“Ho, brother!” I said, for there was no one near us. “What is that call you are whistling?”
He started and looked up at me suddenly, and I saw that his trouble was on him again.
“In my dream,” he said slowly, “there is a man on a great horse, and he wears such bracelets as Ragnar of Norwich, and he winds his horn with that call, and I run to him; and then I myself am on the horse, and I go to the stables, and after that there is nothing but the call that I hear. Now it has gone again.”
And his hand went up in the way that made me sad to see.
“It will come back by-and-by. Trouble not about it.”
“I would that we were back in Grimsby,” he said, with a great sigh. “This is a place of shadows. Ghosts are these of days that I think can never have been.”
“Well,” said I, wanting to take him out of himself, “this is no ghost, at all events. I would that one of our brothers would come from home that I might send it to them in Grimsby. We do not need it.”
So I showed him the gold, and he wondered at it, and laughed, saying that the housecarls had the best place after all. And so he went on, and I back to the gate.
Surely he minded at last the days when Gunnar his father had ridden home to the gate, as the Danish earl had ridden even now, and had called his son to him with that call. It was all coming back, as one thing or another brought it to his mind; and I wondered what should be when he knew that the dream was the truth. For what should Havelok, foster-son of the fisher, do against a king who for twelve long years had held his throne? And who in all the old land would believe that he was indeed the son of the lost king? Better, it seemed to me, that this had not happened, and that he had been yet the happy, careless, well-loved son of Grim, with no thought of aught higher than the good of the folk he knew.
When I got back to the gate, we were marched down the town, that we might be ready to receive the princess; and as I went through the market, I saw one of the porters whom I knew, and I beckoned to him, so that he came alongside me in the ranks, and I asked him if he would go to Grimsby for me for a silver penny. He would do it gladly; and so I sent him with word to Arngeir that I needed one of them here to take a gift that I had for them. I would meet whoever came at the widow’s house, and I set a time when I would look for them. I thought it was well that the king’s gold should not be wasted, even for a day’s use, if I could help it. And I wearied to see one of the brothers, and hear all that was going on.
CHAPTER XI. THE COMING OF THE PRINCESS.
There is no need for me to tell aught of the entry of the Lady Goldberga into the town, for anyone may know how the people cheered her, and how the party were met by the Norfolk thanes and many others, and so rode on up the hill to the palace. What the princess was like I hardly noticed at that time, for she was closely hooded, and her maidens were round her. And I had something else to think of; for foremost, and richly dressed, with a gold chain round his neck, rode a man whose strange way of carrying his head caught my eye at once, so that I looked more than a second time at him.