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The Sacrifice

MEANTIME Miles was growing sufficiently tired of confinment and inaction.
But now his trial came on, to his great gratification, and he thought he could
welcome any sentence provided a further imprisonment should not be a part of

But he was mistaken about that. He was in a fine fury when he found himself
described as a ‘sturdy vagabond’ and sentenced to sit two hours in the pillory
for bearing that character and for assaulting the master of Hendon Hall. His
pretensions as to brothership with his prosecutor, and rightful heirship to the
Hendon honors and estates, were left contemptuously unnoticed, as being not
even worth examination.

He raged and threatened on his way to punishment, but it did no good; he was
snatched roughly along by the officers, and got an occasional cuff, besides, for
his unreverent conduct.

The king could not pierce through the rabble that swarmed behind; so he was
obliged to follow in the rear, remote from his good friend and servant. The king
had been nearly condemned to the stocks himself, for being in such bad
company, but had been let off with a lecture and a warning, in consideration of
his youth.

When the crowd at last halted, he flitted feverishly from point to point around
its outer rim, hunting a place to get through; and at last, after a deal of difficulty
and delay, succeeded. There sat his poor henchman in the degrading stocks, the
sport and butt of a dirty mob-he, the body servant of the king of England!
Edward had heard the sentence pronounced, but he had not realized the half
that it meant. His anger began to rise as the sense of this new indignity which
had been put upon him sank home; it jumped to summer heat the next moment,
when he saw an egg sail through the air and crush itself against Hendon’s cheek,
and heard the crowd roar its enjoyment of the episode. He sprang across the
open circle and confronted the officer in charge, crying: ‘For shame! This is my
servant-set him free! I am the-’ ‘Oh, peace!’ exclaimed Hendon, in a panic,
‘thou’lt destroy thyself. Mind him not, officer, he is mad.’ ‘Give thyself no
trouble as to the matter of minding him, good man, I have small mind to mind
him; but as to teaching him somewhat, to that I am well inclined.’ He turned to a
subordinate and said, ‘Give the little fool a taste or two of the lash, to mend his
manners.’ ‘Half a dozen will better serve his turn,’ suggested Sir Hugh, who had
ridden up a moment before to take a passing glance at the proceedings.

The king was seized. He did not even struggle, so paralyzed was he with the
mere thought of the monstrous outrage that was proposed to be inflicted upon
his sacred person. History was already defiled with the record of the scourging
of an English king with whips-it was an intolerable reflection that he must
furnish a duplicate of that shameful page. He was in the toils, there was no help
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