honor?"

"I know nothing, good fellow," replied the queen, eying her discomfited 
nobles with inward glee, "of thy iTainault,


but I lilie thy outspokenness extremely. By IIeaven! you make me think it 
was some time since I last saw a man about me."

"And havo I leave to do my mission, noble lady?"

"Ay, sir, to it at once! W o care not how yGU come, or who you are, or for 
the exact condition of your smocl`, so that you bri`,g news of victory."

"l~ut, madame," put in Fodringham, "it is not safe; lie has some desperate 
purpose -- "

"Silence!" shouted the queen, springing to her feet and stamping a pretty 
foot cased in a t ainty pearl-incrusted slipper -- "silence, I sav, Lord 
Fodringl~an~, and all you other peers who make our prescnce-chartlber 
like a bear-pit; Eilence! or by my father's heart, I will cure him of insolence 
who speaks again for once and all. "And the sallow virago, flnsIIing like an 
angry yellow sunset, with her fierce gray eyes agleam, and her thin lips 
stern set, one white hand clutching the high-carved arm of hor dais, and 
the other set like white ivory on the jeweled handle of ner fan, scowled 
round upon her courbers.

They kneir that proun termagant too well to meet her eye, and having 
stared them all into meek silence she let the yellow flush die from her 
cheek, and, turning to me, she said, "Now, fellow,, to thy errand,"

"Then, sovereign lady," I began, "but two days since, in Prance, the English 
troop, fair set npon a sunny hill-side, were attacked by a vast array of 
foemen, and thanks to happy chance, to thy princely general's 
captainship, and to the incredible valor of thy lieges, they were 

"~7ow may the dear (Iod who r ules these things accel~t my gratefm and 
most humble thanks!" And the proun queen, with bright moisture in her 
eye, looked skyward for a moment, and was so moved with trae joy and 
pleasure in her colmiry's couquest that thereon at once she went up most 
mightily in my esteem.

"Most weleome of all heralds," she went on, "how fared the English leader 
in that desperate fight? lf aught has happed to Lord Leicester, it will spoil 
all else that you can say. "*

I did not quite catch the name she mentioned under breath,

* The Earl of Leieester, in the spring of 1686, had command of the English 
forees in Flanders, and news of the great vietory which he constuntly 
promised but never achieved was daily expected.


but I thought it was the roval mother asking how my noble young 
mastor had prospered, so I spoke out at once:

"Madame, he is unhurt and well. It is not for me, a bllulble knight, to 
praise that shining star of honor, but l~o for whom thou art so 
solicitous " (here the queen blushad a little and looked down, while there 
was a scarce-snppressed laugh amon~r the fair darllsels behind u-le), "he, 
madame, bas done splendid deeds ol valor. Thrce tin~es, noble queen, 
right along the glittering front of Frauce l~e charged, three tillies he 
pierced so deep into that sca of steel that he ncar lay l~ands upon their 
golden lilies in mid-llost. The proun ('omlt of Poligny fell before him, and 
the Lord of Lusiguy was overthrown in single combat, Besancoll and 
lirnay went down under his maiden spear; he pulled all ancient crest from 
the Bohemian eagle in mid-battle. In brief, madame, a nloiO valorous 
knight vas ne`;er buckled into armor; he was the prop and pillar of onr 
host, and to him this sTictory is as largely due as it is to any,"

"Herald," said the qHeen, with real gratitune and ple`~saro in her voice 
again, "hldeed your news is weleome. There was nothing I had rather 
than such a victory, and becauso 'tis his, becauso it will stiIle the envions 
clamor of his enemies, and embolden me to do that which I hope to. Ohl 
your news fills up to overflowing tha measure of my joy and satisfaction!" 
And the fair ladybout her head andiell into a reverie, like a maid who 
cogitates upon the piowess of an absent lover.

So far the woman -- then the queen came back, and lifting her shapely 
head, with its high-piled yellow hair, laced with strit~gs of anlethyst and 
pearl, and well set off by the great stiff-starched ruff behind, she asked:

"And my dear Eoglish nobles, and my stout halberdiers and pikemell -- 
God iorgive me that I should forget them! -- how tol~l the fight npOU 
them? My heart bloeds to think oi the odds you say they did withstand,"

"Be comfortod, fair sovereign. The tiae of -war set strong against our 
c~~emies, our palisades and trenches wore well iaid; the keen :F.uglish 
arrows carried disaster far afiehl on their iron points ere the battle joined; 
the great l~ost of France fell by its own mightiness; and victory, this time 
at least, shall wring but few tears from English nlai`1s or matrons."

"Heaven be truly thanked for that!"

"Indeed. ma'~lame" -- so I went on -- "none of great aceount fell those few 
hoths since. Lord Harcourt I saw bear him like the bold soldier that he 
was, and when the battle


faded into evening he it was who marshaled our scattered anks and set 
the order for the night."

"Who did you say?"

"Earcourt, -lady, thy bold captain. And Codrington, too, was redouLk1ble, 
and c.uIle safe from the fight. Chandos dealt out death to all ~N'ho 
crossed his path, like an avenging f ur y, yet took no scrat s b. Hot Lord 
Walsingllam swept like all av~;lanche in sprio~r nrollgh the close-packed 
Frenchmen, yet lives to tell of it, and old Sir Johll Fitzherbert, when I left 
the ficld -- his white beard all athwart his shledded broke

armor ~was cheering lounly for our victory, the while they lapped him up 
in linells, for a French ax had shorn his lelt arm ot! at the shoulder. All 
have takell dints, but uear all are safe and well,"

"'Tis strange," said the queen, thoHghtfully, "'tis strange I know so few of 
thesc. I l~ave a liarcourt, but he is not warlike; and cunning, cruel 
Walsingham lives in the north, and sits better astride of a dinner-stool 
thar1 a charger. Codringtor1 and Filzherbert leading my troops to war! 
Here, let me see thy script; it may explain " And s~rle held out her jeweled 

Thoreoll a strange uneasiness possessed me, and seemed to clond rr.y 
honest courage. NA~hat was it? What had I to fear? I did not know. 1Ynd 
yet my strong fingers, that never wearied upon a hilt thot~gh the day, 
were no'er so long, trembled as I slullg round rmy pouch, and my heart 
set off a-beating with craven fear clS it haf1 never beat belLore in sack or 
melee. It was too foolish; and, a little angry at the blood that ran so slowly 
in my vehls, and the heavy sense of evil that sat on me all of a sundell, I 
pulled the metal letter-case from my wallet, and burst the seal and pressed 
the lid. The wallet split from side to side as though the stOtlt leather were 
frail paper, and the strong metal crumbled in my fingers like red, rotten 

I stared at it in amazement. What could it mean? Then shook the thill, 
rusty fragments from my hand, ar!d, putting on a bold face I did not feel, 
drew out the parchn~e~lt from the strangely frail casing, brushed off the 
dust and litter, and handed it to the sovereign.

"Lady," I said, in a voice I fah1 would have made true and clear, "there is 
the full account; and though seas have stained it, and rough travel spoiled 
the casing, as you saw, yet have I made all diligence I could. It was 
yesterday morning King Edward gave me that, and "Take it," he said, "as 
fast as foot can go to sweet Queen Philippa, my wife. Say 'twas


penned on battlefield, and comts full charged with my dear and best aLlet 
tions.' Thus, madame, have I brought it straight to thee frc,rr1 farrlous 
Crecr, an3 hele place it, the warrant of mY trilEll' i~l QUEEII PllilJlIPa,S 
CWh hand." 1Ynd then I gave her the s~ on.

JoTve! hOM yeliow and tarnished it did look! The frail silk that boutnl it 
was all afray and colorless; and the king's great seal, thelt once had beell 
so cherry-red, was bleached to siTkly pallor. The queell took it, and wliile I 
held rmy breath in nameless terror she turned it over and slowly round 
abollt, and stared first at me, and then at that fatal thing. She begged a 
dagg6r from & courtier at her side, and sT~llit the binding, and unit'1ded 
that tawny scroll Ihitt crackled in her fingers, it was so old and stiff, and 
rea~l the address and su~~erSCriptiOIl; and then, all on a sunden, while a 
death-like silence el:l the rt~orn, she turned her stern, cold eyes, full of 
wrath a~nl wo~ider, to me l~lleeling there, and burst oat

"?~~-hy, feliow! what mummery is all this? Philippa an

Crecy? W-hy, thou incredible fool! Philippa of nainanlt has beell dtlst thtso 
twenty generatiol?s; and Orecy -- thy 'faulotls Crt'cy' -- was for~ght neaLr 
three hul!dred years ago! I am lKlizabeinttldor!"

S1ONVIV I rose from my ftet and stared at her -- stared at her io iha nush 
of illat ~wntlering room, while a cold chill of fear and oonsternr?tion crept 
over my body. incredible! " Crecy f.n~ght threo hulltlred years ago!" -- the 
hall seemed full of that horrilJle whisper, and a score of echoes repeated, 
"Queen Philipl~a has heen dtlst tilese tv~entN,T ga'~cratious; and (:rtcy- -- 
tily famous (;recy--wasfoughtnear illret? hurldred vears ago!" 0?1t, 
imllossibie -- croel -- ridiculous! and yet -- and yet! '1'1~cro, &S I stootl, 
glaring at the queen wiTh strained, set face and clinched hands and 
heaving breath, gasping, wondering, waiting for something to break that 
hideous silence or give the lie to that accursed sentence that still floated 
around on the arllbicht air, and took new stre~~gth from the disdainful 
li,~,ht in tilose clustering courtier eyes, and their mocking smiles -- while I 
waited I remembered -- by all the infernal powers I remembered -- my 
awakening, and all the things I should have noted and had not. I recalled 
the bitter throes that had wracked my stiff joints in the old British grave as 
never mortal rheums Yet twisted common sinew and muscle. I recalled 
the long ~abor of the crypt tl~iercs, and the altered face of rocks and 
foreshore when my eves first lighted upon them after that long sleep. The 
very April season that sorted so ill with the Auguet Crecy left behind took 
new meaning to me now all on an


instant; and my ragged, crumbling raimentin shrods and tattL r s, sv 
ruinons as never salt spray yet made a good suit in one mortal eyoning, 
the strange garb and speech of those I met, ali!l then this tawny, 
handsome, vellow lioness on the throne where should have been a pale, 
black Norman girl. Oh, hell atld fiends! But she spoke the truth. I had lain 
thrte hundred years ;n Ufner's stones, and with a wild, fierce cry of shame 
and anger, one long yell of pain and dissppointment, I tore the cursed 
wallet from my neck and hurled it down there ~s~tvagely at her feet, and 
turned and fled. Past the startled courtiers, past the screaming groups of 
laced and ruffled women -- out, out! through the lOllg line of feeble 
wardens; out hetween the glistening lowered halberds of the guards, 
dowh the white shining steps, an outcast and a scoffingpoint, down into 
the road I ran, under a thousand wondering eyes, as fast as foot could go 
-- not looking where or how, but seeking only thr friendly cover of 
solitune and the fast-coming evenilJg, and then, at length, worn out and 
spent, so sick in mbld and heart I could scarce put one limb before 
another, I su!lk (lowu on a grassy bank, a mile out of sight and sound of 
that fatal camp, and dropped my head into my hands and let the fierce 
despair and the black, swelling loneliness well up in my choked and 
aching heart.

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Chapter 18