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Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob! For I have walked in the golden courts, I have
seen the Deity face to face!’ He paused, to give this speech effect; then his face
suddenly changed, and he started to his feet again, saying, with angry energy,
‘Yes, I am an archangel; a mere archangel!- I that might have been pope! It is
verily true. I was told it from heaven in a dream, twenty years ago; ah, yes, I was
to be pope!- and I should have been pope, for Heaven had said it-but the king
dissolved my religious house, and I, poor obscure unfriended monk, was cast
homeless upon the world, robbed of my mighty destiny!’ Here he began to
mumble again, and beat his forehead in futile rage, with his fist; now and then
articulating a venomous curse, and now and then a pathetic ‘Wherefore I am
naught but an archangel-I that should have been pope!’ So he went on for an
hour, while the poor little king sat and suffered. Then all at once the old man’s
frenzy departed, and he became all gentleness. His voice softened, he came
down out of his clouds, and fell to prattling along so simply and so humanely,
that he soon won the king’s heart completely. The old devotee moved the boy
nearer to the fire and made him comfortable; doctored his small bruises and
abrasions with a deft and tender hand; and then set about preparing and
cooking a supper-chatting pleasantly all the time, and occasionally stroking the
lad’s cheek or patting his head, in such a gently caressing way that in a little
while all the fear and repulsion inspired by the archangel were changed to
reverence and affection for the man.

This happy state of things continued while the two ate the supper; then, after a
prayer before the shrine, the hermit put the boy to bed, in a small adjoining
room, tucking him in as snugly and lovingly as a mother might; and so, with a
parting caress, left him and sat down by the fire, and began to poke the brands
about in an absent and aimless way. Presently he paused; then tapped his
forehead several times with his fingers, as if trying to recall some thought which
had escaped from his mind. Apparently he was unsuccessful. Now he started
quickly up, and entered his guest’s room, and said: ‘Thou art king?’ ‘Yes,’ was
the response, drowsily uttered.

‘What king?’ ‘Of England.’ ‘Of England. Then Henry is gone!’ ‘Alack, it is so. I
am his son.’ A black frown settled down upon the hermit’s face, and he clenched
his bony hands with a vindictive energy. He stood a few moments, breathing
fast and swallowing repeatedly, then said in a husky voice: ‘Dost know it was he
that turned us out into the world houseless and homeless?’

There was no response. The old man bent down and scanned the boy’s reposeful
face and listened to his placid breathing. ‘He sleeps-sleeps soundly’; and the
frown vanished away and gave place to an expression of evil satisfaction. A
smile flitted across the dreaming boy’s features. The hermit muttered, ‘So-his
heart is happy’; and he turned away. He went stealthily about the place, seeking
here and there for something; now and then halting to listen, now and then
jerking his head around and casting a quick glance toward the bed; and always
muttering, always mumbling to himself. At last he found what he seemed to
want-a rusty old butcher-knife and a whetstone. Then he crept to his place by
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