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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 386



mandest manor and lordship for an outlawed man ! Didst crave it for thyself, not twice the boon could make me say thee nay." " 'Tis for myself I crave the boon, royal liege," said Eva, falling again upon her knees. " Dermot de la Clare is the sire of thy poor orphan charge." " Thy sire !" exclaimed the prince, greatly moved. "How knowest thou this ?" " First, by the story of the rescued sailor, who was one of the band with which my father thought to regain pos-session of his fief, when the act of attainder had branded him an outlaw. He it was with the cartman's frock, who waited our coming at the cross-road on the memorable day of my lord's escape. Next, by the shamrock, the .ancient cognizance of the house of Strongbow, and by the rose of Sharon, which my mother wrought upon the scarf in mem-ory of her husband's pilgrimage. But Eva finds the strong-est proof in the promptings of her heart ; for from the day since she rested in his arms at London bridge, to the time when he drew her from the Vulture's Nest at Mount Leb-anon, she hath trusted in his love, and obeyed his bidding, with such confidence as none but a father could inspire." " Thy eloquence hath proved thy cause," said the king, raising her and seating her by his side ; " and were I a needy knight, requiring royal favor, I'd bribe thy pleading eyes to back my suit, and never fear denial." Eva essayed to stammer forth her thanks, but tears choked her utterance, and Eleanora, pitying her confusion, reassured her with playful allusions to her childish aspira-tions for the sovereignty of Ireland. "I fear me," said Edward, gazing upon her varying color with admiration, " that to reward all my subjects and vassals, according to their merit, will exhaust my ex-chequer. The audacity of these benefactors exceeds all belief! It was but this morning that one more bold than his fellows demanded the fairest flower of our court as a recompense for his knightly service in the eastern cam-paign." 402 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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