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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 29



slowly led her back from the gates of the grave. One by one the bright visions faded, and sadly her eyes unclosed to a consciousness of the dark realities before her. William had determined that the hand of the beautiful heiress of Huntingdon, should compensate the pliant Simon for the mortifying refusal of her stepmother. The betrothal was to take place directly on the Conqueror's arrival in Normandy, but the happy oblivion of Maude, no less than the entreaties of Adela, and the menacing of Robert served to delay the doom they could not finally avert. William had subdued the rebel province of Maine, and moved by the declining health, and incessant pleading of his beloved Queen, had accorded to his refractory son a full pardon for his late rebellion, " promising at the same time, to grant him everything that he could expect from the affection of a father consistently with the duty of a king." Thus peace was restored throughout the Conqueror's dominions, and the royal family happy in their reunion, kept merry Christmas in the capital city of Rouen. "Sweet sister mine," said Robert to Adela, as she sat engaged upon the famous Bayeux tapestry, "pray leave the royal nose of our valiant sire, which thou hast punctured and crossstitched, till verily it seems to bleed be-neath thy fingers, and lend an ear to thy brother's words." " Now, gramercy! Curthose," said Adela, laughing, " thou must have a distinct impression of thy noble father's visage, since thou canst not distinguish his nose from the ' fiery train' of the terrific comet." "Nay," said Robert, taking up the simile, "the Con-queror's fiery train in England, has wrought more terror than all the comets since the days of Julius C$sar, as the inhabitants of York will testify ; but come, lay aside that odious tapestry, I have other work for thy skilful fingers." " My duteous brother would, perhaps, employ them in puncturing his noble sire, at the field of Archembraye, but a maiden's needle wounds less deeply than a warrior's sword," said Adela, archly. " Certes, thy tongue is sharper than thy needle," said 86 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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