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The Ward of King Canute; a romance of the Danish conquest
written by "Liljencrantz, Ottilie A. (Ottilia Adelina), 1876-1910"
...ftly to bitterness. "After all, it would matter little what anyone told of me. Without doubt your kin have already taught you to call me thrall-bred and witless. Little more can be said." That from the warrior whose foot was already planted on the neck of England! In her surprise, Randalin's eyes met his squarely. "By no means, King Canute; my father called you the highest-minded man in the world." The young leader flushed scarlet, flushed till he felt the burning, and averted his face to hide it. He said in a low voice, "Many things have been told of me that I count for naught, but this—this has not been said of me before. Tell me his name." "He was called Frode, the Dane of Avalcomb." The red mouth trembled a little. "He is dead now. He was slain last night, by Norman Leofwinesson, who is Edric Jarl's thane." As both horseman and sentinel had started at that name, so now the King straightened into alertness, forgetting everything else. "Leofwinesson? What know you of him or his Jarl? Where are they? When saw you them?" "Last night; when they lay drunk in my father's castle at Avalcomb, after—" "Avalcomb? Near St. Alban's? The swine!" The monarch was a soldier now, shooting his questions like arrows. "After I bade them at Gillingham come straight to me! How many were they? Where is the Jarl?" "He was not with them. It was Norman of Baddeby who led, and he had no more than five-and-fifty men. It was spoken among them that they would join you at sunset to-day—" Canute's hand shot out and gripped her arm and shook it. "You know this for certain? I will have your tongue if you lie to me! You are sure that they intend coming,—that it is not their intention to play me false and return to Edmund?" His voice was stern, his gaze mercilessly direct. An hour before, the girl would have shrunk from them both. One can learn life-lessons in an hour. She faced the roughness now as one...

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