The Well at the World's End: a tale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 674 pages of information about The Well at the World's End.

So when Bull saw him, he turned to him and said:  “King’s son, I have done what needs was for this present.  Now, wilt thou slay me for my fault, or shall I be thy man again, and serve thee truly unless the blood feud come between us?” Said Ralph:  “Thou shalt serve me truly, and help me to find him who hath slain thy brother, and carried off the damsel; for even thus it hath been done meseemeth, since about here we have seen no signs of her alive or dead.  But to-morrow we shall seek wider ere I ride on my way.”  “Yea,” said Bull, “and I will be one in the search.”

So then they gat them to their sleeping-berths, and Ralph, contrary to his wont, lay long awake, pondering these things; till at last he said to himself that this woman, whom he called Dorothea, was certainly alive, and wotted that he was seeking her.  And then it seemed to him that he could behold her through the darkness of night, clad in the green flowered gown as he had first seen her, and she bewailing her captivity and the long tarrying of the deliverer as she went to and fro in a great chamber builded of marble and done about with gold and bright colours:  and or ever he slept, he deemed this to be a vision of what then was, rather than a memory of what had been; and it was sweet to his very soul.

CHAPTER 27

Clement Tells of Goldburg

Now when it was morning he rose early and roused Bull and the captain, and they searched in divers places where they had not been the night before, and even a good way back about the road they had ridden yesterday, but found no tidings.  And Ralph said to himself that this was naught but what he had looked for after that vision of the night.

So he rode with his fellows somewhat shamefaced that they had seen that sudden madness in him; but was presently of better cheer than he had been yet.  He rode beside Clement; they went downhill speedily, and the wilderness began to better, and there was grass at whiles, and bushes here and there.  A little after noon they came out of a pass cleft deep through the rocks by a swift stream which had once been far greater than then, and climbed up a steep ridge that lay across the road, and looking down from the top of it, beheld the open country again.  But this was otherwise from what they had beheld from the mountain’s brow above Cheaping Knowe.  For thence the mountains beyond Whiteness, even those that they had just ridden, were clear to be seen like the wall of the plain country.  But here, looking adown, the land below them seemed but a great spreading plain with no hills rising from it, save that far away they could see a certain break in it, and amidst that, something that was brighter than the face of the land elsewhere.  Clement told Ralph that this was Goldburg and that it was built on a gathering of hills, not great, but going up steep from the plain.  And the plain, said he, was not so wholly flat and even as it looked from up there,

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The Well at the World's End: a tale from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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