"Why didst thou tarry so long, Myles?" said Gascoyne, as he entered. "Methought thou wert never coming."
"Where goest thou, Falworth?" called Blunt from the other end of the room, where he was lacing his doublet.
Just now Myles had no heart in the swimming or sport of any sort, but he answered, shortly, "I go to the river to swim."
"Nay," said Blunt, "thou goest not forth from the castle to-day. Hast thou forgot how thou didst answer me back about fetching the water this morning? This day thou must do penance, so go thou straight to the armory and scour thou up my breastplate."
From the time he had arisen that morning everything had gone wrong with Myles. He had felt himself already outrated in rendering service to the bachelors, he had quarrelled with the head of the esquires, he had nearly quarrelled with Gascoyne, and then had come the bitterest and worst of all, the knowledge that his father was an outlaw, and that the Earl would not stretch out a hand to aid him or to give him any countenance. Blunt's words brought the last bitter cut to his heart, and they stung him to fury. For a while he could not answer, but stood glaring with a face fairly convulsed with passion at the young man, who continued his toilet, unconscious of the wrath of the new recruit.
Gascoyne and Wilkes, accepting Myles's punishment as a thing of course, were about to leave the dormitory when Myles checked them.
"Stop, Francis!" he cried, hoarsely. "Thinkest thou that I will stay behind to do yon dog's dirty work? No; I go with ye."
A moment or two of dumb, silent amazement followed his bold words; then Blunt cried, "Art thou mad?"
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