assemblage raised a silencing hand.
"He who claimed to be Leopold of Lutha," he said, "was but a mad
adventurer. He would have seized the throne of the Rubinroths had
his nerve not failed him at the last moment. He has fled. The true
king is dead. Now I, Prince Regent of Lutha, declare the throne
vacant, and announce myself king!"
There were a few scattered cheers and some hissing. A score of the
nobles rose as though to protest, but before any could take a step
the attention of all was directed toward the sorry figure of a
white-faced man who scurried up the broad center aisle.
It was Coblich.
He ran to Peter's side, and though he attempted to speak in a
whisper, so out of breath, and so filled with hysterical terror was
he that his words came out in gasps that were audible to many of
those who stood near by.
"Maenck is dead," he cried. "The impostor has stolen the king."
Peter of Blentz went white as his lieutenant. Von der Tann heard
and demanded an explanation.
"You said that Leopold was dead," he said accusingly.
Peter regained his self-control quickly.
"Coblich is excited," he explained. "He means that the impostor has
stolen the body of the king that Coblich and Maenck had discovered
and were bringing to Lustadt."
Von der Tann looked troubled.
He knew not what to make of the series of wild tales that had come
to his ears within the past hour. He had hoped that the young man
whom he had last seen in the king's apartments was the true Leopold.
He would have been glad to have served such a one, but there had
been many inexplicable occurrences which tended to cast a doubt upon
the man's claims--and yet, had he ever claimed to be the king? It
suddenly occurred to the old prince that he had not. On the contrary
he had repeatedly stated to Prince Ludwig's daughter and to
Lieutenant Butzow that he was not Leopold.
It seemed that they had all been so anxious to believe him king that
they had forced the false position upon him, and now if he had
indeed committed the atrocity that Coblich charged against him, who
could wonder? With less provocation men had before attempted to
seize thrones by more dastardly means.
Peter of Blentz was speaking.
"Let the coronation proceed," he cried, "that Lutha may have a true
king to frustrate the plans of the impostor and the traitors who had
He cast a meaning glance at Prince von der Tann.
There were many cries
For this fell purpose he had backed the astounded De Vac twice around the hall when, with a clever feint, and backward step,.Page 14
In tense silence they listened for a repetition of the sound and then De Montfort cried out: "What ho, below there! Who is it beneath the dock? Answer, in the name of the King!" Richard, recognizing the voice of his favorite uncle, struggled to free himself, but De Vac's ruthless hand crushed out the weak efforts of the babe, and all was quiet as.Page 19
" "I hate the King," replied the little boy.Page 30
CHAPTER VI From now on, the old man devoted himself to the training of the boy in the handling of his lance and battle-axe, but each day also, a period was allotted to the sword, until, by the time the youth had turned sixteen, even the old man himself was as but a novice by comparison with the marvelous skill of his pupil.Page 37
God speed the day of his coronation, when, before the very eyes of the Plantagenet hound, a black cap shall be placed upon his head for a crown; beneath his feet the platform of a wooden gibbet for a throne.Page 41
Norman of Torn, if you are not the son of the old man you call father, may God forfend that England ever guesses your true parentage.Page 48
" Norman of Torn led in the laugh which followed, and of all the company he most enjoyed the joke.Page 56
"Thou be a fool, Mary," she said.Page 59
That such an eventuality threatened, he knew from one Spizo the Spaniard, the single traitor in the service of Norman of Torn, whose mean aid the little grim, gray man had purchased since many months to spy upon the comings and goings of the great outlaw.Page 71
"He will not go far, My Lady Bertrade," he said.Page 73
She thanked him in her courtly manner for these services, but beyond that, no word passed between them, and they came, in silence, about midday within sight of the castle of Simon de.Page 81
When he undid the parcel which Bertrade had tossed to him, he found that it contained a beautifully wrought ring set with a single opal.Page 93
From his apparel,.Page 110
Quickly she hastened to the outer barbican that it might be she who answered their hail rather than one of the men-at-arms on watch there.Page 127
But a moment since, you said that you.Page 130
Cold and hard, he looked with no love upon the man he still called "my son.Page 134
"A messenger from Lady Bertrade de Montfort," said the soldier.Page 135
"Here," he said, "My Lord," and turning left them.Page 139
Thou ridest north tonight with Norman of Torn, and by the third day, Father Claude shall make us one.Page 144
Presently he saw his opportunity.