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Chapter 8 Conclusion

  • About nine in the morning, Lord Foxham was leading his ward, once more dresse_s befitted her sex, and followed by Alicia Risingham, to the church o_olywood, when Richard Crookback, his brow already heavy with cares, crosse_heir path and paused.
  • “Is this the maid?” he asked; and when Lord Foxham had replied in th_ffirmative, “Minion,” he added, “hold up your face until I see its favour.”
  • He looked upon her sourly for a little.
  • “Ye are fair,” he said at last, “and, as they tell me, dowered. How if _ffered you a brave marriage, as became your face and parentage?”
  • “My lord duke,” replied Joanna, “may it please your grace, I had rather we_ith Sir Richard.”
  • “How so?” he asked, harshly. “Marry but the man I name to you, and he shall b_y lord, and you my lady, before night. For Sir Richard, let me tell yo_lainly, he will die Sir Richard.”
  • “I ask no more of Heaven, my lord, than but to die Sir Richard’s wife,”
  • returned Joanna.
  • “Look ye at that, my lord,” said Gloucester, turning to Lord Foxham. “Here b_ pair for you. The lad, when for good services I gave him his choice of m_avour, chose but the grace of an old, drunken shipman. I did warn him freely,
  • but he was stout in his besottedness. ‘Here dieth your favour,’ said I; an_e, my lord, with a most assured impertinence, ‘Mine be the loss,’ quoth he.
  • It shall be so, by the rood!”
  • “Said he so?” cried Alicia. “Then well said, lion-driver!”
  • “Who is this?” asked the duke.
  • “A prisoner of Sir Richard’s,” answered Lord Foxham; “Mistress Alici_isingham.”
  • “See that she be married to a sure man,” said the duke.
  • “I had thought of my kinsman, Hamley, an it like your grace,” returned Lor_oxham. “He hath well served the cause.”
  • “It likes me well,” said Richard. “Let them be wedded speedily. Say, fai_aid, will you wed?”
  • “My lord duke,” said Alicia, “so as the man is straight” - And there, in _erfect consternation, the voice died on her tongue.
  • “He is straight, my mistress,” replied Richard, calmly. “I am the onl_rookback of my party; we are else passably well shapen. Ladies, and you, m_ord,” he added, with a sudden change to grave courtesy, “judge me not to_hurlish if I leave you. A captain, in the time of war, hath not the orderin_f his hours.”
  • And with a very handsome salutation he passed on, followed by his officers.
  • “Alack,” cried Alicia, “I am shent!”
  • “Ye know him not,” replied Lord Foxham. “It is but a trifle; he hath alread_lean forgot your words.”
  • “He is, then, the very flower of knighthood,” said Alicia.
  • “Nay, he but mindeth other things,” returned Lord Foxham. “Tarry we no more.”
  • In the chancel they found Dick waiting, attended by a few young men; and ther_ere he and Joan united. When they came forth again, happy and yet serious,
  • into the frosty air and sunlight, the long files of the army were alread_inding forward up the road; already the Duke of Gloucester’s banner wa_nfolded and began to move from before the abbey in a clump of spears; an_ehind it, girt by steel-clad knights, the bold, black-hearted, and ambitiou_unchback moved on towards his brief kingdom and his lasting infamy. But th_edding party turned upon the other side, and sat down, with sober merriment,
  • to breakfast. The father cellarer attended on their wants, and sat with the_t table. Hamley, all jealousy forgotten, began to ply the nowise loth Alici_ith courtship. And there, amid the sounding of tuckets and the clash o_rmoured soldiery and horses continually moving forth, Dick and Joan sat sid_y side, tenderly held hands, and looked, with ever growing affection, in eac_ther’s eyes.
  • Thenceforth the dust and blood of that unruly epoch passed them by. They dwel_part from alarms in the green forest where their love began.
  • Two old men in the meanwhile enjoyed pensions in great prosperity and peace,
  • and with perhaps a superfluity of ale and wine, in Tunstall hamlet. One ha_een all his life a shipman, and continued to the last to lament his man Tom.
  • The other, who had been a bit of everything, turned in the end towards piety,
  • and made a most religious death under the name of Brother Honestus in th_eighbouring abbey. So Lawless had his will, and died a friar.
  • THE END