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Chapter XI
 "It is my son Walter, your Excellency," said Tell.  
"Your son? Indeed. This is very interesting. Have you any more children?"
"I have one other boy."
"And which of them do you love the most, eh?"
"I love them both alike, your Excellency."
"Dear me! Quite a happy family. Now, listen to me, Tell. I know you are fond of excitement, so I am going to try to give you a little. Your son says that you can hit an apple on a tree a hundred yards away, and I am sure you have every right to be very proud of such a . Friesshardt!"
"Your Excellency?"
"Bring me an apple."
Friesshardt picked one up. Some apples had been thrown at him and Leuthold earlier in the day, and there were several lying about.
"Which I'm afraid as how it's a little , your Excellency," he said, "having hit me on the helmet."
"Thank you. I do not require it for eating purposes," said Gessler. "Now, Tell, I have here an apple--a simple apple, not over-ripe. I should like to test that feat of yours. So take your bow--I see you have it in your hand--and get ready to shoot. I am going to put this apple on your son's head. He will be placed a hundred yards away from you, and if you do not hit the apple with your first shot your life shall pay ."
And he regarded Tell with a look of triumph.
"Your Excellency, it cannot be!" cried Tell; "the thing is too . Perhaps your Excellency is pleased to jest. You cannot bid a father shoot an apple from off his son's head! Consider, your Excellency!"
"You shall shoot the apple from off the head of this boy," said Gessler sternly. "I do not jest. That is my will."
"Sooner would I die," said Tell.
"If you do not shoot you die with the boy. Come, come, Tell, why so cautious? They always told me that you loved enterprises, and yet when I give you one you complain. I could understand anybody else shrinking from the feat. But you! Hitting apples at a hundred yards is child's play to you. And what does it matter where the apple is--whether it is on a tree or on a boy's head? It is an apple just the same. Proceed, Tell."
The crowd, seeing a discussion going on, had left the edge of the meadow and clustered round to listen. A <............
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