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Farina - Pennsylvania State University

Farina - Pennsylvania State University

eer last night!’

eer last night!’ Within three minutes, the company counted a pair of broken heads. The East was winning on the West in heaven, and the dusk was thinning. They began to mark, each, whom he had cudgelled. A noise of something swiftly in motion made them alert. A roebuck rushed down one of the hills, and scampered across the sward. The fine beast went stretching so rapidly away as to be hardly distinct. ‘Sathanas once more!’ they murmured, and drew together. The name passed through them like a watchword. ‘Not he this time,’ cried the two new-comers, emerging from the foliage. ‘He’s safe under Cologne—the worse for all good men who live there! But come! follow to the Rhine! there ‘s work for us on the yonder side, and sharp work.’ ‘Why,’ answered several, ‘we ‘ve our challenge with the lads of Leutesdorf and Wied to-day.’ ‘D’ ye see this?’ said the foremost of the others, pointing to a carved ivory white rose in his cap. ‘Brothers!’ he swelled his voice, ‘follow with a will, for the White Rose is in danger!’ Immediately they ranked, and followed zealously through the buds of young bushes, and over heaps of damp dead Farina 86 leaves, a half-hour’s scramble, when they defiled under Hammerstein, and stood before the Rhine. Their leader led up the river, and after a hasty walk, stopped, loosened his hood, and stripped. ‘Now,’ said he, strapping the bundle to his back, ‘let me know the hound that refuses to follow his leader when the White Rose is in danger.’ ‘Long live Dietrich!’ they shouted. He dropped from the bank, and waded in. He was soon supported by the remainder of the striplings, and all struck out boldly into mid-stream. Never heard history of a nobler Passage of the Rhine than this made between Andernach and Hammerstein by members of the White Rose Club, bundle on back, to relieve the White Rose of Germany from thrall and shame! They were taken far down by the rapid current, and arrived panting to land. The dressing done, they marched up the pass of Tonnistein, and took a deep draught at the spring of pleasant waters there open to wayfarers. Arrived at the skirts of Laach, they beheld two farmer peasants lashed back to back against a hazel. They released them, but could gain no word of information, as the fellows, after a yawn and a

wink, started off, all heels, to make sure of liberty. On the shores of the lake the brotherhood descried a body of youths, whom they hailed, and were welcomed to companionship. ‘Where’s Berthold?’ asked Dietrich. He was not present. ‘The more glory for us, then,’ Dietrich said. It was here seriously put to the captain, whether they should not halt at the abbey, and reflect, seeing that great work was in prospect. ‘Truly,’ quoth Dietrich, ‘dying on an empty stomach is heathenish, and cold blood makes a green wound gape. Kaiser Conrad should be hospitable, and the monks honour numbers. Here be we, thirty and nine; let us go!’ The West was dark blue with fallen light. The lakewaters were growing grey with twilight. The abbey stood muffled in shadows. Already the youths had commenced battering at the convent doors, when they were summoned by the voice of the Goshawk on horseback. To their confusion they beheld the White Rose herself on his right hand. Chapfallen Dietrich bowed to his sweet mistress. ‘We were coming to the rescue,’ he stammered. George Meredith 87 A laugh broke from the Goshawk. ‘You thought the lady was locked up in the ghostly larder; eh!’ Dietrich seized his sword, and tightened his belt. ‘The Club allows no jesting with the White Rose, Sir Stranger.’ Margarita made peace. ‘I thank you all, good friends. But quarrel not, I pray you, with them that save me at the risk of their lives.’ ‘Our service is equal,’ said the Goshawk, flourishing, ‘Only we happen to be beforehand with the Club, for which Farina and myself heartily beg pardon of the entire brotherhood.’ ‘Farina!’ exclaimed Dietrich. ‘Then we make a prisoner instead of uncaging a captive.’ ‘What ‘s this?’ said Guy. ‘So much,’ responded Dietrich. ‘Yonder’s a runaway from two masters: the law of Cologne, and the conqueror of Satan; and all good citizens are empowered to bring him back, dead or alive.’ ‘Dietrich! Dietrich! dare you talk thus of the man who saved me?’ cried Margarita.

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