The Tavern Knight HTML version

The Auberge Du Soleil
In a room of the first floor of the Auberge du Soleil, at Calais, the host inquired of
Crispin if he were milord Galliard. At that question Crispin caught his breath in
apprehension, and felt himself turn pale. What it portended, he guessed; and it stifled the
hope that had been rising in him since his arrival, and because he had not found his son
awaiting him either on the jetty or at the inn. He dared ask no questions, fearing that the
reply would quench that hope, which rose despite himself, and begotten of a desire of
which he was hardly conscious.
He sighed before replying, and passing his brown, nervous hand across his brow, he
found it moist.
"My name, M. l"hote, is Crispin Galliard. What news have you for me?"
"A gentleman - a countryman of milord's - has been here these three days awaiting him."
For a little while Crispin sat quite still, stripped of his last rag of hope. Then suddenly
bracing himself, he sprang up, despite his weakness.
"Bring him to me. I will see him at once."
"Tout-a-l"heure, monsieur," replied the landlord. "At the moment he is absent. He went
out to take the air a couple of hours ago, and is not yet returned."
"Heaven send he has walked into the sea!" Crispin broke out passionately. Then as
passionately he checked himself. "No, no, my God - not that! I meant not that."
"Monsieur will sup?"
"At once, and let me have lights." The host withdrew, to return a moment later with a
couple of lighted tapers, which he set upon the table.
As he was retiring, a heavy step sounded on the stair, accompanied by the clank of a
scabbard against the baluster.
"Here comes milord's countryman," the landlord announced.
And Crispin, looking up in apprehension, saw framed in the doorway the burly form of
Harry Hogan.
He sat bolt upright, staring as though he beheld an apparition. With a sad smile, Hogan
advanced, and set his hand affectionately upon Galliard's shoulder.