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HOME > Classical Novels > Love Among the Ruins > CHAPTER 45
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  were blowing in Avalon of the Twelve Towers, echoing through the valley where the sun shone upon the woods, the leaves glittering like golden byzants as they fell. The sky was a clear , as blue silk from height to height, tenting the green meadows. Avalon's towers rose black and strong above the sheen of her quiet waters.  
From Gambrevault came the Lord Flavian to claim his wife once more. Through the brief days of autumn Aurelius of Gilderoy had decreed him an exile from the of , pleading for the girl's breath and her lily soul that might fade if set too soon in the noon of love. In Gambrevault the Lord Flavian had moped like a prisoned , listening to the far cry of the war, hungry for the touch of a woman's hand. Modred had snatched the Madonna of the Pine Forest from burning Gilderoy. She had been throned at last above the tides of violence and wrong.
That day the Lord Flavian rode in state for Avalon, even as an Arthurian, prince coming with splendour from some high-souled quest. The woods had their banners for his march. Trumpets hailed him from the towers and battlements. The sun, like a great patriarch, smoothed his gold beard and beamed upon the world.
Over the bridge and beneath the gate, Modred led his master's horse. The had gathered in the central court; they tossed their swords, and cheered for Gambrevault. Trumpets set the wild woods . Bombards thundered from the towers.
In the court, amid the of arms, Flavian dismounted, took Modred's hand, leant upon the great man's shoulder.
"Old friend, is she well?"
"Ah, sire, youth turns to youth."
"Let my minstrels play below the stair some old song of Tristan and Iseult. And now I go to her. Lead on."
In dead Duessa's a figure knelt before a crucifix in prayer. Foreshadowings of and were stirring in the woman's heart. She had heard the of trumpets on the towers, the thunder of , the shouts of strong men cheering in the court. She heard , viol, and strike up from afar a mournful melody sweet with an antique woe.
Time seemed to crawl like a wounded snake in the grass. The figures on the arras gestured and ; the jewelled glass in the oriel burnt in thro............
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