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servant, demanding, in a loud voice, that the man who had killed him
should be given up.
"We will not give him up to a Spanish priest," shouted the mob. "Come
and take him if you want him," and once more the tumult grew, while
Peter and his companions made ready to fight.
Fighting there would have been also, notwithstanding all that d'Aguilar
could do to prevent it; but of a sudden the noise began to die away, and
a hush fell upon the place. Then between the uplifted weapons walked a
short, richly clad man, who turned suddenly and faced the mob. It was
King Henry himself.
"Who dare to draw swords in my streets, before my very palace doors?" he
asked in a cold voice.
A dozen hands pointed at Peter.
"Speak," said the king to him.
"Margaret, come here," cried Peter; and the girl was thrust forward to
"Sire," he said, "that man," and he pointed to the corpse of Andrew,
"tried to do wrong to this maiden, John Castell's child. I, her cousin,
threw him down. He drew his sword and came at me, and I killed him with
my staff. See, it lies there. Then the Spaniards--his comrades--would
have cut me down, and I called for English help. Sire, that is all."
The king looked him up and down.
"A merchant by your dress," he said; "but a soldier by your mien. How
are you named?"
"Peter Brome, Sire."
"Ah! There was a certain Sir Peter Brome who fell at Bosworth Field--not
fighting for me," and he smiled. "Did you know him perchance?"
"He was my father, Sire, and I saw him slain--aye, and slew the slayer."
"Well can I believe it," answered Henry, considering him. "But how comes
it that Peter Brome's son, who wears that battle scar across his face,
is clad in merchant's woollen?"
"Sire," said Peter coolly, "my father sold his lands, lent his all to
the Crown, and I have never rendered the account. Therefore I must live
as I can."
The king laughed outright as he replied:
"I like you, Peter Brome, though doubtless you hate me."
"Not so, Sire. While Richard lived I fought for Richard. Richard is
gone; and, if need be, I would fight for Henry, who am an Englishman,
and serve England's king."
"Well said, and I may have need of you yet, nor do I bear you any
grudge. But, I forgot, is it thus that you would fight for me, by
causing riot in my streets, and bringing me into trouble with my good
friends the Spaniards?"
"Sire, you know the story."
"I know your story, but who bears witness to it? Do you, maiden, Castell
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