Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Classical Novels > Love Among the Ruins > CHAPTER 28
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 Dawn climbing red over pinewoods piled on the hills; dawn optimistic yet , harbinger of war and such as set the heart leaping and the blood afire; dawn that cried unto the world, "Better one burst of and then the grave, than a monotony of nothingness, a domestic of the senses with a wife and a fat ."  
Out of the east climbed the man on the stolen horse, riding out of the dawn with the phantasms of the night still running riot in his brain. No sleep had smoothed the page, or touched the memory with to the smart. Maledictions, vengeances, prophecies of fire and sword rushed with the red dawn over the hills.
With forty miles behind him, he came on his , sweaty beast towards his own castle of Gambrevault, forded his own stream, saw his mills , heard the thunder of the . How eternally peaceful everything seemed in the dewy light of the dawn! Away rolled the downs, billows of glorious green, into the west. Gambrevault's towers rose against the blue; he saw the camp in the meadows; his own banner blowing to the breeze.
The meadows that morning were quiet as a , as the Lord Flavian rode through to the great gate of Gambrevault. Soldiers idling about, up, , stared in at the grim, morose-faced man, who rode by on a horse, looking neither to the right hand nor the left. He cut something of a figure, as though he had been in a , and had spent the night snoring in a cow-house. Yet there was an indescribable power and dignity in the tatterdemalion rider for all his tumbled look. The compressed lips, knotted brow, smouldering eyes of phenomenal emotions, phenomenal passions. Not a man cheered, and the silence was yet more than clamour. He rode in by the great gate, and parrying the blank glances and interrogations of his , called for two esquires, and withdrew to his own state rooms.
His first trouble was to acknowledge such necessities as hunger and cleanliness. He to compass both at once, eating even while he was in the bath. His next command was for his harness, and his esquires armed him, for news, even waxing , to be snubbed for their pains.
"Assemble my knights and gentlemen in the great hall," ran his order, and after praying awhile in his own private , he passed down to join the assemblage, solemn and soul-burdened as a young Jove.
There is a certain vain satisfaction in being the possessor of some phenomenal piece of news, wherewith to astonish a circle of friends. The dramatic person it out like a stage duke; the real lets it filter through his teeth in fragments, watching with a twinkling satisfaction its effect upon his hearers. The Lord Flavian's revelations that morning were deliberate and gradual, in the extreme. Many a man waxes flippant or when his feelings are deep and sincere, and he is disinclined to bare his heart to the world. Flavian addressed his assembled knights with a certain and courtliness; when they had warmed to his level, then he could indulge his sympathies to the full. The atmosphere about those who wait to hear our experiences or opinions is often like cold water, somewhat repellent till the first has been tried.
"Gentlemen," he said, "I regret to inform you that the Abbot Porphyry, my uncle, is numbered with the saints."
So much for the first ; it a sympathetic from those assembled, a very proper and respectable expression of feeling, but nothing .
"I also have to inform you, with much resignation, that Sir Jordan and Sir Kay, Malise, my page, and some twenty men-at-arms are in all human probability dead."
This time some of light the hall. There was still mystification, silence, and an exchanging of glances.
"Finally, gentlemen, I may confess to you that a great insurrection is afoot in the land; that Gilderoy has declared against the King and the nobility; that the scum of a populace has made a great of the magnates; that I, gentlemen, by the grace of God, have escaped to preach to you of these things."
A chorus of grim ejaculations came from the knights and the captains assembled. Astonishment, and emotions more , showed on every face. Flavian gained heat, and let his tongue have liberty; at the end of ten minutes of oratory, the men were as wise as their lord and every wit as vicious. Gilderoy had signalised her rising in blood; mob rule had been proclaimed; the peasantry and townsfolk had thrown down the glove to the nobles. These were , plain facts, that touched to the quick the men who stood gathered in the great hall of Gambrevault. Not a sword was in its scabbard when Modred's deep voice gave the cry--
"God and St. Philip--for the King."
Then like a powder bag flung into a fire came the news of the storming and of Avalon. A single man-at-arms had escaped the , escaped by crawling down an offal shoot and hiding till the rebels the place and marched under cover of night for Geraint. The man had crept out and fled on foot from the stricken place for Gambrevault. It was a tramp of ten leagues, but he had stuck to it through the night like a Trojan, and, knowing the road well, had reached Gambrevault before the sun was at noon. They brought him before Flavian and the rest, fagged to the fifth toe, and hardly able to stand. He told the whole tale, as much as he knew of it, in a blunt yet dazed way. His senses appeared by the deeds that had been done that night.
Flavian leant back in his escutcheoned chair, and at his lip. This last thrust had gone home more keenly than the rest. That castle of lilies, Avalon the fair, was but a friend of wood and stone, yet a friend having hold upon his heart. He had been born there, and under the shadows of its towers his mother had taken her last sacrament. Men can love a tree, a cottage, a stream; Flavian loved Avalon as being the temple of the unutterable memories of the past. Desolation and ruin! Bertrand, his old master at arms, ! He sprang up like an Achilles with the ghost of Patroclus haunting his soul.
"Gentlemen, shall these things pass? Hear me, God and the world, hear my oath sworn in this my castle of Gambrevault. May I never rest till these things are in blood, till there are too few men to bury the dead. Though my walls fall, and my towers , though I win ruin and a gr............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved