The Tavern Knight HTML version

The Metamorphosis Of Kenneth
When the morrow came, however, Sir Crispin showed no signs of carrying out his
proposal of the night before, and departing from Castle Marleigh. Nor, indeed, did he so
much as touch upon the subject, bearing himself rather as one whose sojourn there was to
be indefinite.
Gregory offered no comment upon this; through what he had done for Kenneth they were
under a debt to Galliard, and whilst he was a fugitive from the Parliament's justice it
would ill become Gregory to hasten his departure. Moreover, Gregory recalled little or
nothing of the words that had passed between them in their cups, save a vague memory
that Crispin had said that he had once known Roland Marleigh.
Kenneth was content that Galliard should lie idle, and not call upon him to go forth again
to lend him the aid he had pledged himself to render when Crispin should demand it. He
marvelled, as the days wore on, that Galliard should appear to have forgotten that task of
his, and that he should make no shift to set about it. For the rest, however, it troubled him
but little; enough preoccupation did he find in Cynthia's daily increasing coldness. Upon
all the fine speeches that he made her she turned an idle ear, or if she replied at all it was
but petulantly to interrupt them, to call him a man of great words and small deeds. All
that he did she found ill done, and told him of it. His sober, godly garments of sombre
hue afforded her the first weapon of scorn wherewith to wound him. A crow, she dubbed
him; a canting, psalm-chanting hypocrite; a Scripture-monger, and every other
contumelious epithet of like import that she should call to mind. He heard her in
"Is it for you, Cynthia," he cried out in his surprise, "the child of a God-fearing house, to
mock the outward symbols of my faith?"
"A faith," she laughed, "that is all outward symbols and naught besides; all texts and
mournings and nose-twangings."
"Cynthia!" he exclaimed, in horror.
"Go your ways, sir," she answered, half in jest, half in earnest. "What need hath a true
faith of outward symbols? It is a matter that lies between your God and yourself, and it is
your heart He will look at, not your coat. Why, then, without becoming more acceptable
in His eyes, shall you but render yourself unsightly in the eyes of man?"
Kenneth's cheeks were flushed with anger. From the terrace where they walked he let his
glance roam towards the avenue that split the park in twain. Up this at that moment, with
the least suspicion of a swagger in his gait, Sir Crispin Galliard was approaching
leisurely; he wore a claret-coloured doublet edged with silver lace, and a grey hat decked
with a drooping red feather - which garments, together with the rest of his apparel, he had