"He shall be given up," repeated the monk; and then, clasping his hands upon his bosom, he descended the steps, strode through the hall, and, in less than a minute, re-appeared, leading in Margaret and the child, and followed by the galleyman.
"Please you, my lord," said he, "while searching among Thomas Calverley's writings for parchment, I discovered this."
"The Baroness of Sudley," replied father John, "does not know the poor Cistercian monk. Were the bolts withdrawn, and that door left swinging upon its hinges, I would not leave my prison until the voice of the people bade me come forth. And know ye not, lady, that with what measure ye mete to others, the same shall be meted to you again. Did ye deal out mercy to Edith Holgrave? Did ye deal mercifully by Stephen, when ye gave him bondage as a reward for true faith¡ªand then stripes and a prison? And, as for me,¡ªcan ye expect that the bondman's son is to set a pattern of mercy and forgiveness to the noble and the free?"
"No, steward," said the spokesman of the smiths, "you are no prisoner¡ªyou are at liberty to go as soon as you like; and I would advise you, as a friend, to go quickly, for we men of the forest are not like your Sudley folk." Calverley, in some measure, re-assured by the unexpected mildness of this reply, quickly said,
"Aye, it is he whom you say is the prophet," cried father John, "and accurst, say I, be the house-breakers!" his eye fell on Ralph Rugge. "What, another of the chosen!" he added, with a withering glance. "All, all are unworthy¡ªmy heart is sick!" and he turned away and covered his face with his hands.
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