The MORBLUES, the SANG DIEUS, the MORTS
TOUTS LES DIABLES, crossed one another in the air.
"To the death," cried the little gray man, "a mort, mon fils." Scarcely had the words left his lips ere, as though it had but waited permission, the boy's sword flashed into the heart of Paul of Merely, and a Saxon gentleman was gathered to his fathers.
Both these men were considered excellent swordsmen, but when Beauchamp heard again the little gray man's "a mort, mon fils," he shuddered, and the little hairs at the nape of his neck rose up, and his spine froze, for he knew that he had heard the sentence of death passed upon him; for no mortal had yet lived who could vanquish such a swordsman as he who now faced him.
"They are thy enemies, my son, and to thee belongs the pleasure of revenge; a mort, mon fils."
It was in old French, and ran somewhat in this way: Or avant, entre nous tous freres Battons nos charognes bien fort En remembrant la grant misere De Dieu et sa piteuse mort Qui fut pris en la gent amere Et vendus et trais a tort Et bastu sa chair, vierge et dere Au nom de ce battons plus fort.
"Mort Dieu!" cried the bowman, "there is a bucketful or more of my blood over in France, but it was all spilled in hot fight, and I should think twice before I drew it drop by drop as these friars are doing.
The French gentleman and Mr Adderly, at the desire of their commanding officer, had raised up the body of Jones, but as they could perceive but little (if any) sign of life in him, they again let him fall, Adderly damning him for having blooded his wastecoat; and the Frenchman declaring, "Begar, me no tush the Engliseman de mort
: me have heard de Englise ley, law, what you call, hang up de man dat tush him last."
They all asked me questions, and I told them how pap and me and all the family was living on a little farm down at the bottom of Arkansaw, and my sister Mary Ann run off and got married and never was heard of no more, and Bill went to hunt them and he warn't heard of no more, and Tom and Mort
died, and then there warn't nobody but just me and pap left, and he was just trimmed down to nothing, on account of his troubles; so when he died I took what there was left, because the farm didn't belong to us, and started up the river, deck passage, and fell overboard; and that was how I come to be here.
"Fuir la mort
," she repeated, meditatively, in her mysterious voice.
She felt the PETIT MORT
at this unexpectedly gruesome information, and left the solitary man behind her.
Ivanhoe crossed himself, repeating prayers in Saxon, Latin, or Norman-French, as they occurred to his memory, while Richard alternately said, Benedicite, and swore, Mort
de ma vie!
"Silence a` la mort
," replied Laurie, with a melodramatic flourish, as he went away.