时间：<2020-05-25 18:18:25 作者：M6小型汽轮机VNu 浏览量：9777
"But, my liege," persisted Jack Straw, "let the council consider the danger of the delay. I have reason to know, that those you reckon upon to oppose an entrance here are not to be trusted: the prophet has worked wonders, even within the fortress.""It must be Stephen," said he, mentally; "he is mourning over his mother. Comrades," he said, turning to the others, "it is but the woman's son: at any rate there are but two. I'll go and hail them; and if ye see me stop, ye can come forward with the shovels." The galleyman went forward; but the moment he left the shade, his figure caught the eyes of him who stood erect. He spoke to the other, who, instantly starting on his feet, prepared himself to meet the intruder. The stranger, nothing daunted, hurried on, and, in an instant, stood before those who, by the menacing attitude they assumed, evidently regarded him with no friendly feeling.
Then followed the vassals who held lands for watching and warding the castle. These were considered superior to the other vassals from the peculiar nature of their tenure, as the life-guards, as it were, of their lord.That evening De Boteler spoke little during supper, and while drinking the second cup after the repast, he desired the page who stood behind his chair, to order the monk John to attend him directly. Father John presently appeared, and approaching the foot of the table, made a low obeisance, and then with his hands crossed on his bosom, and with eyes cast down, awaited till De Boteler should address him. De Boteler looked for a moment earnestly at the monk, ere in a stern voice he said:
"It is I, Phil Wingfield," replied one of the castle servitors: "my lady was took suddenly ill, and is delivered; and I am going to Winchcombe for a priest to baptize the child.""Good heavens! I must go. Bless you, Margaret!—bless you! I will see you again soon! May God keep ye both!" Gently laying down the still sleeping babe, he tore himself from the arms of his weeping wife, and rushed down the stairs.
"My liege, in a private box in the steward's room, which, it seems, he had forgotten to lock," replied Oakley, with that propriety which he knew how to assume."My lord," said the intrepid yeoman, "I had a right to defend my dwelling against unlawful assault."
"And what would ye have, Wat Tyler?" asked Richard, in a conciliatory tone."And who are you, knave, that dare ride in presence of Wat Tyler?"
"I may depend upon you, Master Oakley?" said the suspicious steward, pausing at the door.
"Aye, aye, true—but didn't you hear of father John?"Their route was a lonely one. Scarcely a light was visible in the numerous dwellings they passed, and they reached the verge of the forest without encountering a single human being. They now walked along the high road, which, with a tract of uninclosed pasture-land stretching to the right, and a scanty neglected hedge skirting the left, had a wild and dreary aspect, which however might, perhaps, with more justice be attributed to the darkness and gloom of the night, than to any thing particularly cheerless in the road itself. They had proceeded about a dozen paces beyond a narrow lane, turning to the left, when Oakley, without assigning a reason, stepped back; and, as Holgrave turned to enquire the cause, he saw some men close behind him; and ere, in the surprise of the moment, he could raise his weapon to defend himself in case of need, a blow from a club felled him to the ground. The blow did not deprive him of consciousness, and now, convinced of treachery, he sprang on his feet determined not to yield with life. But it was not possible for one arm, even though that arm was nerved by an indomitable soul, to hold out long in so unequal a strife. It was in vain that he strove to attack or grapple with one—a host appeared to encompass him. Incessant blows from staves and clubs, although more annoying than really dangerous, wearied him out, and one, descending on his already swollen right hand, finally decided the contest. The arm dropped, and the weapon, that had as yet, in some measure, protected him, was easily wrested from his relaxed grasp; and the impotent fury of an almost frantic resistance availed but for a short space. He was gagged, bound hand and foot, and thrown into a cart that drew up for the purpose from the adjacent lane.At this moment a noise was heard, as if an entrance had been effected through the roof; and ere Holgrave could release his arm from his mother's hold, a shriek from Margaret struck upon his ear. He turned his head and beheld her covering him with outstretched arms from the drawn bows of two retainers, who appeared at the door of the room, or loft, above.
Calverley would have willingly risked every thing but his personal safety to be revenged of her who strove to attach to him the suspicion of crime; and even when mounted on his steed, with a large dark cloak thrown over him to conceal the material of his dress, lest its singularity should attract observation, he could not help feeling a slight inward trepidation.