There was a fellow, one Eric of Lincoln, who was thought to be the finest man with the staff for miles around.
A beggar-man sat over against Eric's stage and grinned every time a pate was cracked.
Only a moment stood they thus, for Eric, intent on teaching this rash beggar a lesson and sweeping him speedily off the stage, launched forth boldly and gave the other a sounding crack on the shoulder.
Again and again did Eric seek to force an opening under the other's guard, and just as often were his blows parried.
This was Eric o' Lincoln, of great renown, whose name had been sung in ballads throughout the countryside.
Presently Eric saw where Little John stood among the others, a head and shoulders above them all, and he called to him loudly, "Halloa, thou long-legged fellow in scarlet!
At first Eric o' Lincoln thought that he would gain an easy advantage, so he came forth as if he would say, "Watch, good people, how that I carve you this cockerel right speedily"; but he presently found it to be no such speedy matter.
"Doctor Forester," said Lady Muriel, who had just joined us, "let me introduce to you my cousin Eric Lindon Captain Lindon, I should say."
"Yes, that's all I'm distinguished for, as yet!" said Eric (so we soon got to call him) with a winning smile.
"You must come to my father, Eric," said Lady Muriel.
This had been a figure of some interest--a young Cambridge man named Eric Hughes who was the rising hope of the party of Reform, to which the Fisher family, along with their friend Saltoun, had long been at least formally attached.
Eric Hughes, with his blown blond hair and eager undergraduate face, was just getting into his motor car and saying a few final words to his agent, a sturdy, grizzled man named Gryce.