"Why, for one thing, this matter," answered his friend; "because methinks thou art the best fighter and the bravest one of all of us squires."
Myles laughed. Nevertheless Gascoyne's words were a soothing balm for much that had happened that day. "I will fight me no more just now," said he; and then he told his friend all that Sir James had advised about biding his time.
Gascoyne blew a long whistle. "Beshrew me!" quoth he, "but methinks old Bruin is on thy side of the quarrel, Myles. An that be so, I am with thee also, and others that I can name as well."
"So be it," said Myles. "Then am I content to abide the time when we may become strong enough to stand against them."
Perhaps therE is nothing more delightful in the romance of boyhood than the finding of some secret hiding-place whither a body may creep away from the bustle of the world's life, to nestle in quietness for an hour or two. More especially is such delightful if it happen that, by peeping from out it, one may look down upon the bustling matters of busy every-day life, while one lies snugly hidden away unseen by any, as though one were in some strange invisible world of one's own.
Such a hiding-place as would have filled the heart of almost any boy with sweet delight Myles and Gascoyne found one summer afternoon. They called it their Eyry, and the name suited well for the roosting-place of the young hawks that rested in its windy stillness, looking down upon the shifting castle life in the courts below.
Behind the north stable, a great, long, rambling building, thick-walled, and black with age, lay an older part of the castle than that peopled by the better class of life--a cluster of great thick walls, rudely but strongly built, now the dwelling-place of stable-lads and hinds, swine and poultry. From one part of these ancient walls, and fronting an inner court of the castle, arose a tall, circular, heavy-buttressed tower, considerably higher than the other buildings, and so mantled with a dense growth of aged ivy as to stand a shaft of solid green. Above its crumbling crown circled hundreds of pigeons, white and pied, clapping and clattering in noisy flight through the sunny air. Several windows, some closed with shutters, peeped here and there from out the leaves, and near the top of the pile was a row of arched openings, as though of a balcony or an airy gallery.
Myles had more than once felt an idle curiosity about this tower, and one day, as he and Gascoyne sat together, he pointed his finger and said, "What is yon place?"
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