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 Fulviac and his rebels had into the great pine forest for refuge from the multitudinous glitter of the royal spears. The them, throwing wide its gates to take the war wolves in. The trees moaned like tall sibyls burdened with prophetic . The gold had long fallen from the gorse; the heather's purple hills were dim. Mystery there; a sound as of tragedy rose with the piping of the autumn wind.  
From the north and from the west the royal "arms" had as a glittering net towards the sea of pines. A splendid the wilds, like rich rods flowering at some magic cry. The King's host swept the hills, their banners blazing towards the solemn woods. Gambrevault was theirs, and Avalon of the . Morolt's northerners had marched upon Geraint, to find it a dead city, empty of life and of human sound. Only Gilderoy stood out for Fulviac. The King had failed to leaguer it as yet, for reasons cherished in his cunning brain.
Some twoscore thousand men had marched with Fulviac into the forest's . Over the hills the royal horse had pressed them hard, cutting down stragglers, hanging on their rear. Fulviac's host was a of "foot"; he had not a thousand riders to against the of the King. On the bold, uplands of the north and west the royal horsemen would have whelmed him like a sea. Necessity turned strategist at that hour. Fulviac and his rebels poured with their columns into the wilds.
The with steel; the myriad pike points glittered like silver through the green gloom. Once more the great cliff echoed to the clangour of war and the sword. Fulviac had drawn and camped his men upon the heights, and under the shadow of its walls. Watch-fires smoked on the hills. Every had its sentinel, a net of steel thrown to await the coming of the King. Fulviac had gathered his into this , trusting to trammel the nobles in the of the forest. It was a forlorn hope, the cunning purpose of despair. The spoilers of Forêt were wise in their generation; little mercy would they win from the Iron Hand of Richard of Lauretia.
Like a pale pearl set in ebony, Yeoland the Saint had been established again in her of stone. The room was even as she had left it that summer dawn. Prayer-desk, , and crucifix were there, mute of a past. How much had befallen her in those packed weeks of ; how great a guerdon of woe had been on her heart! Love was as the last of gold in a fading west; only the stars recalled the unwavering lamps of heaven.
The cliff-room and its relics tortured her very soul. She would glance at the Sebastian of the , and remember with a rush of woe the man in whose arms she had as a wife. Death had deified him in her heart. She remembered his grey eyes, his splendid youth, his passion, his pure chivalry. He gazed down on her like a dream hero from a gloom of dusky gold. The bitter of the past to her only of the infinite beneficence of death. The grave for her, and she had no hope to live.
Those drear days she saw little of Fulviac. The man seemed to shirk her pale, sad face and brooding eyes. Her grief stung him more fiercely than all the flames in the glowing pit of war. Moreover, he was cumbered with the peril of his cause, and the facing of a stormy fortune. His one hope lay in some great battle in the woods, where the King's mailed chivalry would be cumbered by the trees. He made many a feint to the nobles to this wild . The cliff stood as , a vast to uphold the rebels. Yet Nature threatened him with other arguments. His stores were meagre, his mouths many. Victory and starvation upon the opposing beams of Fate.
If Fulviac feared , Richard of Lauretia favoured the same. Wise that he was, he the of his soldiery, content to temporise with the trend of fortune. His light horse the country, food and from the fat lands north of Geraint. Time fought for him, and the starving wolves were trapped. Sufficient was it that he held his crescent of steel upon the hills, leaving unguarded the barren wilds that rolled on Gilderoy towards the east.
A week passed, dull and . The forest waved dark and solemn under the autumn sky; no of steel from its sable gates; no glittering squadrons plunged into its shadows. The King's men lay warm about their watch-fires on the hills, on good food, for the trumpet cry that should the advance. Richard of the Iron Hand smiled and passed the hours at chess in his great pavilion pitched on the slopes towards Geraint. Simon of Imbrecour held the southern marches; Morolt and his northerners guarded the west.
It was grey weather, and storm-laden, of voice. The Black Wild tossed like a sombre sea over hill and valley, its rocking under the sky, its myriad galleries with the cry of the wind. There was no rest there, no breathless silence under the moon. The trees moaned like a vast the downfall of a god. The wild seemed full of death, and of the dead, as though the souls of those in the war screamed about Fulviac's lair. The sentinels, grey figures in a sombre atmosphere, watched white-faced in the thickets. The clarions of the storm might mask the onrush of the ............
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