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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 149



" "Walter de Clifford !" said the king, with a thrill of rec-ollection. " I .mind me now, when the King of Scotland laid the sword of knighthood on my shoulder, it was the Lord de Clifford that buckled on my spurs ; and this fair girl, theu a child of exquisite beauty, sat among the maids of the queen, who presided at the tournament. A king bred in a foreign land must needs be a sad stranger in his own realm. Canst thou point me to the home of this fair dam-sel ?" Becket, who perceived that the impetuosity of the mon-arch would not brook evasion, answered ; " Clifford castle is some two days' distance, on the banks of the Wye. The Lord de Clifford has been a crusader in Palestine this many a year, and his daughter, who after her mother's death, was in care of the nuns of Godstow, is haply on her wayto the convent. The serving man, I see, is old Adam Henrid, her seneschal." " Let us push on," said Henry, " to-night we sup at God-stow. Much I wonder," he added, musingly, " if the sweet girl holds in recollection the image of the boy knight." " Becket," he added, aloud, " there is little about me to betray the king. I will be to-night, the simple Duke of Maine. Be thou my squire. Our men in attendance may proceed to Oxford." So saying, the impatient monarch put spurs to his horse, and galloped forward followed by his relnctant courtier, and alighted at the nunnery just after Rosamond had been received within its walls. The sound of the bell brought to the great gate of the convent the portress, summoned from her evening meal, and still hold-ing in her hand the bunch of leeks and slice of brown bread, which formed the repast. " And what wouldst thou, sir knight ?" she inquired, gruffly. " Rest and refreshment," said Henry, in French. " We ' are weary travellers, and seek shelter for the night." "Ye are from beyond the sea," replied the portress, " and we will none of your outlandish tongue. Yonder lies the way to Oxford." 158 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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