Then he laughed a little, and added:
“In the old days when I was in charge of the palace this face of the ramparts was always the best watched, because the men knew that if I waked and did not see the shadow of the sentry pass and repass as often as it should, he was certain to hear of it in the morning. Tregoz would know that old jest. I suppose Dunwal may have had some hand in taking the arrows hence.”
“It is likely enough,” I answered. “He will have to pay for his brother’s deed tomorrow, in all likelihood, also. But who wrote the letter, and who slew Tregoz?”
Owen thought for a little while.
“Mara, Dunwal’s daughter, is the most likely person to have written,” he said. “It would be like a woman to do so, and she seems at least no enemy. Maybe the man was the sentry, after all, and fled because he had given up his arms, and so was sharer in the deed that he repented of. Or he may have been some friend of ours, or foe of the Cornishman, who would not wait for the rough handling of the guard when they found him there where he should not be. No doubt we shall hear of him soon or late.”
But we did not. There was no trace of him, or of the writer of the letter. One may imagine the fury of Gerent when he heard all this in the morning, but even his wrath could not make Dunwal speak of aught that he might know. But for the pleading of Owen, the old king would have hung him then and there, and all that my foster father could gain for him was his life. Into the terrible old Roman dungeon, pit-like, with only a round hole in the stone covering of it through which a prisoner was lowered, he was thrown, and there he bided all the time I was at Norton.
By all right the lands of these two fell again into the hands of the king, and he would give them to Owen.
“Take them,” he said, when Owen would not do so at first: “they owe you amends. If you do not want them yourself, wait until you sit in my seat, and then give them to Oswald, that he may have good reason for leaving Ina for you.”
So Owen held them for me, as it were, and was content. Some day they might be mine, if not in the days of Ina, whom we loved.
But Gerent either forgot or cared not to think of Mara, Dunwal’s daughter, and she bided in the best house in the town, with Jago’s wife, none hindering her in anything. There was no more sign of trouble now that Tregoz and his brother were out of the way.
I bided at Norton with Owen until the Lententide drew near, and then I must needs go back to my place with Ina. Maybe I should have gone before this, seeing that all was safe now, but our king had been on progress about the country, to Chippenham, and so to Reading and thence to London, and but half his guard was with him, so that I was not needed. Now he was back at Glastonbury, and I must join him there and go back to royal Winchester with him for the Easter feast.