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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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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 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 354



in man, nor faith in God. Go, Eva," said the princess, her eyes filling with tears, as she pressed her to her bosom, and imprinted a warm kiss upon her cheek. " Heaven will protect and prosper thee, and my noble Edward know how to reward thy devotion." She stood gazing fondly on her in silence, while Eva's color went and came as though she essayed, what yet she feared, to utter. At length she stammered forth, " My lady will send Sir Francis with his hand to guard the fords of the Exe till my return." '.'Sir Francis," reiterated the queen, in a tone of sur-prise ; " methought Sir Henry were more agreeable escort." Eva tried to hide her crimson blushes beneath her deli-cate fingers, as she whispered, " If my mistress please, I would that Sir Henry should be ignorant of this unmaid-enly disguise." " Thou lovest Sir Henry, then ?" said Eleanora. " Nay, lady, I know not that," replied Eva ; " but there is something in him that commands my regard despite my will, and I would not needlessly forfeit his esteem." " I will answer for thee, sweet," replied the princess. " Sir Francis shall go according to thy wish. But must I leave thee here alone and unprotected ?" " The monarch of the forest spreads his broad arm for my protection, and thou shalt envy my repose, in my sylvan eyrie," replied Eva, lightly springing into a fantastic seat, formed by the twisted branches of a gnarled oak, and com-pletely concealed by the foliage. Firmly ensconced in her rustic lodge, she leaned forward and whispered a gentle farewell, as the princess, bearing in her mind a vision of a bright face, peeping out from among the green leaves, turned and rapidly retraced her steps to the hamlet. That night Sir Francis set out with his train, and as two maidens accompanied the band, one wearing the dress of Eva, her absence excited no suspicion. Meanwhile the sprite remained in her place of conceal-ment, till the gathering shadows of the trees stretched stealthily across the glade the appointed signal for the gathering of the outlawed bands. The tall knight soon ap- 370 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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