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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 165



had just dismounted, the pillow of the little Geoffrey still retained the impression of his cherub head ; the thimble and scissors of Rosamond lay upon the table, but the em-broidery was covered thick with dust, arid rust had cor-roded the strings of the harp. The scene by the Hermit's Well was yet more desolate. Withered herbage and leaves had stopped the welling foun-tain, and entirely choked the current of the stream. Ros-amond's bower, once invested with every attraction, now neglected and deserted struck a chill upon his soul. Rank weeds had overrun the verdant seats, the eglantine strug-gled in vain with the ivy, whose long and pendulous branches waved and napped in the night-breeze like the mourning hatchments above a tomb. A bevy of swallows took wing at his entrance, the timid rabbit fled at his in-trusive step, and a green lizard glided from beneath the hand with which he supported his agitated frame against one of the columns. Rosamond was gone. But by what means had she been conveyed from the re-treat where she had so long dwelt content with his love, and happy in the caresses of her children ? Was she a wan-derer and an outcast, with a bleeding heart and a blighted name ? Had she made her couch in the cold, dark grave? Had her indignant father returned from the Holy Land, and immured her in the dungeons of Clifford castle to hide her shame ? Or had some other hand dared to blot out the life so dear to him ? The thought was madness. He ran, he flew to the pal-ace. The old porter was summoned and closely questioned. He remembered the time of the queen's last visit, her anx-iety to penetrate the wood and search the castle. The night before her departure three of her French servants suddenly disappeared, but as several horses were missing at the same time, and the queen had been employed in writing letters, it was supposed that they were couriers. There were lights seen, and cries heard in the wood. One of the grooms affirmed that the ghost of the youth who some years before was spirited away, apjjeared in the stable, 174 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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