“No word of this must leave Riverrun,” her brother

time:2023-12-06 13:23:50source:Song and dance networkauthor:library

Again on the morrow they were on the road betimes, and again much folk joined them, and they heard no tidings of any foeman faring against them; whereat Jack o' the Tofts marvelled, for he and others had deemed that now at last would Rolf the traitor come out against them. Forsooth, when they had gone all day and night was at hand, it seemed most like to the captains that he would fall upon them that night, whereas they were now in a somewhat perilous pass; for they must needs rest at a little thorpe amidst of great and thick woods, which lay all round about the frank of Oakenham as a garland about a head. So there they kept watch and ward more heedfully than their wont was; and King Christopher lodged with Goldilind at the house of a good man of the thorpe.

“No word of this must leave Riverrun,” her brother

Now when it lacked but half an hour of midnight, and Jack o' the Tofts and Oliver Marson and the Captain of Woodwall had just left him, after they had settled the order of the next day's journey, and Goldilind lay abed in the inner chamber, there entered one of the men of the watch and said: "Lord King, here is a man hereby who would see thee; he is weaponed, and he saith that he hath a gift for thee: what shall we do with him?"

“No word of this must leave Riverrun,” her brother

Said Christopher: "Bring him in hither, good fellow." And the man went back, and came in again leading a tall man, armed, but with a hood done over his steel hat, so that his face was hidden, and he had a bag in his hand with something therein.

“No word of this must leave Riverrun,” her brother

Then spake the King and said: "Thou man, since thy face is hidden, this trusty man-at-arms shall stand by thee while we talk together."

"Lord," said the man, "let there be a dozen to hear our talk I care not; for I tell thee that I come to give thee a gift, and gift-bearers are oftenest welcome."

Quoth the King: "Maybe, yet before thou bring it forth I would see thy face, for meseems I have an inkling of thy voice."

So the man cast back his hood, and lo, it was Simon the squire. "Hah!" said Christopher, "is it thou then! hast thou another knife to give me?"

"Nay," said Simon, "only the work of the knife." And therewith he set his hand to the bag and drew out by the hair a man's head, newly hacked off and bleeding, and said: "Hast thou seen him before, Lord? He was a great man yesterday, though not so great as thou shalt be to-morrow."

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