However, he allowed Diccon to remain leaning against the balustrade of the stairs which led up outside the house, and in another minute his father came out. “Ha, Diccon, that is well,” said he. “No, thou canst not enter. They are about to undress poor little Cis. Nay, it seemed not to me that she was more hurt than thy mother could well have dealt with, but the French surgeon would thrust in, and the Queen would have it so. We will walk here in the court till we hear what he saith of her. How befell it, dost thou ask? Truly I can hardly tell, but I believe one of the Frenchmen’s horses got restless either with a fly or with standing so long to hear yonder leech’s discourse. He must needs cut the beast with his rod, and so managed to hit White Posy, who starts aside, and Cis, sitting unheedfully on that new-fangled French saddle, was thrown in an instant.”
“I shall laugh at her well for letting herself be thrown by a Frenchman with his switch,” said Diccon.
“I hope the damage hath not been great,” said his father, anxiously looking up the stair. “Where wast thou, Dick? I had lost sight of thee.”
“I was seeking you, sir, for I had seen a strange sight,” said Dick. “That woman who spoke with us at Tideswell was here again; yea, and she talked with the little old Frenchman that they call Gorion, the same that is with Cis now.”
“She did! Folly, boy! The fellow can hardly comprehend five words of plain English together, long as he hath been here! One of the Queen’s women is gone in even now to interpret for him.”
“That do I wot, sir. Therefore did I marvel, and sought to tell you.”
“What like was the woman?” demanded Richard.
Diccon’s description was lame, and his father bade him hasten out of the court, and fetch the woman if he could find her displaying her trinkets to the water-drinkers, instructing him not to alarm her by peremptory commands, but to give her hopes of a purchaser for her spars. Proud of the commission entrusted to him, the boy sallied forth, but though he wandered through all the groups on the sward, and encountered two tumblers and one puppet show, besides a bear and monkey, he utterly failed in finding the vendor of the beads and bracelets.
When Cicely had been carried into a chamber by Master Talbot, and laid half-conscious and moaning on the grand carved bed, Mrs. Talbot by word and gesture expelled all superfluous spectators. She would have preferred examining alone into the injury sustained by the maiden, which she did not think beyond her own management; but there was no refusing the services of Maitre Gorion, or of Mrs. Kennedy, who indeed treated her authoritatively, assuming the direction of the sick-room. She found herself acting under their orders as she undid the boddice, while Mrs. Kennedy ripped up the tight sleeve of the riding dress, and laid bare the arm and shoulder, which had been severely bruised and twisted, but neither broken nor dislocated, as Mrs. Kennedy informed her, after a few rapid words from the Frenchman, unintelligible to the English lady, who felt somewhat impatient of this invasion of her privileges, and was ready to say she had never supposed any such thing.