None naysaid it, so they all rode forth together, and the sergeant and the squire and Sir Hugh told of their tale what they might to Sir Aymeris and the others; but Arthur held his peace, and rode aloof from Birdalone, whereas Sir Aymeris and Hugh rode on either side of her, and did not spare to comfort her what they might.
She laughed on him, and arose; and when she stood up, tall and golden, he seemed somewhat afeard of so big a creature, but stood his ground valiantly. Then she stooped down to him and kissed him, and he naysaid her not, but seemed rather glad when it was over; but when Birdalone went to the little maid, and kissed her, the child clung to her as if she were her mother, and babbled to her.
To make a short tale of it, he bade Bull sell me to him, which Bull utterly naysaid, standing stiff and stark before the Lord, and scowling on him.
But the upshot of it all was that she would bring me to her chamber and her bed. And whereas I was determined what to do, and had my war-sword by my side, I naysaid her not, but made her good countenance.
There also were the matters of Silver-dale duly ordered: the Men of the Wolf would have had the Woodlanders dwell with them in the fair-builded stead, and take to them of the goodly stone houses there what they would; but this they naysaid, choosing rather to dwell in scattered houses, which they built for themselves at the utmost limit of the tillage.
None naysaid it, and they fell to pitching the tents, and lighting the cooking-fires; but Bull at once betook him to digging a grave for his brother, whilst Ralph with the captain and four others went and sought all about the place, and looked into all clefts of rocks, and found not the maiden, nor any token of her.
Now we durst not take him aboard lest we should fare amiss with the wight of the Sending Boat; so we naysaid him courteously, thanked him for his guesting, and gave him gifts, to wit, a finger gold ring and an ouch of gold, so he turned away from us somewhat downcast as we deemed; but ere we had given the word to the Sending Boat we heard him singing merrily in a high cracked voice as he went on his way.
Thereafter they needs must dance together, and would have had Hallblithe dance with them; and when he naysaid them because he was fain of his work, in all playfulness they fell to taking the adze out of his hand, whereat he became somewhat wroth, and they were afraid and went and had their dance out without him.
Now I call to mind that they had prayed our priest, Sir Cyprian, to bless them on their departure, but he naysaid them; for he held that such a quest came of the inspiration of the devils, and was but a memory of the customs of the ancient gentiles and heathen.
Now some said that he had found the Well, and drank thereof; others naysaid that; but all deemed that they knew how that Goldburg was not done building ere that lord was slain in a tumult, and that what was then undone was cobbled up after the uncomely fashion of the towns thereabout. Clement said moreover that, this happy lord dead, things had not gone so well there as had been looked for.
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