A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

By Mark Twain

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...A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT

by

MARK TWAIN
(Samuel L. Clemens)




PREFACE

The ungentle laws and customs touched...

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...among the specters and shadows and dust and mold of a gray
antiquity, holding speech with...

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...he clave his head asunder.
When his fellow saw that, he ran away...

Page 3

...saw by the
moonlight three knights come riding after that
one...

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... yielden, it shall be unto Sir Kay. Fair knight,
then they...

Page 5

...all
sorts of labor-saving machinery. Why, I could make anything
a body wanted--anything in the world,...

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...agreement
whereby I was to go with him and he was not to hurt me. ...

Page 7

...as Sunday. The air was full of the smell of
flowers, and the buzzing of...

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...an iron collar. The small boys and girls
were always naked; but nobody seemed to...

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...mind that might come
along and give me some light. I judged I had found...

Page 10

...awful has happened. Now tell me, honest and true, where am I?"

"IN KING ARTHUR'S...

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...my mind's made up and there's work on hand; so I said
to the page:

"Now, Clarence,...

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...some huge tapestries which were probably taxed
as works of art; battle-pieces, they were, with horses...

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...the stateliest pattern with a most gentle and
winning naivety, and ready and willing to listen...

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...were not needed in a society
like that, and indeed would have marred it, hindered it,...

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...he went on and told
how Sir Launcelot, seeking adventures, some brief time gone by,
killed seven...

Page 16

...liar and magician, perdition singe him for
the weariness he worketh with his one tale! ...

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...said Merlin; and within
that lake is a rock, and therein is as fair a place...

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...ye advise me, said Arthur.
Then Sir Arthur looked on the sword, and liked it passing...

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...I never heard so many old
played-out jokes strung together in my life. He was...

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...the size of a cow, which "all-to brast" the most
of my bones, and then swore...

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...the rest, and said
she had never seen anybody with legs just like mine before. ...

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...a score. One may not hope to escape." After a pause
--hesitatingly: "and there...

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...myself."

"Thou!" The boy recoiled a step, and caught his breath, for
the thing hit him...

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...am a humbug.

I worried over that heedless blunder for an hour, and called myself
a great...

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...and full loth to do you the discourtesy, he yet prayeth
you to consider his perplexed...

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...revulsion, and he rallies. Hope springs up, and cheerfulness
along with it, and then he...

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...multitudes rose rank
above rank, forming sloping terraces that were rich with color.
The king and the...

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...stillness was
so profound that if I had been blindfold I should have supposed
I was in...

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...this perilous matter,
lest disaster follow. It was reported to us that your powers could
not...

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...good, or restore it, shall rest with you. These are
the terms, to wit: You...

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...the eclipse was total,
and I was very glad of it, but everybody else was in...

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...nothing in it
was the right color or the right shape; and as for proportions,
even Raphael...

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...his mercy was purchased, and he then dissolved
his enchantments, and was now recognized and honored...

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...wouldn't have any
use for it, as like as not. If it had been booked...

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...batches of
powder, and ran wires from it to the other batches. Everybody
had shunned that...

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...of powder in it, which sent up a small cloud of aromatic
smoke, whereat everybody fell...

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...consent to it is a finer. The tower episode
solidified my power, and made it...

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...adventurers like myself in the shelter of its long
array of thrones: De Montforts, Gavestons, Mortimers,...

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...sweat blood for them, starve that they might
be fed, work that they might play, drink...

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...eyes I was mere dirt; the people regarded me with
wonder and awe, but there was...

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...among intellectual moles: by all rational measurement
the one and only actually great man in that...

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...of
respecting any unearned supremacy; but as MEN I looked down upon
him and his nobles--privately. ...

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...horse in the lists with a lanceshaft the thickness
of your ankle clean through him and...

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...his time he had kept door
for a pious hermit who lived in a sty and...

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...his again coming,
he seemed blue. And thus at every course that he...

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...I would not.

There was an unpleasant little episode that day, which for reasons
of state I...

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...be born for five hundred
years yet? Just as he finished, the call-boy came; so,...

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...well fixed up and going smoothly;
then I should be ready; all the chances were that...

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...earth and the mineral brought up in sacks of hide by
hand, at the rate of...

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...things. I was turning on
my light one-candle-power at a time, and meant to continue...

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...be poor
wisdom to antagonize the Church.

As for the general condition of the country, it was...

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...in a vast and gloomy castle, along with forty-four other
young and beautiful girls, pretty much...

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...and don't be afraid. Where do you
live, when you are at home?"

"In the land...

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...that
the way of the road doth yet again turn upon itself by the space
of half...

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...get into the poorhouse
in my day and country. In fact, he was glad to...

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...children, that is all. And they
gave me no end of points about how to...

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... Well, a man that is packed away like
that is a nut that isn't worth...

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...self. There was
nothing more to do now, but for that damsel to get up...

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...getting to business with a song here and a quarrel yonder
and a mysterious far-off hammering...

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...my mind that I would carry along a reticule next time,
let it look how it...

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...it had got to the worst, and it seemed to me that I could
not stand...

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...in the circumstances. You couldn't
think, where Sandy was.

She was a quite biddable creature and...

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...It had been my intention to smuggle a couple of sandwiches
into my helmet, but I...

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...was in a living
fire, as you may say, on account of that swarm of crawlers,...

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...or really respect-worthy,
and to subtract them would have been to subtract the Nation and
leave behind...

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...the remainder; after which, the skinned freeman had liberty
to bestow the remnant in his barn,...

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...all been so
diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could
hardly contain...

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...cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body
from winter, disease, and death. To...

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...talk blood and insurrection to that man there who sat
munching black bread with that abused...

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...of a
burden to me. I spent money rather too freely in those days,
it is...

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...that time to get Sandy thoroughly wonted to the new
thing, she being so close to...

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...ride for life. No, she wouldn't. She said that my
enchantment had disabled those...

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...to appear
at Arthur's court within two days and yield them, with horse and
harness, and be...

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...into a great forest. And--"

"_Which_ two?"

"Sir Gawaine and Sir Uwaine. And so they...

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...please them, Sandy.
Man of brains--that is a thing they never think of. Tom Sayers
--John...

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...so many horses."

"That saw the other knight of the turret, and dressed him toward
Marhaus, and...

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...good deal of a lecture, I thought, but it didn't disturb
Sandy, didn't turn a feather;...

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...stand up cased in cruelly burdensome
iron and drenched with perspiration, and hack and batter and...

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...of thought came rolling over my soul, and the voice faded
out of my hearing!

Fifteen! ...

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...own
time, and scaled accordingly, you got the truth. It was very
simple: you discounted a...

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...have got the
king to wear a bulletin-board for the sake of that barbaric
splendor--they were to...

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...been in little Palestine in
Joshua's time, when people had to sleep with their knees pulled...

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...said I, suppose
the victor should decline to accept his spoil? She said that that
wouldn't...

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...slipped a dirk into him in as matter-of-course a way as
another person would have harpooned...

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...It cleared her countenance
and brought back her smiles and all her persuasive graces and
blandishments; but...

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...and everything was as fine and
lavish and rudely splendid as might become the royal degree...

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...stories,
ecclesiastics were the hardy heroes, but that didn't worry the
chaplain any, he had his laugh...

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...The assemblage rose,
whiffed ceremony to the winds, and rushed for the door like a mob;
overturning...

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...what?"

"The rack. Come--ye shall see a blithe sight. An he yield not
his secret...

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...waves wear a cliff. And
her training was everybody's. The brightest intellect in the...

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...who fears a repulse;
indeed, she tried furtively to touch the man's forehead, and jumped
back, the...

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...king's
servant--Arthur, the king whose word is gold!"

"Well, then you do believe I can be trusted,...

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...the ground
among the common people, were sincere and right-hearted, and
devoted to the alleviation of human...

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...own sudden passion in the case of the page
modified that crime.

"Crime!" she exclaimed. "How...

Page 95

...his golden blood. How could she _pay_ for him! _Whom_
could she pay? ...

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...have a right to their view. I only stand
to this: I have noticed my...

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...of these cells had no light at all. In one of them was
a woman,...

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...blinking with the distress of the
torchlight, then dropped his head and fell to muttering again
and...

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...than nothing.

Dear me, for what trifling offenses the most of those forty-seven
men and women were...

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...him, by night and by day,
asleep and awake. Well, to have an interest, of...

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...poor
old human ruins, but nothing more. These traditions went but
little way, for they concerned...

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...over them
all for variety. And how sharply characteristic of her this episode
was. She...

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...had a spear in his hand, and so they
encountered, whereas the duke and his two...

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...week;
then somebody corners the market on _you_, and down goes your
bucket-shop; ain't that so, Sandy?"

"Whethersoever...

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...dolorous moan, and by the words of it I perceived that he
was cursing and swearing;...

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...down
from his horse, neither would he take any rest, or listen to any
comfort, until he...

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...daughters trying to realize a father
who had been to her a name, a thought, a...

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...knees, toward a row of bushes that bordered
a declivity, the thumpings grew stronger and quicker....

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...enchantment, and so it is of no consequence to dissolve it.
These ladies remain ladies to...

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...disguise.

I sent the three men away, and then opened the sty gate and beckoned
Sandy to...

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...it. It was like an
insurrection in a gasometer.



CHAPTER XXI

THE PILGRIMS

When I did get to...

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...suddenly shunned and forsaken by everybody
as a madman.

The next morning Sandy assembled the swine in...

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... It is time to get the nobility together
and be moving."

"Wherefore, fair sir and Boss?"

"We...

Page 114

...that
whole peerage away to the servants. And I asked them to take
a duster and...

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...the blushes of the mules in its wake.

Sandy knew the goal and purpose of this...

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...to zero,
and everything come to a standstill. Go on, Sandy."

"And so upon a time,...

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...many have wended thither who know that anecdote.

Early in the afternoon we overtook another procession...

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...with his finger. I was reminded
of this when I noticed the faces of some...

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...of
slavery, that I was resolved upon; but I would try to fix it so
that when...

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...wear it. I dressed and ran down to welcome Sir Ozana and
get his news.

"How...

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...and right bravely doth he work his magic and call upon his
hellions to hie them...

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...women were sent over to the nunnery. The
bells were close at hand now, and...

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...lighted.

"Ah, that is simple. There are ways to persuade him to abandon it."

"No-no, Father,...

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... Matters got
to be very jolly. Good old questionable stories were told that made
the...

Page 125

...none but monks could enter
the well-chamber. I entered it, for I had temporary authority
to...

Page 126

...these two centuries, as the testimony goeth,
brought down to us through our predecessors."

It was true--as...

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...of this enterprise; he would fill up the others.
In two days the solicitude would be...

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...and most dear lord."

I couldn't make it all out--that is, the details--but I got the
general...

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...of
age, and no other apparel, was black from crown to heel with
forty-seven years of holy...

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...I brought out a line of goods suitable for kings,
and a nobby thing for duchesses...

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...might break the spell that binds these
waters, this which I have but just essayed had...

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...your gripsack and get along. The thing
for _you_ to do is to go home...

Page 133

...front of this little holy hillock at
the proper time.

We knocked the head out of an...

Page 134

...huge camp; we should have a good house, no question
about that. Criers went the...

Page 135

...corns; he had never seen anything to begin
with that, before. Now was the time...

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...utterance of any sort, he folded me
in his arms and mashed me. It was...

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...some valuable
account. The thought came to me the next morning, and was suggested
by my...

Page 138

...of the monastery, not a stone
missing. They had been left just so, all these...

Page 139

...a hermitage
which had often been pointed out to me from a distance as the den
of...

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...you anything
about the great miracle of the restoration of a holy fountain?"

"Oh, _that_? Indeed...

Page 141

...questioned."

"That is news to the purpose. I will get one West Pointer in,
anyway. ...

Page 142

...Emperor of the East doth at this moment put
money in the palm of a holy...

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...who isn't three
yards from you? Persons behind me know what I am doing with...

Page 144

...Nobody knew which
of us to believe; I still had some reputation left. The magician's
scorn...

Page 145

...I asked
a friend of mine, a monk, about it, and he said, yes, the magician
had...

Page 146

...at sunrise and tried cases, for he was
himself Chief Justice of the King's Bench.

He shone...

Page 147

...Church itself, strictly barred the bishop from exercising
it. It was a very odd case,...

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...Next!"

Here was a tragic end to a beautiful honeymoon not yet three months
old. Poor...

Page 149

...to the lowest.

King Arthur had hurried up the army business altogether beyond
my calculations. I...

Page 150

...was
beautiful to hear the lad lay out the science of war, and wallow
in details of...

Page 151

...and a dog worth a penny,
and C kill the dog before delivery, because bitten by...

Page 152

...empty
and useless. Then we took the other young noble in hand, and he
was the...

Page 153

...madness and not
comprehensible to any."

"I yield. Proceed, sir Chief of the Herald's College."

The chairman...

Page 154

...of war, and be utterly swell and independent.
This would make that regiment the heart's desire...

Page 155

...too.

But I believed I saw my chance at last. I would form this crack
regiment...

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...here; and where Launcelot is,
she noteth not the going forth of the king, nor what...

Page 157

...seventh be inflated into
five-cent nickels and delivered into the hands of the head clerk
of the...

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...was precisely
the same--each paid $6. Nothing could be equaler than that,
I reckon. Well,...

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...had seen around Camelot for years on crutches,
arrive and pray before that picture, and put...

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... ...

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...irreverencies which would have seemed but proper and
airy graces of speech at an earlier period...

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...the ey of the recipients hu-
mid with grt ude; and it...

Page 163

... Friday, " "...

Page 164

...man and a boy."

They crossed themselves, and whiffed out a protective prayer or two.

"Ah-h--a miracle,...

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...So I inverted
a bowl over his head and cut away all the locks that hung...

Page 166

...around a turn of the road--smartly clad people of quality,
with luggage-mules and servants in their...

Page 167

...and just
saving it by a hair from drowning itself or breaking its neck with
each new...

Page 168

...must get back my lost ground.
After a deep reflection and careful planning, I said:

"Sire, I...

Page 169

...two or three days."

"How amazing that it should be so!"

"Yes, a genuine expert can always...

Page 170

...loath to institute it; but now I had just had a fresh
reminder: while striding heedlessly...

Page 171

...next moment here they came,
breast to breast. I was seventy yards off, then, and...

Page 172

...discrepancy. Your
soldierly stride, your lordly port--these will not do. You stand
too straight, your...

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...one field
and one hut in sight, and they so far away that nobody could
see us...

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...best yet;
but not perfect. The shoulders have known no ignobler burden
than iron mail, and...

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...orchestra with the
ebbing and flowing tides of divine sound washing over him--why,
certainly, he is at...

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...God I had a sup of water!--but hold, hold, forget
I said it, and fly; for...

Page 177

...had not
noticed us thus far, or spoken.

"Is it your husband?" the king asked.

"Yes."

"Is he asleep?"

"God...

Page 178

...palace should have an addition--I would see to that; and it
would not be a mailed...

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...offered the
woman food and liquor, but she refused both. She would allow
nothing to come...

Page 180

...ate up
our crop--and they took it all; they took it all and made us harvest
it...

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...at the king's robe and we drew
back and took shelter behind the corner of the...

Page 182

...you having the same fear."

"I should not call it by that name though. I...

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...practical side of a thing once in a while;
and so of late you couldn't clean...

Page 184

... Come--it is unprofitable to tarry here."

There was reason in what he said, so we...

Page 185

...in her life to run across a person of the king's
humble appearance who was ready...

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...he might not
escape, but be taken. None were taken."

"Natheless, three did escape," said the king,...

Page 187

...pitiful piece of history; and that was,
that secretly the "poor white" did detest the slave-lord,...

Page 188

...what land come you, brother, that you speak such perilous
words, and seem not to be...

Page 189

...placed in the hands of the
men and women of the nation there to remain. ...

Page 190

...of the prevailing wages; if the wages be high, the
nation is prosperous; if low, it...

Page 191

...give me any lip, but I noticed he took it out of
his underlings, which was...

Page 192

...before him; he judged that his financial
days were numbered. However, on our way to...

Page 193

...hanged.
The raiment of Marco and his wife was of coarse tow-linen and
linsey-woolsey respectively, and resembled...

Page 194

...about running
a kingdom--still, whatever he talks about, you want to drop your
underjaw and listen, the...

Page 195

...invention of my own, and that I had officially ordered that
every shopkeeper in the kingdom...

Page 196

...a little, though it was some little
trouble to him to adjust himself to the name...

Page 197

...his master was a fine man, and prosperous, and always
had a great feast of meat...

Page 198

...hand with a poorly disguised reluctance, and
let go of it as willingly as a lady...

Page 199

...this bill, while those three amazed men listened,
and serene waves of satisfaction rolled over my...

Page 200

.... . . . 4,000
2 miller guns, loaded . . . ....

Page 201

...that man was
feeling, for anything in the world. Here he had been blowing and
bragging...

Page 202

...dinner of leavings
in humble privacy, and the rest of us soon drifted into matters
near and...

Page 203

...for wheat?"

"At the rate of nine hundred milrays the bushel."

"We pay four hundred. What...

Page 204

...it again, ye're confessing it again!"

"Confound it, I've never denied it, I tell you! ...

Page 205

...shade under 29
days' work, and he will have about half a week's wages over. ...

Page 206

...a blundering half-way business
of it; no, I get away off yonder to one side, and...

Page 207

...mechanic's wages will then be _twenty_ cents a day!"

There was a general gasp of awed...

Page 208

...tyranny of trade
unions! Yes, indeed! the magistrate will tranquilly arrange the
wages from now clear...

Page 209

...dodge one clod and get hit with another?"

"Yes."

"Then they throw dead cats at him, don't...

Page 210

...seems to me unfair, Dowley, and a deadly peril to all of us,
that because you...

Page 211

...Mystery! a simple little thing like that; and yet it
was mysterious enough, for that race...

Page 212

...his
damned onions and things. At first the tumult of my own thoughts,
summoned by the...

Page 213

...went down again; came again; and kept on repeating
this, with native British pluck, until they...

Page 214

...pick up the trail again.

When we were snugly lodged in the tree and curtained with...

Page 215

...But, don't you know, there are
some things that can beat smartness and foresight? Awkwardness
and...

Page 216

...help. We were feeling
very well satisfied. We could smile; almost laugh.

But we didn't;...

Page 217

...are not mad; neither are we violent
or bloodthirsty."

The gentleman turned to his retinue and said...

Page 218

...to the gang. The king was not interested, and
wanted to move along, but I...

Page 219

...may be slaves. The law
is clear: it doth not require the claimant to prove...

Page 220

...his chief minister, marching manacled and fettered
and yoked, in a slave convoy, could move by...

Page 221

...half the money, and during the
next thirteen centuries wouldn't see one that was worth the...

Page 222

...that from his first effort down to his
latest, he couldn't ever come within reach of...

Page 223

...and we were soon
lost. The slave-driver lashed us desperately, for he saw ruin
before him,...

Page 224

...sat a comely young
girl of about eighteen suckling a baby, which she squeezed to her
breast...

Page 225

...shelter and sustenance to his family, he was
adding his mite to the wealth of the...

Page 226

...was set, he had taken his own life. A kindly man; a man
whose heart...

Page 227

...in a poor
juvenile sixth century way. We saw knights and grandees whom
we knew, but...

Page 228

...nobody wanted that kind of a slave.
I considered myself safe from parting from him because...

Page 229

...about
as usual, but it didn't seem so to me. It seemed to me that...

Page 230

...on each side of the watchman. Here was disaster,
here was a fine scheme gone...

Page 231

...in time, too; he was starting
to ask me why I didn't fetch out these facts...

Page 232

...they may find the missing
one meantime."

The missing one! It made me feel uncomfortable.

"Is it...

Page 233

...were captured and brought
here as slaves. We should not be able to prove our...

Page 234

...apart,
and getting a little finer article with each change, until I should
finally reach silk and...

Page 235

...was a surer protection from meddling
law-dogs in Britain than any amount of mere innocence and...

Page 236

...be hanged _to-day_, at mid-afternoon! Oho! that
shot hit home! Lean upon me."

The fact...

Page 237

...Absently, I had taken off my white bandage and wound
it about my right arm. ...

Page 238

...was noble to see Launcelot and the boys swarm up onto that
scaffold and heave sheriffs...

Page 239

...reserved seatsh 5; pro-
ceeds to go to the hospital fund The
...

Page 240

...muscle but of mind, not of human skill but of superhuman art
and craft; a final...

Page 241

...a stiff-standing
sentinel at every door and a shining shield hanging by him for
challenge, was another...

Page 242

...of the lists,
and took position. Now old Merlin stepped into view and cast
a dainty...

Page 243

...him; when the space between
us had narrowed to forty feet, I sent the snaky spirals...

Page 244

...his lance, the focal
point of forty thousand adoring eyes; and all by myself, here was
I...

Page 245

...that weapon can be used in but eight bouts
only, and then it vanisheth away to...

Page 246

...his chain-mail, but they attached no importance
to a little thing like that; and as a...

Page 247

...Knight-errantry was a doomed institution. The
march of civilization was begun. How did I...

Page 248

...before the law;
taxation had been equalized. The telegraph, the telephone, the
phonograph, the typewriter, the...

Page 249

...years yet, he being about my own age--that is
to say, forty--and I believed that in...

Page 250

...would
soon be fixed upon this humane and gentle system, and royal butchers
would presently begin to...

Page 251

...it were worth--well, you would never believe the
figure, so it is no use to state...

Page 252

...of heart-break it is.

The doctors said we must take the child away, if we would...

Page 253

...was at the bat
and a ball hit him, it would bound a hundred and fifty...

Page 254

...We couldn't bear to allow
anybody to help in this service, so we two stood watch-and-watch,
day...

Page 255

...is of you, too!
But I want to hear these lips of yours, which are also...

Page 256

...I was devouring the child
with last kisses, it brisked up and jabbered out its vocabulary!
--the...

Page 257

...had already seen. The Monday
and the Tuesday differed in no way from the Sunday....

Page 258

...The stock was for sale at a give-away. What
does Sir Launcelot do, but--"

"Yes, I...

Page 259

...Reynold's three brothers, Sir Damus, Sir Priamus, Sir Kay
the Stranger--"

"My peerless short-stop! I've seen...

Page 260

...My dream of a republic to _be_ a dream, and
so remain."

"Yes. The two armies...

Page 261

...unhappy day, ye shall be right well
revenged upon him. Good lord,...

Page 262

...while. It is inconceivable.
What next, I wonder?"

"I can tell you what next."

"Well?"

"Stake our lives...

Page 263

...mysteriously disappeared! Also, as
suddenly and as mysteriously, the railway and telegraph and
telephone service ceased,...

Page 264

...We laid it under ground, of course, and
it was all finished in a couple of...

Page 265

...or get tangled, no harm is done."

"No, especially if we have a tell-tale in the...

Page 266

...strike; that's our game."

"A hundred to one you are right. When does the performance...

Page 267

...again
--but never mind about that."



CHAPTER XLIII

THE BATTLE OF THE SAND BELT

In Merlin's Cave--Clarence and I...

Page 268

...the nobilities, big
and little, were on their way, and all the gentry. This was...

Page 269

...tried to forget what we are--English boys! We have tried
to put reason before sentiment,...

Page 270

...in the
corral came into the cave and reported a moving black mass under
the horizon, and...

Page 271

...now
perceived that additions had been made to our defenses. The
dynamite had dug a ditch...

Page 272

...standpoint of proportion of casualties to
numbers engaged. We are done with the nation; henceforth...

Page 273

...that name.
We know that at the utmost you cannot bring
...

Page 274

...at will. I placed the
brook-connection under the guard and authority of three of my
best...

Page 275

...to turn the current on to the two
inner fences. Then I went into the...

Page 276

...near enough now for
us to see him put out a hand, find an upper wire,...

Page 277

...host. One could make out but little of
detail; but he could note that a...

Page 278

...and twenty-five deep.

"Stand to your guns, men! Open fire!"

The thirteen gatlings began to vomit...

Page 279

...short handed. We
were in a trap, you see--a trap of our own making. ...

Page 280

...and listened at his door, which was slightly ajar. I could
hear his voice, and...

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...is dear
to me, all that could make life worth the living! It was awful
--awfuler...