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The Dissappearance of the Prince

A HEAVY drowsiness presently fell upon the two comrades. The king said:
‘Remove these rags’- meaning his clothing.

Hendon disappareled the boy without dissent or remark, tucked him up in bed,
then glanced about the room, saying to himself, ruefully, ‘He hath taken my bed
again, as before-marry, what shall I do?’ The little king observed his perplexity,
and dissipated it with a word. He said, sleepily: ‘Thou wilt sleep athwart the
door, and guard it.’ In a moment more he was out of his troubles, in a deep

‘Dear heart, he should have been born a king!’ muttered Hendon, admiringly,
‘he playeth the part to a marvel.’ Then he stretched himself across the door, on
the floor, saying contentedly: ‘I have lodged worse for seven years; ‘twould be
but ill gratitude to Him above to find fault with this.’ He dropped asleep as the
dawn appeared. Toward noon he rose, uncovered his unconscious ward-a
section at a time-and took his measure with a string. The king awoke, just as he
had completed his work, complained of the cold, and asked what he was doing.
‘’Tis done now, my liege,’ said Hendon; ‘I have a bit of business outside, but will
presently return; sleep thou again-thou needest it. There-let me cover thy head
also-thou’lt be warm the sooner.’ The king was back in dreamland before this
speech was ended. Miles slipped softly out, and slipped as softly in again, in the
course of thirty or forty minutes, with a complete second-hand suit of boy’s
clothing, of cheap material, and showing signs of wear; but tidy, and suited to
the season of the year. He seated himself and began to overhaul his purchase,
mumbling to himself: ‘A longer purse would have got a better sort, but when
one has not the long purse one must be content with what a short one may do
‘”There was a woman in our town, In our town did dwell”

‘He stirred, methinks-I must sing in a less thunderous key; ‘tis not good to mar
his sleep, with this journey before him and he so wearied out, poorchap....

This garment-‘tis well enough-a stitch here and another one there will set it
aright. This other is better, albeit a stitch or two will not come amiss in it,
likewise.... These be very good and sound, and will keep his small feet warm
and dryan odd new thing to him, belike, since he has doubtless been used to foot
it bare, winters and summers the same.... Would thread were bread, seeing one
getteth a year’s sufficiency for a farthing, and such a brave big needle without
cost, for mere love. Now shall I have the demon’s own time to thread it!’ And so
he had. He did as men have always done, and probably always will do, to the
end of time-held the needle still, and tried to thrust the thread through the eye,
which is the opposite of a woman’s way. Time and time again the thread missed
the mark, going sometimes on one side of the needle, sometimes on the other,
sometimes doubling up against the shaft; but he was patient, having been
through these experiences before, when he was soldiering. He succeeded at last,
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