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"It is no mockery, stewardI have done my duty; and if you cannot do yours, is it my fault?" And then, shaking off Calverley's grasp, he mounted his horse, and with his attendants, amidst deafening cheers, took the road to the castle.Holgrave, thinking that Wells was averse to being reminded of an unpleasant circumstance, spoke no more of the day when the orphan boy had gone forth into a strange world; but, counting upon the sympathy of the galleyman, he began to recount his mother's fate.
"And is this thy counsel, foolish woman?" replied Edith, in a tone of rebuke.A great quiet was wrapped round the house, and a great darkness, pricked by winking stars. The barns were shut, the steamings of the midden were nipped by brooding frostsnow and then the dull movements of some stalled animal could be heard, but only from the yard; in the house there was silence except for the singing fire, and Harry's low muttering which seldom rose into words. Then suddenly there was a knock at the door.
A loud blast of a horn accompanied with the voices of men and the tramp of horses, interrupted the ceremony; and De Boteler, recollecting that his cousin Ralph de Beaumont, with other guests, were expected, turned to Calverley and ordered him to receive and conduct them to the hall.
Chapter 12"Do not fly me, Margaret. I cannot harm youI never could have harmed you.Do you not know me?"
"It is a poor farm," said Calverley hastily; "but there are many fine farms that have lately reverted to my lord in default of heirs, or as forfeitures, that must soon be given away or sold."The body of Edith had been raised during his absence, and, with the winding-sheet wrapped around the clothes in which it had been laid in the earth, was just placed in the galleyman's cloak when Holgrave came up. An involuntary cry burst from the yeoman as he threw himself upon the ground beside the corpse, and, removing the cloth, passionately kissed the hands and the forehead.