Myles smiled somewhat grimly. "I have seen such things, my Lord, in France and in Paris," said he, quietly, "as, mayhap, may make a lad a man before his time."
"From which I gather," said the Earl, "that many adventures have befallen thee. Methought thou wouldst find troublesome times in the Dauphin's camp, else I would not have sent thee to France."
A little space of silence followed, during which the Earl sat musingly, half absently, regarding the tall, erect, powerful young figure standing before him, awaiting his pleasure in motionless, patient, almost dogged silence. The strong, sinewy hands were clasped and rested upon the long heavy sword, around the scabbard of which the belt was loosely wrapped, and the plates of mail caught and reflected in flashing, broken pieces, the bright sunlight from the window behind.
"Sir Myles," said the Earl, suddenly, breaking the silence at last, "dost thou know why I sent for thee hither?"
"Aye," said Myles, calmly, "how can I else? Thou wouldst not have called me from Paris but for one thing. Methinks thou hast sent for me to fight the Earl of Alban, and lo! I am here."
"Thou speakest very boldly," said the Earl. "I do hope that thy deeds be as bold as thy words."
"That," said Myles, "thou must ask other men. Methinks no one may justly call me coward."
"By my troth!" said the Earl, smiling, "looking upon thee--limbs and girth, bone and sinew--I would not like to be the he that would dare accuse thee of such a thing. As for thy surmise, I may tell thee plain that thou art right, and that it was to fight the Earl of Alban I sent for thee hither. The time is now nearly ripe, and I will straightway send for thy father to come to London. Meantime it would not be safe either for thee or for me to keep thee in my service. I have spoken to his Highness the Prince of Wales, who, with other of the Princes, is upon our side in this quarrel. He hath promised to take thee into his service until the fitting time comes to bring thee and thine enemy together, and to-morrow I shall take thee to Scotland Yard, where his Highness is now lodging."
the steps again, finding himself now nearly up to his armpits
steps were ahead of him, and then a long brick tunnel in