Then he added, as if thinking aloud:
“Ay, Odin and Thor and the rest of the Asir are far off from us here. Our old faith falls from us, and we are ready for the new. Let it be soon.”
There I think that the hand of Nona wrought, for the Norse folk fairly worshipped her. So it was not long before that good friend of mine, the Abbot of Glastonbury, found me the right man, and one day thereafter Nona and I stood sponsors for Thorgils and one or two more whom we knew well, at the font in the new church which the gold of Mordred built instead of the ship, and soon all the little town was Christian in more than name.
There is happiness at Eastdean, and we meet with Erpwald and Elfrida at the house of her father now and then, and they have been here also. But I have never had time to go to Eastdean again, though it is a promise that we will do so when we may.
It is the word of Ina my master that all things go well where I bear rule for him, and I fear little blame, if little praise may be for me, when Owen comes to us from time to time. If there is any praise, it is due to my fair British princess, who is my best adviser in all things.
So there is peace; and some day, and that no distant one, there will grow up here a new race in the west, wrought of the blood of Saxon and Briton and Norseman; and the men of that Devon and Somerset that shall be, will have the doggedness of the Saxon and the fire of the Welsh and the boldness of the Norse, to be first of all England, maybe, in peace and in war, on shore and at sea. And that will have been brought to pass by the wisdom of Ina, whose even laws are held the wisest that the race of Hengist has ever known.
It is in my mind that the lesson of the wisdom of equal rights for all men, whether conquered or conqueror, is one that will bide with us in the days to come, and be our pride.
Now it seems that I have told my story so far as any will care to hear it. But if there has been aught worth telling it has centered round that one who took me from the jaws of the wild wolf in the Andredsweald. First in my heart, and first in the hearts of his people now at last, must be set the name of my foster father, Owen—the Prince of Cornwall.
i The national weapon. A heavy blade between sword and dagger, with curved back and straight edge, fitted for almost any use.
ii The fine to be paid in amends for an open “manslaying” in quarrel or feud.
iii The ancient Welsh province now represented by the county of Glarnorgan.
iv Tribute due to an overlord by the settlers.