It was still very early, and the narrow line of sky seen from the turret window was gilded by the bright pale-green light of morning, when Sir Eustace awoke. All around was perfectly still, and he could have believed himself waking merely from a dream of tumult and disturbance, but for his feelings of pain and weakness. At some little distance lay, on a softly-dressed sheepskin, the oriental figure of the Jewish mediciner, and, at the foot of his own bed, the unexpected form of little Arthur reclined, half sitting, half lying, with his head resting on his crossed arms, and his long curls floating over them. All was a riddle to his misty remembrance, clouded by weakness; and, in vague uncertain recollections and conjectures, the time rolled away, till the sounds of awakening and calls of the warders within the Castle betokened that it was occupied by no small number of persons. Still Arthur slept on, and Eustace abstained from the slightest movement that could disturb him, till a step stole quietly to the door, and Gaston’s head was seen cautiously and anxiously looking in. Eustace, raising his hand, beckoned him, and made a sign of silence.
“How is with you, Sir Eustace? It must needs be better. I see a light in your eye once more.”
“I am another man since yesterday, Gaston; but be careful—see there.”
“Little fear of breaking such sleep as that,” said Gaston. “’Tis a noble-hearted little fellow, and if matters go better with us henceforth, it will be his work.”
“What is become of Clisson?”
“He was riding off headlong when Master Henry Neville last beheld him, gaining thereby a sound rating from old Chandos.”
“Sir John Chandos here?”
“Fast asleep in your own carved chair, with his feet on the oaken settle.”
“Sir John Chandos!” again exclaimed Eustace.
“Even so. All thanks to the brave young damoiseau who—”
Here Gaston’s ardour had the effect of awakening the doctor, who immediately began to grumble at his patient’s admitting visitors without permission. By the time he had examined Eustace’s wounds and pronounced him to be progressing favourably, the whole Castle was up and awake, and Arthur, against his will, was sent down to attend on Sir John Chandos at breakfast, when scarce satisfied that his uncle could speak to him.
In process of time he came up to announce a visit from Chandos himself, and close on his steps followed the stalwart old warrior. Pausing at the door, he looked around him, struck with the aspect of the dungeon-like apartment, still more rugged in the morning light than in the evening gloom—the bare rough walls, an arrow sticking between the stones immediately above the Knight’s head, the want of furniture, the Knight’s own mantle and that of Gaston both called into requisition to protect him from the damp chill night air, their bright hues and rich embroidery contrasting with the squalid appearance of all around, as, indeed, did the noble though pale features of the wounded man himself, and the graceful attire and shining hair of the fair young boy who stood over him. But Sir John beheld all with no dissatisfaction.