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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 158

away ; but the queen commanded him to hold the bridle of her horse, while she should attempt the haunted pre-cincts alone. The thick underwood resisted all her efforts, and she found it impossible to advance but a few steps, though her unwonted intrusion aroused the beetles and bats, awakened the chatter of monkeys and the startled twitter of birds, and gave her a glimpse of what she thought were the glaring eyeballs of a wolf. A solemn owl flew out above her head as she once more emerged into the light of day, and the timid porter welcomed her return with numer-ous ejaculations of thanksgiving to the watchful saints ; but he shook his head with great gravity as he assisted her to remount saying, " I would yon dismal bird had kept his perch in the hol-low oak. Our proverb says, ' "Woe follows the owl's wing as blood follows the steel.' " Disappointed in the wood, Eleanor relinquished her fruit-less search. But by dint of questioning she learned, that though the palace wore the appearance of desertion and decay, it had been the frequent resort of Henry and Becket, and since the favorite's death, her husband had made it a flying visit before leaving for Ireland. Farther than this all inquiries were vain. The unexpected return of her hus-band, and his look of surprise.and anxiety at finding her at "Woodstock, again awakened all her jealous fears. His power of dissimulation, notwithstanding, kept her con-stantly at fault, and during the week of his stay, nothing was elicited to throw light upon the mystery. Henry had been negotiating with the pope to obtain absolution for Becket's murder, and was now on his way to Normandy to meet the legates. The morning before his departure, Queen Eleanor saw him walking in the pleasance, and hastened to join him. As she approached she observed a thread of silk, attached to his spur and apparently extending through the walks of the shrubbery. Carefully breaking the thread she devoted herself by the most sedulous attention to her husband, till he set out for France, when she hastened back to the garden, and taking up the silk followed it through ELEANOR. 167

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