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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 384



"No other alchemy hath e'er found good in man, and, sinner as I am, I might fear the judgment of thy purity, did not the same sweet charity that discovers undeveloped virtues transmute even errors into promises of good. To-morrow, God willing, it will he in Edward's power to con-stitute Eleanora the dispenser of bounty. "Whom would she first delight to honor?" " Since the prince of outlaws puts it in my power," said Eleanora, with a look of grateful affection, " I would e'en reward those bold foresters who delivered my Edward from the enemies that sought his life." "Thou sayest well, dearest," replied Edward, " and now that thou remindest me of my escape from thraldom, I pray our Lady of Walsingham aid me to discharge an obligation that hath long laid heavy on my conscience, yesternight, methought 1 saw, among the yeomen busy in the prepara-tions for the approaching pageant, the tall outlaw, who, in his gown and cowl, one moment gave me priestly benizon, and the next, advised mc of Leicester's movements, with the sagacity of a practised warrior. Such length of limb and strength of arm, once seen, does not escape in}' mem-ory; and, if my eye deceive me not, 'twas he, with Courte-nay, who led the assault at Nazareth ; and furthermore, it runneth in my mind, that I have seen him elsewhere and in other guise." " Mayhap it was the tall knight who defended Eleanora at the Jews' massacre, till thy-arrival dispersed the rabble mob," returned the queen. "By the soul of St. Bartholomew thou divinest well," said the king ; " and, since thou knowest the monk, perhaps thou canst give me tidings concerning the shrewd-witted boy, who managed to gain speech with me, when all my partisans had failed. So fair a squire must, ere this, have earned the spurs of knighthood ; and much would it pleasure me, to lay the acolade upon his shoulder, in re-turn for his dextrous plotting. That the lad pertained not to the household of Mortimer, I knew right well ; hut whether he were a retainer of the bold outlaw who organ- 400 HEROINES OP THE CRUSADES.


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