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 It was dawn; mists covered the forest; not a wind stirred or amid the . A vast grey seemed to tent the world, a mysterious veil that tempered the sun and spread a spiritual gloom over rock and tree.

The noise of horns played through the aisles--horns many-tongued, faint, , like the of forest elves. There was the dull, onrush of many thousand feet, the hurrying, multitudinous tramp of men marching. gleamed through the glooms; casque and bassinet, salade and cap of steel flowed on and on as phosphorescent on a stream. Pike, glaive, gisarme shone like stubble over the forest slopes. The tramp of men, the clashing clamour of arms, the blaring of a , such were songs of the great pine forest on that July morning.

Yeoland, rebel lady and saint, on a great white horse, rode at Fulviac's side in full armour, save for her helmet. Her horse was cased in steel--chamfron, crinet, gorget, poitrel, croupiere gleaming like silver. She made a fine and figure enough, a glittering dawn star for a heroic cause. About her rode her guard, the pick of Fulviac's men, some fifty spears in all, masses of steel, each bearing a cross upon his white jupon. Nord of the Hammer bore the red banner worked by the girl's own hands. They were men and big of bone, sworn to keep and guard her to the death.

Fulviac and Yeoland rode side by side like brothers in arms. All about them were rolling spears and rocking helmets moving among the trees. The sound of arms surged round them like the onrush of a sea. War followed like a thunder-cloud on their heels.

Fulviac was in great spirits, somewhat solemn and , but full of the of a man who feels his ship surging on the backs of giant billows. His eyes were proud enough when they scanned the girl at his side. His heart thundered an echo to the grim tramp of his men on the march.

"To-day," he said, making flourishes with his sword, "the future unrobes to us. We like Ulysses into the unknown. This is life with a !"

She had a smile on her lips and a far-away look in her eyes.

"If you love me," she said, "be merciful."

"Ah, you are always a woman."

"There are many women such as I am; there are many hearts that may be wounded; there are many children."

He looked at her , as though her words were both bitter and sweet in his mouth.

"You must play the philosopher, little woman; remember that we work for great ends. I will have mercy when mercy is . But we must strike, and strike terror, we must crush, we must kill."

"Yet be merciful."

"War is no pastime; men grip with gauntlets of iron, not with gloves. , hate, revenge, , of , and the rest, what powers are these to let loose upon a land! We have the oppression of centuries red in our . War is no subtle game of chess; the wolf comes from the ; the vulture swings in the sky. Fire, death, blood, rapine, and despair, such are the elements of war."

"I know, I know."

"To a field, we burn the crop. To convert, we set swords leaping. To , we let in the sea. To move the of custom and the past, a man must play the Hercules. God crushes great nations to insure the evolution of His will. To move the world, one must play the god."

It was noon when the vanguard cleared the trees, and spread rank on rank over the edge of a . A sun shone overhead, and the world was full of light and colour, the heather already a blaze of purple, the bracken still , the dark pines richly green against the white and of the sky.

Fulviac, Yeoland, and her guards rode out to a hillock and took station under the banner of the Cross. The forest steel; rank on rank swept out with pikes glittering; shields shone, and colours . Horse and foot rolled out into the sun, and gathered in masses about the scarlet banner and the girl in her silvery harness on the great white horse. The forest shadows were behind them, they had cast off its cloak; the world lay bare to their faces; they were their challenge in the face of Fate. Every man in t............

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