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to himself out of his musings, he discovered that the town was far behind him
and that the day was growing old. He was near the river, and in the country; it
was a region of fine rural seats-not the sort of district to welcome clothes like

It was not at all cold; so he stretched himself on the ground in the lee of a hedge
to rest and think. Drowsiness presently began to settle upon his senses; the faint
and far-off boom of cannon was wafted to his ear, and he said to himself, ‘The
new king is crowned,’ and straightway fell asleep. He had not slept or rested,
before, for more than thirty hours. He did not wake again until near the middle
of the next morning.

He got up, lame, stiff, and half famished, washed himself in the river, stayed his
stomach with a pint or two of water, and trudged off toward Westminster
grumbling at himself for having wasted so much time. Hunger helped him to a
new plan now; he would try to get speech with old Sir Humphrey Marlow and
borrow a few marks, and-but that was enough of a plan for the present; it
would be time enough to enlarge it when this first stage should be

Toward eleven o’clock he approached the palace; and although a host of showy
people were about him, moving in the same direction, he was not
inconspicuous-his costume took care of that. He watched these people’s faces
narrowly, hoping to find a charitable one whose possessor might be willing to
carry his name to the old lieutenant-as to trying to get into the palace himself,
that was simply out of the question.

Presently our whipping-boy passed him, then wheeled about and scanned his
figure well, saying to himself, ‘An that is not the very vagabond his majesty is in
such a worry about, then am I an ass-though belike I was that before. He
answereth the description to a rag-that God should make two such, would be to
cheapen miracles, by wasteful repetition. I would I could contrive an excuse to
speak with him.’ Miles Hendon saved him the trouble; for he turned about, then,
as a man generally will when somebody mesmerizes him by gazing hard at him
from behind; and observing a strong interest in the boy’s eyes, he stepped
toward him and said: ‘You have just come out from the palace; do you belong
there?’ ‘Yes, your worship.’ ‘Know you Sir Humphrey Marlow?’ The boy started,
and said to himself, ‘Lord! mine old departed father!’ Then he answered, aloud,
‘Right well, your worship.’ ‘Good-is he within?’ ‘Yes,’ said the boy; and added,
to himself, ‘within his grave.’ Might I crave your favor to carry my name to him,
and say I beg to say a word in his ear?’ ‘I will despatch the business right
willingly, fair sir.’ ‘Then say Miles Hendon, son of Sir Richard, is here without-I
shall be greatly bounden to you, my good lad.’

The boy looked disappointed-‘the king did not name him so,’ he said to himself-
‘but it mattereth not, this is his twin brother, and can give his majesty news of
t’other Sir-Odds-and-Ends, I warrant.’ So he said to Miles, ‘Step in there a
moment, good sir, and wait till I bring you word.’ Hendon retired to the place
indicated-it was a recess sunk in the palace wall, with a stone bench in it-a
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