The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. 8

By Robert Louis

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...THE WORKS OF
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

SWANSTON EDITION

...

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... ...

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... II. A SKIRMISH IN THE DARK ...

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... VI. ARBLASTER AGAIN ...

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...volume that goes into the world and lacks your_
imprimatur: _a strange thing in our joint...

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...and drunk a pot of ale in the saddle, not
daring to dismount for the hurry...

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...you, Master Richard," returned the peasant. "Y' are a
lad; but when ye come to a...

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...black frieze, and tied with scarlet; his face
was like a walnut-shell, both for colour and...

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...sheep wandered browsing;
all was still but the distant jangle of the bell.

"What is it, Appleyard?"...

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...huge hornet; it struck old Appleyard
between the shoulder-blades, and pierced him clean through, and he...

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...mayhap, ere I pay mine.
Sir Daniel driveth over-hard."

"This is a strange shaft," said the lad,...

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...near fifty, in a surplice and
black robe.

"Appleyard," the newcomer was saying, as he entered, but...

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...ye think all patched. But
give me leave, Sir Oliver: the man that ye have dispossessed...

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...observed the priest, inwardly numbering the
troop.

"Who goes? Stand! if ye be true!" shouted Bennet.

A man...

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...a paper.

"This writing was pinned to the church door," he said, handing it to the
parson....

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...or purpose, as the babe unchristened. Neither was
his throat cut; for therein they are again...

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...ever forward,
Master Shelton; turn me not back again, an ye love your life; there is
no...

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...in the law to hold what he had
snatched. Kettley was one such place; it had...

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...honourable and my reverend lord," the man cried, "here is some
hodge-podge, saving your good presence....

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...was unusually
slender, and somewhat awkward of gait.

"Ye have called me, Sir Daniel," he said. "Was...

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...that rides softliest rides surest. Delay, they say,
begetteth peril; but it is rather this itch...

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...a beating at his
heart.

"It befell between the Moat House and Holywood," replied Sir Daniel
calmly; but...

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...sooth!
The fight began again this morning ere the dawn, and we have beaten
their van and...

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...but, at my
returning, let me find her at the Moat House. Be it upon your...

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...wallowing in the quag, clouds of stinging insects rose and
buzzed about it in the air.

"Alack!"...

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...his hand upon the other's knee.

"How call ye your name?" asked Dick.

"Call me John Matcham,"...

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...by
intention, and brought true love into the world, to be man's hope and
woman's comfort."

"Faugh!" said...

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...said Matcham, "they have found my flight, and now I am unhorsed!"
and he became pale...

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...now came forward, leading the horse. "Launch me your boat, I
prithee; we are sore in...

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...midstream.

"I must land you here among the willows," he said.

"Here is no path but willow...

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...the bank; and before his eyes
were clear, his hand had closed on something firm and...

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...shrewdly," said Matcham.

"Nay, I had forgot your foot," returned Dick. "Well, we must go the
gentlier....

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...wallet from his girdle, wherein were bread
and pieces of dry bacon, and, while Matcham fell...

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...of pits and hillocks. And with every step of the
ascent the wind still blew the...

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...remainder of the building had collapsed, and now
lay in a great cairn of ruin, grimed...

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...had fallen upon his ear. A little farther off another
man lay slumbering, rolled in a...

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...some in rusty smocks, and with nothing but a knife
and an old bow; others in...

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...Sir Daniel must
pass the forest. We shall make that passage dearer, pardy, than any
battle. Then,...

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...this scene of forest life had gone on before their eyes like a
scene upon a...

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...me leave my own men
that I have lived among? I trow not! Give me my...

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...good
Jack, ye shall absolve me of it here. For the lives' sake of many men
that...

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...the margin of
the thicket, and looking briskly about him as he went. At a good...

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...Far down the path, the sun shone on seven steel
salets, and from time to time,...

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...kept the saddle instantly broke
and scattered; one wheeled and rode, shrieking, towards the ferry; the
other...

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...up the glade, and almost in a straight line for
Dick and Matcham.

The companions of the...

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...clump that
covered the summit of the hill.




CHAPTER VI

TO THE DAY'S END


It was, indeed, high time...

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...The
disarmed forester grappled his assailant; but the dagger shone and
descended twice. Then came a couple...

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...of a whole army was pouring, like an inundation, down the road.

Dick stood sombre. He...

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...of composure, began to unbuckle his belt.

"Here shall be your supper," he said grimly.

Matcham had...

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...had liefer find my way alone. Here is a wide
wood; prithee, let each choose his...

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...threw
themselves down together by the brink; and putting their mouths to the
level of a starry...

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...clearing, up to the thick woods that closed it in.

The daylight, which was very clear...

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...crossed the remainder of the little heath and
disappeared into the covert of the woods.

"He saw...

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...something deeper."

"Nay, I care not," moaned Dick; "the strength is gone out of me; my...

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...there he broke off and
pointing to Matcham, asked--"How call ye him, Dick?"

"Nay," said Dick, "I...

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...forth bread and
meat upon the grass, "I will avow to you, in all good conscience,...

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...to his face."

They ate hastily, and set forth along the path through the airy upper
levels...

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...to remain within half a bowshot of the
walls, the house was in a good posture...

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...considerable company of men.

Hatch himself showed, under his sun-brown, the pallor of anxiety; and
when he...

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...Well, I have writ a letter to my friend, praying his good
lordship, and offering large...

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...to work."

This praise of Sir Daniel put a thought in the lad's head.

"Bennet," he said,...

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...him.

"Well," said Dick, "I will go call the priest to you as ye desired; for
howsoever...

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...lad had
disappeared, and Dick began to weary for a word with him.

About an hour after,...

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...to
summon Dick into the presence of Sir Daniel.




CHAPTER II

THE TWO OATHS


Sir Daniel was in the...

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...years have ye not
enjoyed my revenues, and led my men? Have ye not still my...

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...in your great-heartedness to pardon
me! I was a churl indeed to doubt of you. But...

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...was the first of these missiles he had seen, and as he turned
it to and...

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...the creaking of trod
stairs.

Sir Oliver, left alone, cast a timorous glance upward at the
arras-covered wall,...

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...it like a gem; it
was liquid, it was alive. Again the white eyelid closed upon...

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...He
sleepeth. We will make a good end of him, go to!"

All the afternoon and evening...

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...very
pale, and carried a lamp in one hand and a drawn dagger in the other.

"Shut...

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...a loud jar of a key turning in a
lock, followed by a considerable silence.

Presently the...

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...said, "y' have saved my life, and I have saved yours; and
we have seen blood...

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...things worse," said Joanna sadly. "He will then enter by
the trap."

"Not so," replied Dick. "He...

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...of lights, came through the interstices; and
presently they came to a round hole about the...

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...a maid ye are, and how ye came into Sir Daniel's hands; that
will do better...

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...boy. I had a pity to
you, and knew not why. When I would have belted...

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...rope is still in the brown chamber. Fare ye
well."

And Hatch, turning upon his heel, disappeared...

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...her in his arms, her body was
limp and unresponsive.

At the same moment the men who...

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...a moment on the edge of the bank, where it
burned high and lit up its...

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...was
bustling among the trees, and as he still sat staring before him, only
half awake, he...

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...each in green forest jerkin, each
with long-bow and quiver and short sword.

"Why, Lawless," said the...

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...sentry.

"And where is John?" asked the Grey Friar.

"He holdeth a court, by the mass, and...

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...and my brave bowmen, we must all
slip from this forest speedily, and leave Sir Daniel...

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...as if the House of
Lancaster had finally triumphed over its foes.

The small town of Shoreby-on-the-Till...

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...long
cloak blew about him in the wind; and the rear was brought up by the
four...

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...lord," replied Sir Daniel, "the reason thereof
concerneth me only. Neither do I purpose to explain...

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...shrill among the poor shrubs, and the surf beat upon the beach;
there was no other...

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...one to the other."

"By my sooth," said Dick, "but this is passing strange! Were they...

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...the garden wall, the
figure of a man was seen, like a faint Chinese shadow, violently
signalling...

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...his
scattered followers; but in every other particular the neighbourhood of
the little house lay undisturbed.

Presently Dick's...

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...side of the enclosure. Thereupon they gave
themselves up for lost, and ran.

In this way the...

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...to lead him where he would; and presently Dick
found that they had crossed the whole...

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...very fiery
friend? to what earthly purpose? and to make a clear end of
questioning, to what...

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...of their steeds, the neighbourhood of the house beside the sea
was entirely silent and deserted.

Meanwhile...

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...make me yours with several dagger-marks, which
I still carry. And in fine, my lord, methinks...

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...must own ye are
both brave and honourable; very dangerous in battle, right courteous in
peace, a...

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...had
increased the garrison of the house in the garden; but, not content with
that, he had...

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...it well! There is the ship for
to-night."

Presently the skiff put out from the vessel's side,...

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...of tables. In the middle, and
besieged by half a hundred violent draughts, a fire of...

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...sudden darkening of
the weather further concealed the movements of the outlaws from all
possible espial. In...

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...the best speed
of oars, he crossed himself devoutly, and recommended to Heaven the
lives of all...

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...burned, although he still failed to recognise our
hero.

"Ay, boy," he said, "I am with you.--Gossip,...

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...Lawless, as if guided by an instinct, steered the ship across the
breakers, struck the lee...

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...a shower of arrows sent at a venture; and so
close were the men huddled on...

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...they had
already begun to understand somewhat more clearly, perhaps another ear
had overheard the helmsman's speech.

Panic-stricken...

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...been deadly wounded.

Six or seven of the malcontents had been carried bodily overboard; and
as for...

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...Bide till she has settled a
bit lower; and she will either go down below your...

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...A little lamp
burned dim before the Virgin in the bulkhead, and by its glimmer Dick
could...

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...had done. But sith ye
are for York, follow me. I came hither but to watch...

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...sea, and the water
weltered so loudly in her hold, that Dick involuntarily seized the
steersman by...

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...through a veil of driving snow.

Upon a hillock on one side of their way a...

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...and here,
after making sure that they were pursued no longer, the two bodies
separated. Lord Foxham's...

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...a quarter full of snow. On the verge a great beech-tree
hung, precariously rooted; and here...

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...strong stingo."

Sure enough, after but a little digging, he produced a big leathern
bottle of about...

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...voice like the monastery bell--I
do ask, my son; and where asking faileth, I do most...

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...awaiting him under the leafless oaks,
and was already beginning to be powdered by the falling...

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...entered the
kitchen of the farm, they seemed to turn with a particular resentment;
and one--it was...

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...afternoon following the wreck of the _Good Hope_, the buttery,
the kitchens, the stables, the covered...

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...corridors a lamp burned
by every door. And where the door stood open, Dick could look...

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...to copy me so far, and to
leave me be. For, indeed, fair mistress, cry out--if...

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...and the snow. Upon her head, her hair had been gathered
together and became her as...

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...fool's figure?"

"Ay, Dick, an' that ye do!" she answered, smiling.

"Well, then!" he returned, triumphant. "So...

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...upper story of the house was only broken
by the flickering of the flames and the...

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...for the night he was
left impotent, whether to plan or carry forth Joanna's rescue. If,...

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...now, bending a knee beside the body of the dead spy, he was able
to write...

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...length, however, feet and voices began to draw near upon the stair;
and presently after several...

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...a halter. But let us, first of all, secure the
issues of the house. Here is...

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...me up, I may find
another belike to carry me down. How call they the name...

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...doubtfully lighted by the tapers upon the great altar,
and by a lamp or two that...

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...returning to the house, had got them
quietly into a point of vantage in the aisle;...

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...of care. He joined no longer in the
psalms; but Dick could hear the beads rattle...

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...ye not smell harm and get ye gone from evil?"

"Nay," returned Lawless, "I thought ye...

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...steadily grew nearer, louder and merrier.
The bells in the tower began to break forth into...

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...to clang upon
the air, some wind of the disaster seemed to find its way at...

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...to say it, repaid my
suit with favour. But what then? To love a maid is...

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...my sworn enemy and old
oppressor, but to try me fairly by the way of law,...

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...nave by obsequious
servants, who waited there upon his smallest gesture. Instantly, without
the church, a tucket...

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...day was already failing, before the door
was opened and Dick taken forth and led upstairs...

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...us of
Lancaster. Even in our last reverses he stood firm."

"An it please you, then," said...

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...the open country was to run the risk of the
patrols.

A little way off, upon some...

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...well worth ninepence farthing."

Dick's heart smote him at what he heard. Until that moment he...

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...Before Dick could run at all, Arblaster
had him in his arms; Tom, crawling on his...

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...and while his captors were still discussing what
to do with him, he took heart of...

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...have too much liberty,"
returned Master Pirret. "Would ye be led by a hired man? Fy,...

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...were possible, get back into his hands the
all-important signet. To squander time was the first...

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...I do assure you. But proceed, good youth. This spell--in what
should it consist?"

"Nay, that I...

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...hurry, and white with tumbles in the
snow.

It was a long while, indeed, before this great...

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...walk by; nor, in that
still but ringing air, the least temptation to delay.

Dick had crossed...

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...ear-piercing summons had been heard at last. There was a
muffled rushing in the snow; and...

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...end of it, hastily clambered overhead, and before a
minute was over, and without a word...

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...and Brackley, well posted for strength, I do
believe, but yet upon two sides without retreat,...

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...to seize a quarter of the town of Shoreby
lying on the right hand of the...

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...cover of the trees than they
were aware of people fleeing and screaming in the snowy...

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...gentle eminence, and lying open
towards the back.

The five streets being each secured by a good...

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...commanders, and the shrieks of women, the noise was almost
deafening to the ear. Presently, little...

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...one upon another. But it is
always the easier to destroy; and when a single note...

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...his eyes shone in
his head like some strange jewel, and his voice, when he spoke,...

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...left to his own counsels, began to look about him. The
arrow-shot had somewhat slackened. On...

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...liberal of his own, still in the
first front of battle, still the last to sleep....

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...face about, and proceed to drive them back. Once again
the spirit of his men prevailed;...

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...launching his big horse
and plying the truncheon of his sword.

Thus, by Shelton's courage in holding...

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...double throng kept pouring in and out
through the entrance, seeking and carrying booty. Meanwhile, in...

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...hastily descended to the courtyard, ran
with all his might across the garden, and came to...

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...and blew off to sea in voluminous folds.

Already close upon the margin of the woods,...

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...of the shoreside taverns,
swarming in upon it on three sides, and driving out or taking...

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...turned to the old shipman, who had seemed equally
indifferent to his condemnation and to his...

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...with it.
Command and riches, they are brave things, to be sure; but a word in
your...

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...forest.

"Why do ye take me?" said the girl. "Ye but delay your speed."

"Nay, Mistress Risingham,"...

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...on, or
strike across for Tunstall?"

"Sir Richard," replied the man-at-arms, "I would follow the line until
they...

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...for a goal to which that path
itself conducted them. Now they must plough at a...

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...barricade.
Upon you, he saith, their party foundered; it was you that won the
battle. Well, then,...

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...cried, thinking the laughter to have been an illusion of his
hearing, but still, from her...

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...said the distressed knight, pitifully
trying to seem easy.

"And a man would be right glad to...

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...finished the small store of provender, and
fully breathed from their fatigues. At Dick's command, the...

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...mistaken; but it might
well have come from either of the camps."

"It came not thence. It...

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...against my heart; but I must do my
duty. The saints help you!" And therewith he...

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...silence of the night was now shattered by the shouts of the men of
Tunstall, as...

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...them planted behind oaks. But they say true--the age of
chivalry is dead."

"Madam," cried Dick in...

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...to time cries or the clash
of steel announced the shock of enemies. But in these...

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...with my command. I have
been, so please your grace, well beaten."

Gloucester looked upon him with...

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...of the dawn and by the red glow of torches;
but gradually he strolled farther afield,...

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...then,
for certain, if ye set one foot before another, I will uplift my voice
and call...

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...worked;
his whole body was shaken by contorting spasms.

"Is the arrow black?" he gasped.

"It is black,"...

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...your face until I see its
favour."

He looked upon her sourly for a little.

"Ye are fair,"...

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...air and sunlight, the long flies of the army
were already winding forward up the road;...

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...a customer cannot look me in the eye, he has
to pay for it." The dealer...

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...said hoarsely, and then paused, and repeated it more
clearly. "A glass? For Christmas? Surely not?"

"And...

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...you," said the dealer. "Either make your
purchase, or walk out of my shop!"

"True, true," said...

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...dead or
not, this was still the enemy. "Time was that when the brains were out,"
he...

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...the mother still with raised
finger: every degree and age and humour, but all, by their...

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...ice, glanced at the dead man. But no! he lay
quite still; he was fled away...

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...at these vile pictures; he was still stunned
by the thumping of the drums. A bar...

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...cupola and the gushing of
the water in the pipes. The sense that he was not...

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...hands of God reached forth against sin. But about God Himself
he was at ease: his...

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...slowly and steadily, and presently a hand was laid upon the knob,
and the lock clicked,...

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...grows about and stifles them. You
see each dragged away by life, like one whom bravos...

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...interest falls. The man
has lived to serve me, to spread black looks under colour of...

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...the ages, might yet be found more blessed than those of the
rarest virtues. And it...

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...effect, like some passive lumber of the mind? Not
so; good, also, is the spring of...

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...you one more difficult passage. Her master, you must say,
is ill; you must let her...