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coming meeting at Hendon Hall; what a surprise it would be to everybody, and
what an outburst of thanksgiving and delight there would be.

It was a fair region, dotted with cottages and orchards, and the road led through
broad pasture-lands whose receding expanses, marked with gentle elevations
and depressions, suggested the swelling and subsiding undulations of the sea. In
the afternoon the returning prodigal made constant deflections from his course
to see if by ascending some hillock he might not pierce the distance and catch a
glimpse of his home. At last he was successful, and cried out excitedly: ‘There is
the village, my prince, and there is the Hall close by! You may see the towers
from here; and that wood there-that is my father’s park. Ah, now thou’lt know
what state and grandeur be! A house with seventy rooms-think of that!- and
seven and twenty servants! A brave lodging for such as we, is it not so? Come,
let us speed-my impatience will not brook further delay.’ All possible hurry was
made; still, it was after three o’clock before the village was reached. The
travelers scampered through it, Hendon’s tongue going all the time. ‘Here is the
church-covered with the same ivy-none gone, none added.’ ‘Yonder is the inn,
the old Red Lion-and yonder is the market-place.’ ‘Here is the Maypole, and
here the pump-nothing is altered; nothing but the people, at any rate; ten years
make a change in people; some of these I seem to know, but none know me.’ So
his chat ran on. The end of the village was soon reached; then the travelers
struck into a crooked, narrow road, walled in with tall hedges, and hurried
briskly along it for a half-mile, then passed into a vast flower-garden through an
imposing gateway whose huge stone pillars bore sculptured armorial devices.

A noble mansion was before them.
‘Welcome to Hendon Hall, my king!’ exclaimed Miles. ‘Ah, ‘tis a great day! My
father and my brother and the Lady Edith will be so mad with joy that they will
have eyes and tongue for none but me in the first transports of the meeting, and
so thou’lt seem but coldly welcomed-but mind it not; ‘twill soon seem
otherwise; for when I say thou art my ward, and tell them how costly is my love
for thee, thou’lt see them take thee to their breasts for Miles Hendon’s sake, and
make their house and hearts thy home forever after!’ The next moment Hendon
sprang to the ground before the great door, helped the king down, then took him
by the hand and rushed within. A few steps brought him to a spacious
apartment; he entered, seated the king with more hurry than ceremony, then ran
toward a young man who sat at a writing-table in front of a generous fire of logs.
‘Embrace me, Hugh,’ he cried, ‘and say thou’rt glad I am come again! and call
our father, for home is not home till I shall touch his hand, and see his face, and
hear his voice once more!’ But Hugh only drew back, after betraying a
momentary surprise, and bent a grave stare upon the intruder-a stare which
indicated somewhat of offended dignity at first, then changed, in response to
some inward thought or purpose, to an expression of marveling curiosity, mixed
with a real or assumed compassion.

Presently he said, in a mild voice: ‘Thy wits seem touched, poor stranger;
doubtless thou hast suffered privations and rude buffetings at the world’s
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