Such were the times, that Eustace Lynwood, with all his cool sense and mental cultivation, believed implicitly poor Leonard’s delirious fancy—black cats and all; and the glances he cast at the poor old Spaniard were scarcely less full of terror and abhorrence, as he promised Leonard, whom he now regarded only in the light of his old comrade, that he should, without loss of time, be conveyed to his own tent.
“But go not—leave me not,” implored Leonard, clinging fast to him, almost like a child to its nurse, with a hand which was now cold as marble.
“No; I will remain,” said Eustace; “and you, Ingram, hasten to bring four of the men with the litter in which Master d’Aubricour came from Burgos. Hasten I tell you.”
“Ingram, with his eyes dilated with horror, appeared but too anxious to quit this den, yet lingered. “I leave you not here, Sir Knight.”
“Thanks, thanks, John,” replied the youth; “but remain I must, and will. As a Christian man, I defy the foul fiend and all his followers!”
John departed. Never was Leonard so inclined to rejoice in his friend’s clerkly education, or in his knighthood, which was then so much regarded as a holy thing, that the presence of one whose entrance into the order was so recent was deemed a protection. The old woman, a kind-hearted creature in the main, though, certainly forbidding-looking in her poverty and ugliness, was rejoiced to see her patient visited by a friend. She came towards them, addressing Eustace with what he took for a spell, though, had he understood Spanish he would have found it a fine flowing compliment. Leonard shrank closer to him, pressed his hand faster, and he, again crossing himself, gave utterance to a charm. Spanish, especially old Castilian, had likeness enough to Latin for the poor old woman to recognize its purport; she poured out a voluble vindication, which the two young men believed to be an attempt at further bewitching them. Eustace, finding his Latin rather the worse for wear, had recourse to all the strange rhymes, or exorcisms, English, French, or Latin, with which his memory supplied him. Thanks to these, the sorceress was kept at bay, and the spirits of his terrified companion were sustained till the arrival of all the Lances of Lynwood, headed by Gaston himself, upon his mule, in the utmost anxiety for his Knight, looking as gaunt and spectral as the phantoms they dreaded. He blessed the saints when Eustace