Somehow the news of impending battle had leaked out among the rest of the body of squires, and a buzz of suppressed excitement hummed through the dormitory that evening. The bachelors, to whom, no doubt, vague rumors had been blown, looked lowering, and talked together in low voices, standing apart in a group. Some of them made a rather marked show of secreting knives in the straw of their beds, and no doubt it had its effect upon more than one young heart that secretly thrilled at the sight of the shining blades. However, all was undisturbed that evening. The lights were put out, and the lads retired with more than usual quietness, only for the murmur of whispering.
All night Myles's sleep was more or less disturbed by dreams in which he was now conquering, now being conquered, and before the day had fairly broken he was awake. He lay upon his cot, keying himself up for the encounter which he had set upon himself to face, and it would not be the truth to say that the sight of those knives hidden in the straw the night before had made no impression upon him. By-and-by he knew the others were beginning to awake, for he heard them softly stirring, and as the light grew broad and strong, saw them arise, one by one, and begin dressing in the gray morning. Then he himself arose and put on his doublet and hose, strapping his belt tightly about his waist; then he sat down on the side of his cot.
Presently that happened for which he was waiting; two of the younger squires started to bring the bachelors' morning supply of water. As they crossed the room Myles called to them in a loud voice--a little uneven, perhaps: "Stop! We draw no more water for any one in this house, saving only for ourselves. Set ye down those buckets, and go back to your places!"
The two lads stopped, half turned, and then stood still, holding the three buckets undecidedly.
In a moment all was uproar and confusion, for by this time every one of the lads had arisen, some sitting on the edge of their beds, some nearly, others quite dressed. A half-dozen of the Knights of the Rose came over to where Myles stood, gathering in a body behind him and the others followed, one after another.
The bachelors were hardly prepared for such prompt and vigorous action.
"What is to do?" cried one of them, who stood near the two lads with the buckets. "Why fetch ye not the water?"
"Falworth says we shall not fetch it," answered one of the lads, a boy by the name of Gosse.
away from our tents the large circle of lookers on. An
the ray of light from Max's lamp impinged upon the opening