"Sir," said Myles, "I have thought and pondered this matter much while abroad, and would now ask thee a plain question in all honest an I ha' thy leave. "
"Sir, am I not right in believing that thou hast certain weighty purposes and aims of thine own to gain an I win this battle against the Earl of Alban?"
"Has my brother George been telling thee aught to such a purpose?" said the Earl, after a moment or two of silence.
"No matter," added Lord Mackworth. "I will not ask thee who told thee such a thing. As for thy question--well, sin thou ask it frankly, I will be frank with thee. Yea, I have certain ends to gain in having the Earl of Alban overthrown."
Myles bowed. "Sir," said he, "haply thine ends are as much beyond aught that I can comprehend as though I were a little child; only this I know, that they must be very great. Thou knowest well that in any case I would fight me this battle for my father's sake and for the honor of my house; nevertheless, in return for all that it will so greatly advantage thee, wilt thou not grant me a boon in return should I overcome mine enemy?"
"That thou wilt grant me thy favor to seek the Lady Alice de Mowbray for my wife."
The Earl of Mackworth started up from his seat. "Sir Myles Falworth"--he began, violently, and then stopped short, drawing his bushy eyebrows together into a frown stern, if not sinister.
Myles withstood his look calmly and impassively, and presently the Earl turned on his heel, and strode to the open window. A long time passed in silence while he stood there, gazing out of the window into the garden beyond with his back to the young man.
tables, and lifting Helen Cumberly, carried her half-way
indifferent to the privilege of having been born a Dodson,
to have been a Dodson, and to have one child who took after
like Spouncer. He always takes the best bit, if you don’t
their terrible ordeals in the untracked jungle to the south;
bits o’ money when they’ve got half-a-dozen nevvies