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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about After London.

Felix’s idea was to run a palisade along the margin of the brook, and up both sides of the valley to the ridge.  There he would build a fort.  The edges of the chalk cliffs he would connect with a palisade or a wall, and so form a complete enclosure.  He mentioned his scheme to the shepherds; they did not greatly care for it, as they had always been secure without it, the rugged nature of the country not permitting horsemen to penetrate.  But they were so completely under his influence that to please him they set about the work.  He had to show them how to make a palisade; they had never seen one, and he made the first part of it himself.  At building a wall with loose stones, without mortar, the shepherds were skilful; the wall along the verge of the cliffs was soon up, and so was the fort on the top of the ridge.  The fort consisted merely of a circular wall, breast high, with embrasures or crenellations.

When this was finished, Felix had a sense of mastership, for in this fort he felt as if he could rule the whole country.  From day to day shepherds came from the more distant parts to see the famous archer, and to admire the enclosure.  Though the idea of it had never occurred to them, now they saw it they fully understood its advantages, and two other chiefs began to erect similar forts and palisades.

CHAPTER XXVII

SURPRISED

Felix was now anxious to continue his journey, yet he did not like to leave the shepherds, with whom his life was so pleasant.  As usual, when deliberating, he wandered about the hills, and then into the forest.  The shepherds at first insisted on at least two of their number accompanying him; they were fearful lest the gipsies should seize him, or a Bushman assassinate him.  This company was irksome to Felix.  In time he convinced them that he was a much better hunter than any of the tribe, and they permitted him to roam alone.  During one of these excursions into the forest he discovered a beautiful lake.  He looked down on the water from the summit of one of the green mountains.

It was, he thought, half a mile across, and the opposite shore was open woodland, grassy and meadow-like, and dotted with fine old oaks.  By degrees these closed together, and the forest succeeded; beyond it again, at a distance of two miles, were green hills.  A little clearing only was wanted to make the place fit for a castle and enclosure.  Through the grass-land opposite he traced the course of a large brook down to the lake; another entered it on the right, and the lake gradually narrowed to a river on his left.  Could he erect a tower there, and bring Aurora to it, how happy he would be!  A more beautiful spot he had never seen, nor one more suited for every purpose in life.

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