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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 385



ized the royal forces, or some young noble whose love of adventure set him upon the work, I could never yet de-cide." " And if he were retainer of the outlaw ?" said Eleanora, inquiringly. "My gratitude should none the less reward the service of one who risked his life for mine," replied the king. A smile of satisfaction beamed on the countenance of Eleanora, and opening her gyps ire, and taking thence the 6uiall ivory whistle, she despatched an attendant with the token to Eva. Shortly after, the conversation was interrupted by the entrance of an attendant, who announced that a page from Lady Mortimer craved an audience of his majesty. "Let him be at once admitted," said Edward, casting a significant glance at Eleanora. The door was thrown open, and the beautiful boy, whose image at that moment filled the mind of the king, entered with trembling step, and proceeding straight to the monarch, knelt at his feet, and with clasped hands began to plead earnestly for the pardon of the banished Earl Dei mot de la Clare. "How is this?" exclaimed Edward, gazing with aston-ishment, first upon the kneeling page, and then upon his wife. " How is this ? by the Holy Rood, my heart mis-gives nie, thou art witch as well as alchemist. Here is the identical page I have vainly sought for nine long years, conjured up by the magic of an ivory whistle." "Earl Dermot de la Clare!" said he to Eva, lifting the boy tenderly from his knees, "why has the banished out-law sought 1113" fair lips to plead his cause? Let himself present his claims to our clemency, and we will promise justice for ourself, and perchance a better guerdon from' our loving spouse, who would ever have mercy rejoice above judgment. "And thou, sweet dove," said he, gazing admiringly upon the doubting Eva, " ' who weareft the badge of Mor-timer,' and whose 'giddy brain recks not of politics,' de- 26 ELEANORA. 401


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