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      He was so pleased that he forgot to veil his pleasure before Rose, whose grief reminded him of the fact that Lardner was a near and dear relation, whose death must be looked upon as a chastisement from heaven. In a fit of compunction for his behaviour, he ordered a complete suit of mourning, in which he attended the funeral. He was soft and benign to all men now, and soothed Rose's ruffled spirit by showing himself to her in all the glory of a top-hat with crape weepers before setting out for Starvecrow."My lord abbot," replied Skipwith, bowing to the priest, "the writ you speak of has been recalled; a chancery messenger was here not three days since."

      "If you'd asked me after the Fair, lad, I might have been able to let you have a shillun or two. But this time o' year, I'm as poor as you are."So he came, dressed in his best, as usual, with corduroy breeches, leggings, wide soft hat, and the flowered waistcoat and tail-coat he had refused to discard. He was no longer the centre of a group of farmers discussing crops and weather and the latest improvements in machineryhe stood and walked alone, inspecting the booths and side-shows with a contemptuous eye, while the crowd stared at him furtively and whispered when he passed ... "There he goes" ... "old Ben Backfield up at Odiam." Reuben wondered if this was fame.

      "My wife's deceived me!" shouted Reuben. "I made sure as she'd come in fur thousands of pounds when old Lardner died, and all she's got out of him is fifty pounds and his lousy furniture."

      Albert continued weakly and picturesquely to offend. He was now nearly twenty-one, and had begun to run after girls in a stupid way. Reuben, remembering how sternly he had deprived himself of pleasures of this kind, ruthlessly spoiled his son's philanderings ... but the crime he could not forgive, which set the keystone on his and the boy's antagonism, was the publication of some verses by Albert in the Rye Advertiser.Those to whom the command was addressed now encompassed the smith, who, with astonishing dexterity, warded off the blows that were aimed at his hands and arms to compel him to relinquish the stave. His hands were bleeding, and his arms swollen; but his heart was like the roused lion's, and, if unable to conquer his opponents (for the exertion of parrying prevented him from dealing blows), he would undoubtedly have at least tired their mettle, had not a stable boy, who saw the fray from a window above, mischievously flung down a quantity of chaff on his head. In the surprise and annoyance this created, the weapon was wrested from his relaxed grasp, and the retainers fastened on him like wolves. In the manual struggle which now succeeded, Turner was dragged towards the tumbrel; but, as it met his eyes, he seemed suddenly endowed with more than human strength. The retainers fell around him, either from blows or kicks, and blood streamed copiously. At length De Boteler (who would not permit steel to be used against an unarmed man), ashamed that so unequal a conflict should so long continue, ordered that, instead of the tumbrel, Turner should be conveyed to the keep. This, after much resistance, was effected, and a prison-door was, for the first time, locked on the intrepid smith.

      However, everyone viewed with dislike and suspicion his covetous eye cast on the Fair-place. He might have the rest of Boarzell and welcome, for no other man had any use for flints, but the Fair was sacred to them through the generations, and they gauged his sacrilegious desire to rob them of it for his own ends. He might have the Grandturzel inclosure, though all the village sympathised with the beaten Realfbeaten, they said, because he hadn't it in him to be as hard-hearted as the old Gorilla, and sacrifice his wife and children to his farmbut they would far rather see Grandturzel swallowed up than Boarzell Fair.

      This proposition was then eagerly adopted and decided upon without a dissentient voice.For me? he asked. You make none.


      "It is thou, foul spirit!" cried Sudbury, descending a step from the altar"it is thou who hast stimulated the thirst for blood, and hast brought the royal prerogative and holy church into contemptaway! ere, with my own hands, I drive thee hence!"


      "Oh yes, but you did;don't you remember one Robin Wells, a stout rosy boy with curly hair, that made you a wreath of holly and ivyone All-hallows dayand put it on your head, and called you a little queen? You were ten years old that day, and it is just ten years and three days since then. Don't you remember it?"