"Norman, I take back my word; I crave your pardon, and I am shamed to have spoken so to a sick man of his own country-folk. But for your purse, I am ill at carrying purses; I have no skill in that art, and the dice draw me when I hear the rattle of them. But look at the cordelier's tally: four men to-day, three yesterday; faith, he thins them!"
When I came close to him, I found him standing up to his waist in the water, taking soundings with a long and heavy staff. His cordelier's frock was tucked up into his belt, his long brown legs, with black hairs thick on them, were naked.
Francis, called Noiroufle while of the world, has been most truly and righteously accused by me of divers deeds of black treason." At these words the cordelier's hand leaped up from his breast, his crucifix dagger glittered bright, he tore his frock from D'Aulon's grip, leaving a rag of it in his hand, and smote, aiming at the squire where the gorget joins the vambrace.
The eyes in his head shone like swords, and of all eyes of man I ever saw, his were the most piercing and most terrible. On his back he carried, as I noticed at the first, what I never saw on a cordelier's back before, or on any but his since an arbalest, and he had bolts enough in his bag, the feathers showing above.
Herewith she drew a kerchief across my lips, and I began, being most eager to instruct her innocence as to this accursed man "Lady " but alas! no miracle was wrought for a sinner like me. Howbeit I am inclined to believe that the kerchief was no saintly thing, and had never come near the body of the blessed Colette, but rather was a gift from one of the cordelier's light-o'-loves.
Philippe Giffard, one of the provost's friends, threw himself before Marcel and covered him for a moment with his own body; but the struggle had begun in earnest. Maillart plied his battle-axe upon Marcel, who fell pierced with many wounds. Six of his comrades shared the same fate; and Robert Lecocq, Bishop of Laon, saved himself by putting on a Cordelier's habit.
"Willingly, fair sir," said the physician, moving round to the shutter, which he opened, while the cordelier's eyes glittered, for now there was one man less between him and the half-open door. I nodded to D'Aulon that he should shut it, but he marked me not, being wholly in amaze at the written scroll of my confession.
But he was in heavy armour, the cordelier's bare legs were doubtless the nimbler, and the physician, crossing himself, could only gape and stare on the paper in his hand. As he gazed with his mouth open his eyes fell on me, white as my sheets, that were dabbled with the blood from my mouth.