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"Back, men of Kentback," vociferated Tyler;and then arose the long wild shout as Tyler freed the monk from the last link of his bonds.
Our acceptance was unanimous. I even decided not to inform Lieutenant Durand until after the repast, that ladies under my escort did not pick acquaintanceship with soldiers on the public highway. But before the brief meal was over I was wishing him hanged. Hang the heaven-high theories that had so lately put me in love with him! Hang his melodious voice, his modest composure, his gold-barred collar, his easy command of topics! Hang the women! they feasted on his every word and look! Ah, ladies! if I were mean enough to tell it--that man doesn't believe in hell! He has a down-dragging hunger for every base indulgence; he has told me so!"What do they use for the burning?"
He waited on the threshold with his dropsical back to me for my last word, and then, still in the same attitude, droned, "O-oh, he's dead. And anyhow," he finished out of sight in the hall, "that's not our way."
He came into the road a few rods ahead of us through a gap his men had earlier made opposite the big white gate. He answered our fierce halloo, as he crossed, by a pistol-shot at Ferry, but Ferry only glanced around at me and pointed after him with his sword. A number of blue-coats afoot followed him to the gap but at our onset scattered backward, sturdily returning our fire. Into the gap and into the enemy's left rear went Ferry and his horsemen, but I turned the other way and spurred through the woods-pasture gate after the Federal leader, he on my horse and I on his. Down the highway, on either side, stood his brave men's horses in the angles of the worm-fence, and two or three horse-holders took a shot at me as I sped in after the man who was bent on reaching the right of his divided force before Quinn should strike it, as I was bent on foiling him. Twice I fired at his shapely back, and twice, while he kept his speed among the tree-trunks, he looked back at me as coolly as at an odd passer-by and sent me a ball from his revolver. A few more bounds carried him near enough to his force to shout his commands, but half a hundred cheers suddenly resounded in the depth of the woods-pasture, and Quinn and his men charged upon the foe's right and rear. I joined the shout and the shouters; in a moment the enemy were throwing down their arms, and I turned to regain the road to the pond. For I had marked Jewett burst through Quinn's line and with a score of shots ringing after him make one last brave dash--for escape. Others, pursuing him, bent northward, but my instinct was right, his last hope was for his horse-holders, and at a sharp angle of the by-road, where it reached the pond, exactly where Camille and I had stood not an hour before, I came abruptly upon Cricket--riderless. I seized his rein, and as I bent and snapped the halter of one horse on the snaffle of the other I saw the missing horseman. Leaping from the saddle I ran to him. He was lying on his face in the shallow water where General Austin and his staff had so gaily halted a short while before, and as I caught sight of him he rolled upon his back and tried to lift his bemired head.
"The vassals have been collected, my lord, and John Byles is now sending them off by different routes.""My liege," said Newton, as the horseman neared the royal train, "that man is Wat Tyler."