She waved her hand toward the chimney-piece, where hung and hangs to-day, the sword of Aluric Floyer, the founder of the house of Rokesle. "Do you see that old sword, Mr. Orts? The man who wielded it long ago was a gallant gentleman and a stalwart captain.
William de Warrenne fined Aluric eight and fourpence for treason, and the Abbot of Wilton excommunicated him for blasphemy. Aluric was no sportsman. Then the Abbot's brother married ... I've forgotten her name, but she was a charmin' little woman. The Lady Philippa was her daughter. That was after the barony was conferred. She rode devilish straight to hounds.
"Shouldn't object to dogs," said the Wheel sleepily.... "The Abbot of Wilton kept the best pack in the county. He enclosed all the Harryngton Woods to Sturt Common. Aluric, a freeman, was dispossessed of his holding. They tried the case at Lewes, but he got no change out of William de Warrenne on the bench.
Faith, no; I am only a shabby drunkard, a disgrace to my cloth, am I not, Anastasia? Accordingly, I fail to perceive what old Aluric Floyer has to do with the matter in hand. He was reasonably virtuous, I suppose; putting aside a disastrous appetite for fruit, so was Adam: but, viewing their descendants, I ruefully admit that in each case the strain has deteriorated."
Not even William de Warrenne or the Papal Legate. There's no precedent for it. I tell you there's no precedent for working a wheel like this." "Wait a while! We're making one as fast as we can. Aluric and Co. are dead. So's the Papal Legate. You've no notion how dead they are, but we're here the Waters of Five Separate Systems. Would you like to hear about the land-tenure in Trott's Wood?
Why why why it only means more work for me!" "Exactly. You're to supply about sixty eight-candle lights when required. But they won't be all in use at once " "Ah! I thought as much," said the Cat. "The reaction is bound to come." "And" said the Waters, "you will do the ordinary work of the mill as well." "Impossible!" the old Wheel quivered as it drove. "Aluric never did it nor Azor, nor Reinbert.
They revered womanhood; you reverence nothing, and your life smirches your mother's memory. Ah, believe me, they all fight against you! Can you not see them, my Lord? yonder at my back? old Aluric Floyer and all those honest gentlemen, whose blood now blushes in your body ay, blushes to be confined in a vessel so ignoble! Their armament fights against you, a host of gallant phantoms.
"Yet can I," said Alleyne smiling; "for indeed I also am the son of Edric the Socman, of the pure blood of Godfrey the thane, by the only daughter of Aluric of Brockenhurst. Surely, dear brother," he continued, holding out his hand, "you have a warmer greeting than this for me. There are but two boughs left upon this old, old Saxon trunk."
Old custom spoke there. Followed silence, and presently the empty body sprawled upon the floor. Vincent Floyer had done with it. Simon Orts knelt, abstractedly wiping Aluric Floyer's sword upon the corner of a rug.
You heard the outer door of the corridor closing, heard chains dragged ponderously, the heavy falling of a bolt. Orts dropped the book and, springing into the arm-chair, wrested Aluric Floyer's sword from its fastening. "Tricked, tricked!" said Simon Orts. "You were always a fool, Vincent Floyer." Lord Rokesle blinked at him, as if dazzled by unexpected light. "What d'ye mean?"