And and, she said also that Rolf Ganger had left the King in a huff, and perhaps we might look for help from him too. So methinks I bring good news, don't I?" "Good, aye, and stirring news, my boy," cried Erling striding onward at such a pace that the carle with the fish was left behind, and Alric was compelled to adopt an undignified trot in order to keep up with his huge brother.
But," added Glumm, hesitating a moment, and looking fixedly at the small but sturdy frame of his companion, whose heightened colour and flashing eyes betokened a roused spirit, "I doubt thy that is I have no fear of the spirit, if the body were a little bigger." "Take thine own big body off, Glumm," said Alric, "and leave me to guard the pass." Glumm grinned as he turned and strode away.
Alric winced a little at this, for he was quite aware of his own tendency to boast, and for a moment he felt a strong inclination to stand up for "boys", and assert, that although boasting was common enough with cowardly boys, it was not so with all boys; but on consideration he thought it best to hold his tongue, on that point, at least until he should have freed himself of the evil of boasting.
"Now, Alric, come aside with me, quick! I have only time for a few words. It is enough to tell thee that the day is lost. I go with our father and the men to save our mother and the other women, or to die. Thou wilt stay here with a few men to guard the ships, and be ready to cast off at a moment's notice.
But meanwhile the news had spread quickly that it was the silent Englishman, neither knight nor squire, who had saved the Queen, and outside the tent men stopped and talked of the deed, and asked questions of Alric, who had picked up enough Norman-French to give tolerably intelligible answers.
"Exhausted!" cried Swart, springing up as though he had but risen from a refreshing slumber. "Well, I see thou art still fit for the fight. Revenge, like love, is a powerful stirrer of the blood. Come along then; I will lead the way, and do thou tread softly and keep silence. Follow us, Alric, I have yet more work for thee, lad."
"That is a long way," said the man, taking his shield down from a peg in the wall. Alric replied not, for he had already darted away, and was again speeding along the mountain side. Night had begun to close in, for the season had not yet advanced to the period of endless daylight. Far away in an offshoot vale, a bright ruddy light gleamed through the surrounding darkness.
I'll even try to conceal it from myself, and think it was a dream, unless, indeed, I see a good chance of helping thee in this affair!" Alric laughed as he said this, and the girls joined him, after which they all went on towards Haldorstede together.
Hilda's sanguine mind pictured many sweet and peaceful abodes, far from the haunts of warlike men. Alric was happy, because he was beginning, as he fondly hoped, a life of wild adventure. So was Kettle Flatnose, for he was now sailing westward, and he knew that Ireland was somewhere in that direction.
Just when the girl seemed to be sinking into a swoon they brought a short draught of Syrian wine in an earthen cup; for little Alric was not wise, but he would have found wine in the sandy desert, and he had gone straight to a corner where a leathern bottle with a wooden plug was hung up in a cool place. Beatrix drank, and revived again, and looked up to Gilbert.