not have the Stark girl, I shall find you another wife.

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

Said the Earl: "He is the king of these good fellows; and a perilous host they be. Now I fear me, if he be proven to be one of these, there will be a gallows reared for him to- morrow, for as fair and as doughty as he may be."

not have the Stark girl, I shall find you another wife.

She turned all pale, and her lips quivered: then she rose up, and fell on her knees before the Earl, and cried out: "O sir, a grace, a grace, I pray thee! Pardon this poor man who was so kind to me!"

not have the Stark girl, I shall find you another wife.

The Earl raised her up and smiled, and said: "Nay, my Lady Queen, wouldst thou kneel to me? It is unmeet. And as for this woodman, it is for thee to pardon him, and not for me; and since, by good luck, he is not hanged yet, thy word hath saved his neck." She sat down in her chair again, but still looked white and scared. But the Earl spake again, and kindly:

not have the Stark girl, I shall find you another wife.

"Now to all these matters I shall give heed, my Lady; wherefore I will ask leave of thee, and be gone; and to-morrow I will see thee again, and lay some rede before thee. Meantime, be of good cheer, for thou shalt be made as much of as may be, and live in mickle joy if thou wilt. And if any so much as give thee a hard word, it shall be the worse for them."

Therewith he arose, and made obeisance to her, and departed. And she abode quiet, and looking straight before her, till the door shut, and then she put her hands to her face and fell a-weeping, and scarce knew what ailed her betwixt hope, and rest of body, and love, though that she called not by its right name.


Now it is to be said that the Earl had had much tidings told him of Christopher, and had no intent to put him to death, but rather meant to take him into the company of his guard, to serve him in all honour; and that which he said as to hanging him was but to try Goldilind; but having heard and seen of her such as we have told, he now thought it good to have a privy talk with this young man. So he bade a squire lead him to where Christopher was held in ward, and went much pondering.

So the squire brought him to the self-same Littlest Guardroom (in sooth a prison) where Goldilind had lain that other morn; and he gave the squire leave, and entered and shut the door behind him, so that he and Christopher were alone together. The young man was lying on his back on the pallet, with his hands behind his head, and his knees drawn up, murmuring some fag-end of an old song; but when he heard the door shut to he sat up, and, turning to the new-comer, said: "Art thou tidings? If so, then tell me quickly which it is to be, the gallows or freedom?"

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