"Yea, your Majesty," answered Myles. "In some small measure do I so."
"I am glad of that," said the King; "for so I may make thee acquainted with Sieur de la Montaigne."
He turned as he ended speaking, and beckoned to a heavy, thick-set, black-browed chevalier who stood with the other gentlemen attendants at a little distance. He came instantly forward in answer to the summons, and the King introduced the two to one another. As each took the other formally by the hand, he measured his opponent hastily, body and limb, and perhaps each thought that he had never seen a stronger, stouter, better- knit man than the one upon whom he looked. But nevertheless the contrast betwixt the two was very great--Myles, young, boyish, fresh-faced; the other, bronzed, weather beaten, and seamed with a great white scar that ran across his forehead and cheek; the one a novice, the other a warrior seasoned in twoscore battles.
A few polite phrases passed between the two, the King listening smiling, but with an absent and far-away look gradually stealing upon his face. As they ended speaking, a little pause of silence followed, and then the King suddenly aroused himself.
"So," said he, "I am glad that ye two are acquainted. And now we will leave our youthful champion in thy charge, Beaumont--and in thine, Mon Sieur, as well--and so soon as the proper ceremonies are ended, we will dub him knight with our own hands. And now, Mackworth, and thou my Lord Count, let us walk a little; I have bethought me further concerning these threescore extra men for Dauphiny."
Then Myles withdrew, under the charge of Lord George and the Sieur de la Montaigne and while the King and the two nobles walked slowly up and down the gravel path between the tall rose- bushes, Myles stood talking with the gentlemen attendants, finding himself, with a certain triumphant exultation, the peer of any and the hero of the hour.
That night was the last that Myles and Gascoyne spent lodging in the dormitory in their squirehood service. The next day they were assigned apartments in Lord George's part of the house, and thither they transported themselves and their belongings, amid the awestruck wonder and admiration of their fellow-squires.
In Myles Falworth's day one of the greatest ceremonies of courtly life was that of the bestowal of knighthood by the King, with the honors of the Bath. By far the greater number of knights were at that time created by other knights, or by nobles, or by officers of the crown. To be knighted by the King in person distinguished the recipient for life. It was this signal honor that the Earl, for his own purposes, wished Myles to enjoy, and for this end he had laid not a few plans.
sought her out. She did not know that he had even better
Dorothy; and at the sight of her blood-smeared face, they
way, since she risked handing over to him the key to the
of them saw clearly the adversary's game. Dorothy had no
the great caravan routes entering the Sahara from the south.
which, little by little, she had come to the very heart