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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 353



" Nay, treason may be loyal, or loyalty treason, in these troublous times," said the boy. "One says follow my lord of Leicester, another, draw thy sword for the good Prince Edward." " And if I say, draw thy sword for the good Prince Ed-ward, wilt follow me ?" The youth replied evasively, "I love my lady, and 1 may not. engage in other service, till I bring her proud bird back to the perch." Something in his earnest tone arrested the attention of the princess, and scanning the countenance of the youth with more curious scrutiny, she marked the rosy hue in his cheek, and the tear trembling in his blue eye, and exclaimed, "Eva! Eva! ! How is this?" " Nay, an thou knowest me, I will e'en venture oh thy knightly errand," said the blushing girl, falling on her knees, and repeating the oath of fealty, rapidly as possible to hide her emotions. " Eise," said the princess, with all the sternness she could command, " and tell me whence this disguise." " I know not, lady, more than thou, save this. Scarce a week since, I met in this wood the tall knight who hath so nobly defended us, and yesternight I braved the fear of thy frown, and came to this trysting-place. He hath concerted a plan for the liberation of my royal master, and brought me this disguise, which must be sufficient, since it so long baffled thy quick discernment. Accident has betrayed me, else it. had not rested with my lady, whether Eva should trust the stranger, and aid in restoring the proud bird of England to his royal perch." Eleanora paused one moment, while her mind, ever clearest and most active in emer-gency, poised between the possibility of danger to her fa-vorite, and rescue to her lord. "The knight has twice preserved onr lives, he must be bold and true, and heaven hath raised him up for our de-liverance, since God conceals us from our enemies, and re-veals our lurking-place to him. It were treason to doubt this divine Providence, since it would imply neither trust 24 ELEANORA. 369


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