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 The royal host had massed about the walls of Lauretia, and marched southwards to surprise Fulviac at St. . Half the of the land had gathered under the standard of the King. Sir Simon of Imbrecour had come in from the west with ten thousand spears and five thousand bowmen. The Northerners under Morolt boasted themselves twoscore thousand men, and there were the loyal of the midland provinces to march under "The Golden Sun" upon the south. Never had such of war glittered through the listening woods. Their march was as the onrush of a sea; the noise of their as the cry of a tempest over towering trees.  
Chivalry, golden champion of beauty, had much to , much to expurgate. The peasant folk had the land into ruin and red war. Castles smoked under the summer sky; the noble dead lay unburied in the high places of pride. To the wolf cry of the people there could be no answer save the of the sword. Before the high altar at Lauretia, the King had sworn on and the , to deal such as should leave the land for centuries in terror of his name.
Southwards from St. Gore there stretched for some fifteen leagues the province of La Forêt, a region of rich valleys and romantic woods, green and quiet under the sky. Its towns were gardens, deep in flowers, full of and fair . Its people were simple, happy, and . War had not set foot there for two generations, and the land with the good things of life. Its vineyards purpled the valleys; its pastures harboured much cattle. Its houses were filled with rich furniture and silks, chests with cloth of gold, caskets of , ambries packed with silver plate. The good folk of La Belle Forêt had held from the revolt. Peace-loving and content in their , they had no fondness for and war.
It was into this fair province that Fulviac led his arms on the march south for Gilderoy and the great forest by the sea. Belle Forêt, neutral and , was spoil for the spoiler, stuff for the sword. , marauding, burning, butchering, Fulviac's rebels poured through like a host of Huns. Strength promised licence; there was little in the cause, though the sacred banner flew in the van with an unction that was truly pharisaical. From that flood of war, the fled as from a plague. It was Fulviac's policy to the land, to hinder the march of the royal host. Desolation spread like winter over the fields; Fulviac's ravagers left ruin and despair and a great silence to mark their track.
The march became a before three days had passed. Fulviac had taken burning faggots upon his back, and the iron collar of war weighed heavy on him that autumn season. It was a grim moral and a terrible. He had called up fiends from hell, and their antics mocked him. Storm as he would, even his strong was like fire licking at . Death him, and Murder rode as a witness at his side. The mob of mad humanity was like a sea, hungry, pitiless, and insatiate. Even his heart was shocked by the passions war had roused. His men were to all restraint. Fight they would when he should marshal them; but for their they claimed a wolf-like and liberty.
Yeoland the Saint rode on her white horse through La Belle Forêt, like a pale ghost dazed by the human of war. A captive, she had surrendered herself to Fate; her heart was as a sea-bird wearied by long buffetings in the wind. There was no desire in her for life, no spark of passion, no hope save for the sounding of a convent bell. She imagined calmly the face of death. Her grave stretched green and quiet to her fancy, under some forest tree.
Even her hebetude of soul gave way at last before the horrors of that bloody march. She saw towns smouldering and flames licking the night sky, heard walls crack and roofs fall with a roar and an uprushing of fire. She saw the peasant folk white and stupefied about their ruined homes. She heard the cry of the children, the of women, the cracked voices of old men cursing Fulviac as he rode by. She saw the crops burnt in the fields; cattle and their carcases left to rot in the sun.
The deeds of those grim days moved in her brain with a vividness that never . War with all its ruthlessness, its devilry, its horror, burnt in upon he............
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