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If he might not return to Beaulieu
within the year. and if his brother's
dogs were to be set upon him if he
showed face upon Minstead land, then
indeed was Alleyne adrift upon earth.
North, south, cast and west-he might
turn wliere he would. but all was equal
Iv chill and cheerless. The Abbot
had rolled ten silver crowns in a let
tuce-leaf and hid them away in the bot
to-n of his scrip, but that would be a
sorry support for twelve long months.
In all the darkness there was but the
one bright spot of the sturdy comrades
whom he had left that evening. ir n
could find them again all would be
well. He pushed on, therefore, now
walking and now running.
The forest began to shred out into
scattered belts of trees. with gleam of
oi -d stretch of pasture-land
between. Here and there by the way
side stood little knots of wattle-and
daub huts. with shock-haired laborers
lounging by the doors and red-cheeked
children sprawling in the roadway.
By these Alleyne knew that he was
on the very fringe of the forest, and
therefore no great way from Christ
church. Right glad later, was the trav
eller to see the high tower of Christ
church Priory gleaming in the mellow
evening light, and gladder still when.
rounding a corner, he came upon his
comrades of the morning seated astrad
dle upon a fallen tree. They had a flat
space before them. on which they ai
ternately threw little square pieces of
bone, and were so intent upon their oc
(upation that they never raised eye as
he approached them. He observed with
astonishment, as he drew near, that the
archer's bow was on John's back, the
archer's sword by John's side, and the
steel cap laid upon the tree-trunk be
.Mort de ma vie" Avlward shouted,
looking down at the dice. "Never had
I such cursed luck. A murrain on the
bones! I have not thrown a good main
i'c e I left Navarre. I am like to reach
Ch ristchurch in my shirt." Then sud
denly glancing up. "Ilola. by the splen
dor of heaven, here is our cher petit!
Now, by my ten finger-bones! this Is a
rare sight to mine eyes" He sprang up
and threw his arms round Alleyne's
neck, while John, no less pleased, but
more backward and Saxon in his habits.
stood grinning and bobbing by the
wayside, with his newly-won steel cap
stuck wrong-side foremost upon his
tangle of red hair.
"Hast come to stop?" cried the bow
man. patting Alleyne all over in his de
light. "Shall not get away from us
wish no better," said he, with a
pringling in the eyes at tnis nearty
"Well said, lad!" cried big John. "We
three shall to the wars together, and
the devil may fly away with the Abbot
of Beaulieu! But your feet and hosen
are all besmudged. Hast been in the
"I have in good sooth," Alleyne ans
wered, and then, as they journeyed on
their way, he told them the many
things that had befallen him
"But you." said Alleyne, "tnere nave
been changes with you also. Where
are bow and sword and cap-and why
so warlike, John?"
"It is a game which friend Aylward
hath been a-teaching of me." ,
"And I found him an over-apt pupil."
grumbled the bowman. "He hath
stripped me. But, by my hilt! you
must render them back to me. cama
rade, lest you bring discredit upon my
mission, and I .will,,pay you for them
at armorer's prices."
"Take them back, man, and never
heed the pay." said John. "I did .but
wish to learn the feel of .them, since
I am like to have such trinkets hung
to my own girdle for some years to
cma fol, he was born a free com
panion!" cried Aylward, "He hath the
very trick of speech and turn of
thought. I take them back then, and
indeed it gives me unease not to feel
my yew-stave tapping against .my leg.
It chanced on that very evening that
Sir Nigel Loring, having supped before
sunset, as was his custom, had taken
his dogs for an evening breather. Two
russet-clad varlets, with loud halloo
and cracking whips, walked thigh-deep
amid the swarm, guiding, controlling.
and urging. Behind camne Sir Nigel
himself. wvith Lady Loring upon hs
arm. the pair walking slowly and se
dately, as befitted both their age and
their condition. They paused at the
ir gNigel was a slight man .of poor
stature, with soft lisping voice and
gentle 'ways. So short was he that his
wife, who was no very tall woman,
had the better of him by the breadth
of three fingers. His sight having been
injured in his early wars by a basket
ful of lime which had been emptied
over him when he led the Earl of
Derby's stormers up the breach at
Bergerac, he had contracted something
of a stoop, with a blinking, peering:
expression of face. His age was six
and-forty, but the constant practice of
arms. together with a cleanly life, had
preserved his activity and endurance
unimpaired, so that from a distance he
seemed to have the slight limbs and
swift grace of a boy. His face, how
ever, was tanned of a dull yellow tint.
and the little pointed beard which he
wore was streaked and shot with gray.
His features were small, delicate, and
regular, with clear-cut curving nose.
and eyes which jutted forward from
the lids. His dress was simple and
yet spruce. A gold embroidered belt
of knighthood encircled his loins, with
his arms, five roses gules on a field
argent, cunningly worked upon the
clasp. So stood Sir Nigel Lorine upon
the bridge of Avon. and talked .ightly
'with his lady.
And, certes, had the two visages; alone
been seen, and the stranger been asked
which were the more likely to belong
to the bold warrior whose name was
loved by the roughest soldiery of Eu
rope, he had assuredly selected the
lady's. Her face was large and square.
'with fierce thick brows. and the eyes
of one who was accustomed to rule.
It was the are of martial women. The
deeds of Black Agnes of Dunham. of
TLady Salisbury, and of the Countess of
Montfort were still fresh In the public
mind. With such examnles before them.
the wives of the English captains had
become as warlike as their mates, an
ordered the castle in their absence wit
the prudence and discipline of veteran
seneschals. Right easy were the Mont
ac'utes of their Castle of Twvnham.vand
little had they to dread from rovin.
galler or French scindron while Lady
y"-v Enring had the ordering of it.
't" toll ynn, my lord." she was say
ing. "tlhat it is 'not fit training for a
den'oiclln: htwks and hounds, rotes
and citoles. singing a French rondel
or reading the (lestes de D'oon do May
ence. as I found her vester-might, pine
tonding eteen. the artful. with the cor
ner of the s."'n11 thrusting forth from
i'ndar her pillow. Lent her hv Father
ehristopher of the Priory, forsooth
t~"t is ever her answer. How shal
all this help her when she has castle
or bor ow"n to keen, with ahna,
months all agape for hoef and drink?"
"True. moy sweet bird. true." answered
the knitght. "The maid is like the
plun~gee for very lust of life. Give her
tir'o ,Tnme. give her time"
"Well T know tha't my father would
have given me. not time. but a good
".ozl-stiok aecross my shouldors. T
lfonw pot what the world is coming to.
when young maids mav flout their eld
ers. T wonder that you do not correct
he" my fair lord?"
"we-my heart's comfort, T never
"alsed hand to woman vet, and it would
h~e a passing strange thing If I began
.--n ,y own flesh and blood. But I
)Yri h'teC L894.By Haaper 1E
ops!s of preceding chapters at end of this iastallment
doubt not that you are right, and that
Maude's wings need clipping, which I
may leave in your hands when I am
gone, for, in sooth, this peaceful life
is not for me, and were it not for your
gracious kindness and loving care I
cold not abide it a week. I hear that
there is talk of warlike -muster at Bor
deaux once more, and by St. Paul! it
would be a new thing if the lions of
England and the red pile of Chandos
were to be seen in the field, and the
roses of Loring were not waving by
'ow woe with me but I feared it!"
cried she, with the color all struck
from her face. "I have noted your ab
sent mind, your kindling eye, your try
ing and riveting of old harness. Con
sider, my sweet lord, that you have al
ready won much honor, that we have
seen but little of each other, that you
bear upon your body the scars of over
twenty wounds received in I know not
how many bloody encounters."
"My lady, when our liege lord the
king at three-score years, and my Lord
Chandos, at three-score and ten, are
blithe and ready to lay lance in rest
for England's cause. it wculd ill be
seem me to prate of service done. It
would be bitter shame to me. and also
to you, since my fame is yours, that 1
should now hold back if a man's work
is to be done. Besides, bethink you
how low is our purse, with bailiff and
reeve ever croaking of empty farms
and wasting lands. Were it not for
this constableship which the Earl of
Salisbury hath bestowed upon us we
could scarce uphold the state which Is
fitting to our degree. Therefore, my
sweeting, there is the more need that I
should turn to where there Is good pay
to be earned and brave ransoms to be
"Ah, my dear lord," quoth she, with
sad, weary eyes, "I thought that at
last I had you to mine own self, even
though your youth had been spent afar
from my side. Yet my voice, as I know
well, should speed you on to glory and
renown, not hold you back when fame
!s to be won. Yet what can I say? for
all men know that your valor needs the
curb and not the spur!"
"Fret not thyself, my heart's dove,
for it is like that there may be no war
waged, and we must await the news.
But here are three strangers, and, one,
as I take it. a soldier fresh from ser
vice. It Is likely that he may give us
word of what Is stirring over the
Lady Loring, glancing up, saw in the
fading l!ght the three companions
alkig abeastdow theroad al
raywit dut, nd taied ithtrael
re catern merl bten hm
l is breastae dow sthepped. allt
im, with a rough, uncouth bow to the
"Your pardon, fair sir," said he, "but
: know you the moment I clap eyes on
ou, though in sooth I have seen you
ftener In steel than in velvet. I have
ilrawn string beside you at La Roche
i Errien, Romorantin, Maupertius, No
ent, Auray, and other places. I bring
you this letter from the valiant Gascon
night. Sir Claude Latour."
As they read It, Alleyne, who stood
wIth Hordle John a few paces back
from their comrade, saw the lady catch
her breath, while the knight laughed
oftly to himself.
"You see, dear heart," said he, "that
they will not leave the old dog in his
ennel when the game is afoot. And
what of this White Company, archer?"
"Ah, sir, you speak of dogs'" cried
tylward: "but there are a pack of lusty
oundis who are ready for any quarry.
f they have but a good huntsman to
halloo them on. Sir, we have been in
the wars together, and I have seen
rany a brave following, but never such
. set of woodland bo'ys as this. They
but want you at their head, and who
ll bar the way?"
"Pardieu:" said Sir Nigel. "if they
tre like their messenger, they are in
ced men of whom a leader may be
,roud. Your name, .good archer?"'
"Sam Aylward, sir, of the Hundred
f Easebourne and the Rape -of Chi
"And this giant behind you?"'
"He is big John of Hordle, a forest
nan, who hath now taken service in
:he Company." ,
"A proper figure of a man-at-arms,"
aid the little knight. "'Why, Aylward.
ou are no chicken, yet I warrant him
he stronger man. See to that great
:tone from the coping which bath fallen
ipon the bridge. Four of my lazy var
lets strove this day to carry it hence.
would that you two could put them
n shame by budging it. though. I fear
that I overtask you, for it is o.' a
Pe pointed., as he sonke. to a huge
ough-hewn block which lay by the
-ndside, deeni sunken from its own
eiht, in thc' reddish earth. The
cher annroached it. rollinst back the
leeves of his jerkin. but with no very
onfn1 enuntenance, for ind,'od it wv'
side with his left hand. "Tr't me try
i pi'll at this, little nlummet."~ ha said.
'h'thines me that I mar ho able to
muae it from its bed. Thon. porchane.,
eou can assist me in the. henvine-.
~tooing ovrthe huge stone,.h
rsned ihvtwo nroiecting edens an
raigbtened his giant legs in an un
ward null. As he bent his weight and
trnth to the effort, the stone for the
ninue stnok fnst: then 'ns the ,Mehgty
uscles of his broad back creaked and
the hug-e ktse on his nearly bare
,Brot eTS .
shoulders drew into tense bunches with
the strain of the tug. the stone gave
way from its beil with a gurghng suck
and came free in his hands. With a
deep chested chuckle, as the archer
stepped forward to help in the throw
ing. H1ordle John straightened himself
and hurled the rock well out into the
"Good lack" erlcd Sir Nigel, and
"Good lack!" cried his lady. while John
stood laughing and wiping the caked
dirt from his fingers.
"I have felt his arms round my ribs,"
said the bowman, "and they crackle yet
at the thought of it. This other com
rade, fair Sir, is a right learned clerk.
for all that he is so young, hight
\lleyne. the son of Edric, brother to
the Soeman of Minstead."
"Young man." quoth Sir Nigel stern
ly. "if you are of the same way of
thought as your brothir. you may not
pass portcullis of mine."
"Nay, fair Sir." cried . '-vard hasti
ly, "I will be pledge f.: i that they
have no thought in commn; for this
very day his brother hath set his dogs
upon him, and driven him from his
"And are you, too, of the White Com
pany?" asked Sir Nigel. "Hast had
small experience of war, if I may judge
by looks and bearing."
"I would fain to France with my
friends here." Alleyne answered: "but I
am a man of peace-a reader, exorcist,
acolyte, and clerk."
"That need not hinder," quoth Sir
Nigel. "It is well to have a learned
clerk in every troop. By St. Paul!
there are men so caitiff that they think
more of a scrivener's pen that of their
lady's smile, and do their devoir in
hopes that they may fill a line in a
chronicle or mate a iag to a jongleur's
romance. I remember well that, at the
siege of Retters, there was a little,
sleek. fat clerk of the name of Chaucer,
who was so apt at rondel, sirvente, or
tonson, that no man dare give back a
foot from the walls, lest he find it all
set down In his rhymes and sung by
every underling and varlet In the camp.
Put, my soul's bird, you hear me prate
as though all were decided, when I
have not ye't taken counsel either with
you or with my lady mother. Let us to
the chamber. while'these strangers find
such fare as pantry and celler may
The three comrades dropped behind
nnd followed: Alyward much the
lU-htr for havir accomnlished his
mission, Alleyne full of wonderment at
the humble bearing of so renowned a
)THE BEAST TWICE ACROSS THE
aptain, and John loud with snorts and
neers, which spoke his disappointment
"What ails the man?" asked Alyward
"I have been cozened and bejaped,"
uoth he gruffly.
"By whom, Sir Samson the strong?"
"By thee, Sir Balaam the false
"By my hilt!" cried the archer,
though I be not Balaam, yet I hold
onverse with the very creature that
spake to him. W\hat Is amiss, then,
nd how have I played you false?"
"Why, marry, did you not say, and
Alleyne here will be my witness, that.
f I would hie to the wars with you,
'ou would place me under a leader who
ras second to none in all England for
alor? Yet here you bring me to a
sredl of a man, peaky and ill-nour
shed, with eyes like a moulting owl,
who must needs, forsooth, take coun
sel with his mother ere he buckles
sword to girdle."
"Is that where the shoe galls?" cried
h bowman, and laughed aloud. "I
ill ask you what you think of him
hree months hence, if we be all alive;
for sure I am that-"
Aylward's words were interrupted by
n extraordinary hubbub which broke
ut that instant some little wvay down
l.e street in the direction of the
riory. There was deep-mouthed
houting of meii, frightened shrieks of
omen, howling and harking of curs.
nd over all a sullen thunderous
umble, indescribably menacing and
errible. Round the corner of the nar
ow street there came rushing a brace
f whining dogs with tails glued under
heir legs, after them a white-faced
urgher, wvith outstretched hands and
ide-spread fingers, his hair all
bristle and his eyes glinting back
from one shoulder to the other, as
hough some great terror were at his
'erv heels. "Fly, my lady, fly!" he
creeched, and whizzed past them like
'ct f'-"Tm bow: while 'lose behind cameI
umbering a huge black bear, with red
onrue lolling from his mouth, and a
'roken chain jangling behind him. To
right and left the folk flew for arch
and doorway. H~ordle John caught up
he Lady Loring as if she had been a
eather, and sprang with her into an
pen porch: while Aylward, with a
hirl of French oaths. plucked at his
ulver and tried to unsling his bow.
Allene. all unnerved at so strange and
mwonted a sieht. shrunK up againt
the wall with his eyes fixed upon the
'r'nzied creature, which~ came hounding
'one with ungainly snood. looking the
nrer In the unertain light, its huge
nws agape, with blood ani slaver
trikling to the ground, Sir Nigel
lone. unconscious to all nonearance of
he universal panic, walked with un
itrinea step uP the centre of the
"cd, n silken handkor'hief in one hand
nd his gold comdft-hnx in the other.I
t sent the blood cold through Allevne's
veins to see that as they came togeth
reared up, with eyes ablaze with fear
and hate. and whirled its great paws
above the knight to smite him to the
earth. He, however, blinking with puck
cred eyes, reached up his kerchiel, anc
licked the beast twice across the snoul
with it. "Ah, saucy: saucy!" quoth he
with gentle chiding; on which the bear
uncertain and puzzled, dropped its fort
legs to earth again, and waddling back
was soon swathed in ropes by the bear
ward and a crowd of peasants who hac
been in close pursuit. As they passet
through the castle gate. John lucke
at Aylward's sleeve, and the two iel,
"I must crave your pardon, comrade.'
said he bluntly. "I was a fool not te
know that a little rooster may be Jhf
gamest. I believe th:ia tis man is in
deed a leader whom we may follow.'
Black was the mouth of Twynharr
Castle, though a pair of torches, burn
ing at the further end of the gateway
cast a red glare over the outer bailey
and sent a dim ruddy flicker througi
the rough-hewn arch, rising and tail
ing with litful brightness on the shields
which bore the red roses of the veterar
constable. As they passed over the
drawbridge, Alleyne marked the glean
of arms in the embrasures to right and
left, and they had scarce set foot upor
the causeway ere a hoarse blare burst
from a bugle, and with screech the
hinge and clank of chain. the ponder
ous bridge swung up into the air,
drawn by unseen hands. At the samc
instant the huge portcullis came rat
tling down from above, and xhut off
the last fading light of day. Sir Nigel
and his lady walked on In deep taLk,
while a fat under-steward took charge
of the three comrades. and led them tc
the buttery. where beef, bread, and
drink were kept ever in readiness for
the wayfarer. After a hearty meal and
a dip in the trough to wash the dust
from them, they strolled forth into the
bailey. where the bowman peered about
through the darkness at wall and at
keep, with the carping eyes of one who
has seen something of sieges, and is
not lightly to be satisfied. To Alleyne
and to John. however, it appeared to be
as great and as stout a fortress as
could be built by the hands of man.,
"Is there an archer here hight Saim
Aylward?" asked a gaunt man-at-arms,
clanking up to them arcoss the court
"My name, friend!" quoth the bow
"Then sure I have no need to tell
thee mine," said the other.
"By the rood! if it is not Black Simor
of Norwich!" cried Aylward. "A mor
coeur, camarade, a mon coeur! Ah. bui
I am blithe to see thee!" the two 'el
upon each other and hugged like bears
"And where from, old blood and
bones?" asked the bowman.
"I am In service here. Tell me, com
rade, is it sooth that we shall have an
other fling at-these Frenchmen? It Is
so rumored in the guard-rooms, and
that Sir Nigel will take the field once
"It Is like enough. mon gar, as things
Now may the Lord be praised!" crie]
the other. "This very night will I sei
apart a golden ouche to be offered or
t5'e shrine of my name-saint. I have
pined for this, Aylward. as a young
maid pines for her lover."
"Art so set on plunder, then? 1s th4
nurse so light that there 1s not enougl
for a rouse? I haVe a bag at my belt
amarade. and you have but to pui
your fist into it fof what you want. Il
was ever share and share between us.'
"Nay, friend.. It Is hot the French
man's gnil. hut the Vrenchfhih's bloo
tl.at I would have. I should not res1
ote una hm o ithsi
nac tha vrbenfi n hoe
quietlndst the e arer f hd no n
Tfondher tunate.wFrb wihers own
earaht first frtherough buy a
rendchmanee for the woman siter,
asoing atu\incsa their seaIll
graea cath upon itrance but yoer
anwhioe hae own thite from ts.
Milnd me, the ontear he son.
bttle-y foundin, atrd, byo' heruth.
m SiroNiger' wfe, and erno heis
rne they wer e bugt as-apst fee the
saddo-fap rundeer h osee. Iwl
no"aWt e have not oo w ogtr
atd adg, uoth Franced:u wondb
and hildr enma hpe bee seefe ores
wed die. But, ford, my heart Iy mhnd
tht hee and som smang ter thedis
"'Foe-ry Gan, itnds sooh! God tuh.
ifaSrshal nfuis himeno uheapart
"On whih, berind. glaowd ta feelh
"Weul sette te goint work toethwe
ame wa-og,"er qut tywr"ad, byee
ny ht!emn thopetose gmmreough
uarde But, coadeIt isv ino myeard
lhat threi somethsmamottr mofre.s
"Outetl fope teenad the.".a"
he ther," hdawingo hIt. sword provot
s arsha, and his mentl tore usoken."
'isinde last e mestasd;.u"ti
"O awdeil'sh, ind, weimpwed clert we
[hu smettmlet the potwhpecex wfte
dtrue monc throwIsa glimmet enug
morta sh o ight-birdsuc a wue. O
What, monhartw grw hae n hary
yurs o at eh othirs mthors? .
"Outcefromuthe sadowSimon." said
neoter dropwinm hisswr." orwin
"sao, whlt nsand ntlgtyt betweoen
"Avwtotsans" cried Alleyne, srnigbfr
t-hebolman vow, and sampe cler as t
htwo shltwan gronlsmen carn
wors int each otherlik throt?
renied" quoothirstck Saim."Ihv
Totn, bittel drppearing heat fo min
wd comaeu the asrel "as eher
wa old yo.Is sll fipten and like
'hebwan. "ancte syhe nd lackt
rood! I shall drive him into the earth
like a nail into a door, rather than see
you do scath to each other."
'Fore God, this is a strange way of
preaching peace," cried Black Simon
"You may find the scath yourself, my
lusty friend. if you raise your great
cudgel to me. I had as lief have the
Lastle drawbridge drop upon my pate."
"Tell me, Aylward," said Alleyne
earnestly, with hands outstretched to
keep the pair asunder. "what is the
cause of quarrel, that we may see
whether honorable settlement may not
be arrived at?"
The bowman looked down at his
feet and then up at the moon. "Par
bleau!" he cried, "the cause of quar
rel? Why. mon petit, it was years ago
in Limousin, and how can I bear in
mind what was the cause of it? Simon
thee- hath it at the end of his tongue."
"Not I, in troth," replied the other.
"I have had other things to think of.
There was some sort of bickering over
dice. or wine, or was it a woman, coz?"
"Pasques Dieu! but you have nicked
it." cried Aylward. "It was indeed
about a woman; and the quarrel must
go forward, for I am still of the same
mind as before."
"What of the woman, then?" asked
Simon. "May the murrain strike me it
I can call to mind aught about her."
"It was La Blanche Rose, maid at
the sign of tne Trois Corbeaux at Lim
oges. Bless her pretty heart! Why,
mon gar, I loved her."
"So did a many," quoth Simon. "I
call her to mind now. On the very
day that we fought over the little
hussy, she went off with Evan ap Rc'.I
a long-legged Welsh dagsman. They
have a hostel of their own now, some
where on the banks of Garonne, where
the landlord drinks so much of the
liquor that there is little left for the
"So ends our quarrel, then," said
Aylward, sheathing his sword. "A
Welsh dagsman, I' faith! C' etait mau
vais gout, camarade. and the more so
when she had a jolly archer and a
lusty man-at-arms to choose from."
The old soldiers and Hordle John
strode off together in all :ood-fellow
ship. ' Alleyne had turned to follow
them, when he felt a touch upon his
shoulder, and found a young page by
"The Lord Loring commands," said
the boy, "that you will follow me to
the great chamber, and await him
Up th'e broad steps Alleyne went,
following his boyish guide, until at the
folding oak doors the latter paused.
and ushered him into the main hall of
On entering the room the clerk look
ed round; but, seeing no one, he con
tinued to stand, his cap ir. his hand.
examining with the greatest interest
a chamber which was so different to
any to which he was accustomed.
Most interesting of all to Alleyne was
a small ebony table at his very side,
on which, by the side of a chess-board
and the scattered chessmen, there lay
an open manuscript written in a right
clerkly hand, and set forth with brave
flourishes and devices along the mar
gins. In vain Alleyne bethought him
of where he was and of those laws of
good breeding and decorum which
should restrain him; those colored can
itals and black even lines drew his
hand down to them, as the loadstone
draws the needle, until, almost before
he knew it, he was standing with the
romance of Garin de Montglane before
his eyes, so absorbed in its contents as
to be completely oblivious of where he
was and why he had dome there.
He was brought back to himself,
however, by a sudden little ripple of
quick feminine laughter. Aghast, he
dropped the manuscript among the
chessmen and stared In bewilderment
round the room. It was as empty and
as still as ever. Again he stretched
his hand out to the romance, and again
came that roguish burst of tnerriinent.
He looked up at the ceiling, back at
the closed door, and round at the stiff
folds of motionless tapestry. Of a sud
den, however, he caught a quick shim
mer f-om the corner of a high-backed
bancal in front of him, and, shifting a
pace of two to the side, saw a white.
slender hand, which held a mirror of
polished silver in such a way that the
concealed observer could see without
being een. He stood irresolute, un
certain whether to advance or~ to take
no notice; but, even as he hesitated.
the mirror was whipped In, and a tall
and stately young lady swept out from
behind the oaken screen, with a danc
ing light of mischief in het- eyes
Alleyne started with astonishment as
he recognized the very maiden who
had suffered from his brother's vid
lence In the forest. She no longer
wore her g'ay riding-dress, however,
but was attired In a long sweepin'
robe of black velvet of Bruges, with
delicate tracery of white lace at neck
and at wrist, scarce to be seen against
the ivory skin. Beautiful as she had
seemed to him before, thelithe charm
of her figure and the proud, free grace
In Holmes' next adventure, hi
confronted by the cabalistic
in "The Sign of the Fc
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of her bearing were enhanced now by
the rich simplicity of her attire.
"Ah. you start." said she, with the
same sidelong look of 'mischief, "and I
cannot marvel at it. Didst not look
to see the distressed damozel again.
Ah, that I were a minstrel, that I
might put it into rhyme, with the
whole romance-the luckless maid the
wicked socman, and the virtuous clerk!
So might our fame have gone down
together for all time, and you be num
bered with Sir Percival or Sir Galahad,
or all the other resouers of oppressed
"What I did." said Alleyne. "was too
small a thing for thanks: and yet, if I
may say it without offence, it was too
grave and near a matter for mirth and
raillery. I had counted on my broth
er's love, but God has willed that it
should be otherwise. It is a joy to nie
to see you again, lady, and to know
that you have reached home in safety,
if this be indeed your home."
"Yes, in sooth, Castle Twynham is
my home, and Sir Nigel Ioring my
father. I should have told you so this
morning. but you said that you were
coming hither. so I bethought me that
I might hold it back as a surprise to
you. Oh, dear. but it was brave to see
you:" she cried, bursting out -a-laugh
ing once more, standing with her hand
pressed to her side. and her half-closed
eyes twinkling with amusement. "You
drew back and came forward with your
eyes upon my book there. like the
mouse who sniffs the cheese and yet
dreacs the trap."
"I take shame." said Alleyne, "that
I should have touched ft."
"Nay, it warmed my very heart to
see it. So glad was I that I laughed
for very pleasure. My fine preacher
can himself be tempted then, thought
T: he is not made of another clay to
the rest of us."
"God help me! I am the weakest of
the weak." groaned Alleyne. "I pray
that I may have more strength!"
"And to what end?" she asked sharp
lv. "If you are, as I understand, to
shut yourself forever in your cell with
in the four walls of an abbey, then of
what use would it be were lour prayer
to be answered? Wilt dc. what I ask?"
"What Is it, lady?"
'Tis but to bear me out In what I
say to my father."e
"In saying, if he ask. that it was
south of the Christchurch road that I
met you. I shall be shut up with the
tire-women else. and have a week of
spindle and bodkin. when I would fain
be galloping Troubadour up Wilverley
Walk, or loosing my little falcon Ro
land at the Vinney Ridge herons"
"I shall not answer him if he ask."
"Not answer!. But he will have an
answer. Nay, but you must not fail
me, or it will go Ill with me."
"But, lady,." cried poor Alleyne, in
great distress, "how can I say that it
was to the south of the road when I
know well that it was four miles to
"You will not say It?"
"Surely you will not, too, when you
know that it is not so?"
"Oh. I weary of your preaching!"
she cried, and swept away with a toss
of her beautiful heae. ieaving Alleyne
as cast down and ashamed as -though
he had himself proposed some infam
ous thing. She wan back again in an
Instant, however, In another of her
"Look at that. my friend!" said she.
"If you had been shut up In-abbey or
in cell this day you could not have
taught a wayward maiden- to abide by
the truth. Is it not so? What avail
is the shepherd if he leaves his sheep?"
"A sorry shepherd:" said Allyene
humbly. "But here is your noble
"And you shall see how' worthy a
pupil I am. Father, I am much be
holden to this young clerk, who was
of service to me and helped me this
very morning In Minstead Woods four
miles to the north of the Chrlstchurch
road, where I had no call to be. you
having ordered It oth'erwise." All this
she teeled off -in a loud voice, and then
glanced with sifieling questioning eyes
at Alleyne for his approval.
(Mo be Contiened Nert Week.)
Synopsis of Prececing Chapters.
The scenes of tle story are laid in the 14th century.
nordle John. a Iay-brother of the Cistercian Mo
n ter' %ber ob e Beulieu1ee1 from the monastery
aafter beingr found guilty of Vertain serious chaives
brought against him by a naraber of the monks.
The same day. another of the la..relreh .of the
rnonastery, Alleyne Edr-on~tske hs dturein
accordance with a provision o'f his fter's will,
de~gnating that he should, when he became twenty
year" old. go forth for on0 year to choose for him
I-elf his future calling. In sadness he wanders from
the rannastery tovisit his brother, the Scuman of
instead. whoae reputntlon is a mo't unsavory one.
At nightfall Allewn sek shet-crin a rodsdeIn
ad onh aoer jt i eck frm teFrenh was.
and iadefesed Hedst joi the white~on
pany. Alleyn fnds hai brnther In Hmntea d woods,
quarrehn. gwth a beautiful dansel, whom he res
.cs Hel !sher of his intentinto joi . his com
parlons of the inn who are to fieht under Sir NIge!
in thel"white com"nvn. On hearing thisahe laugh
ingly leaves him without tefling her name.
7 e If these puzzling
>nl the wall of a house
tre a great crime had
nr committed, stared
in the face, could you
lain their meaning?
was the problem which SHERLOCK.
IOI.MEs had to solve in his first
l'he Study in Scarlet "
k which made CONAN~ DOYLEthe first
if detective writers in the world.
erlock Holmes novels, 300 pages of read
ime in illuminated cloth board (Harper
ion), sent postpaid with this coupon for
t intensely interesting of adventures in a
a for just one-third price.
andsoe&iC, copper photo-engravure of
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cents in stamps. Coin or Money Order.
kinl Sg~uare, N. Y. City.