The Tavern Knight
That cry, which she but half understood, was still ringing in her ears, when the door was
of a sudden flung open, and across the threshold a very daintily arrayed young gentleman
stepped briskly, the expostulating landlord following close upon his heels.
"I tell thee, lying dog," he cried, "I saw him ride into the yard, and, "fore George, he shall
give me the chance of mending my losses. Be off to your father, you Devil's natural."
Cynthia looked up in alarm, whereupon that merry blood catching sight of her, halted in
some confusion at what he saw.
"Rat me, madam," he cried, "I did not know - I had not looked to - " He stopped, and
remembering at last his manners he made her a low bow.
"Your servant, madam," said he, "your servant Harry Foster."
She gazed at him, her eyes full of inquiry, but said nothing, whereat the pretty gentleman
plucked awkwardly at his ruffles and wished himself elsewhere.
"I did not know, madam, that your husband was hurt."
"He is not my husband, sir," she answered, scarce knowing what she said.
"Gadso!" he ejaculated. "Yet you ran away from him?"
Her cheeks grew crimson.
"The door, sir, is behind you."
"So, madam, is that thief the landlord," he made answer, no whit abashed. "Come hither,
you bladder of fat, the gentleman is hurt."
Thus courteously summoned, the landlord shuffled forward, and Mr. Foster begged
Cynthia to allow him with the fellow's aid to see to the gentleman's wound. Between
them they laid Crispin on a couch, and the town spark went to work with a dexterity little
to have been expected from his flippant exterior. He dressed the wound, which was in the
shoulder and not in itself of a dangerous character, the loss of blood it being that had
brought some gravity to the knight's condition. They propped his head upon a pillow, and
presently he sighed and, opening his eyes, complained of thirst, and was manifestly
surprised at seeing the coxcomb turned leech.
"I came in search of you to pursue our game," Foster explained when they had ministered
to him, "and, 'fore George, I am vastly grieved to find you in this condition."