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his heels. No one there! The king shot a surprised and suspicious glance at the
youth, and asked: ‘Where is he?’ A mocking laugh was his answer. The king was
in a rage in a moment; he seized a billet of wood and was in the act of charging
upon the youth when another mocking laugh fell upon his ear. It was from the
lame ruffian, who had been following at a distance. The king turned and said
angrily: ‘Who art thou? What is thy business here?’ ‘Leave thy foolery,’ said the
man, ‘and quiet thyself. My disguise is none so good that thou canst pretend
thou knowest not thy father through it.’ ‘Thou art not my father. I know thee not.
I am the king. If thou hast hid my servant, find him for me, or thou shalt sup
sorrow for what thou hast done.’ John Canty replied, in a stern and measured
voice: ‘It is plain thou art mad, and I am loath to punish thee; but if thou
provoke me, I must. Thy prating doth no harm here, where there are no ears that
need to mind thy follies, yet is it well to practise thy tongue to wary speech, that
it may do no hurt when our quarters change. I have done a murder, and may not
tarry at home-neither shalt thou, seeing I need thy service. My name is changed,
for wise reasons; it is Hobbs-John Hobbs; thine is Jack-charge thy memory

Now, then, speak. Where is thy mother? Where are thy sisters? They came not to
the place appointed-knowest thou whither they went?’

The king answered, sullenly: ‘Trouble me not with these riddles. My mother is
dead; my sisters are in the palace.’ The youth near by burst into a derisive laugh,
and the king would have assaulted him, but Canty-or Hobbs, as he now called
himself-prevented him, and said: ‘Peace, Hugo, vex him not; his mind is astray,
and thy ways fret him. Sit thee down, Jack, and quiet thyself; thou shalt have a
morsel to eat, anon.’ Hobbs and Hugo fell to talking together, in low voices, and
the king removed himself as far as he could from their disagreeable company.
He withdrew into the twilight of the farther end of the barn, where he found the
earthen floor bedded a foot deep with straw. He lay down here, drew straw over
himself in lieu of blankets, and was soon absorbed in thinking. He had many
griefs, but the minor ones were swept almost into forgetfulness by the supreme
one, the loss of his father. To the rest of the world the name of Henry VIII
brought a shiver, and suggested an ogre whose nostrils breathed destruction and
whose hand dealt scourgings and death; but to this boy the name brought only
sensations of pleasure, the figure it invoked wore a countenance that was all
gentleness and affection. He called to mind a long succession of loving passages
between his father and himself, and dwelt fondly upon them, his unstinted tears
attesting how deep and real was the grief that possessed his heart. As the
afternoon wasted away, the lad, wearied with his troubles, sunk gradually into a
tranquil and healing slumber.

After a considerable time-he could not tell how long-his senses struggled to a
half-consciousness, and as he lay with closed eyes vaguely wondering where he
was and what had been happening, he noted a murmurous sound, the sullen
beating of rain upon the roof. A snug sense of comfort stole over him, which was
rudely broken, the next moment, by a chorus of piping cackles and coarse
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