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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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Author Topic: Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic  (Read 3240 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2009, 11:37:41 pm »

sixty feet, each made of a single emerald. Being what it was, the king did not venture to remove it, but left it where it was. Traversing chamber after chamber and finding all empty, they at last found all passages leading to the inmost apartment, which had a marble urn in the centre. Yet all eyes presently turned from this urn to a large painting on the wall which displayed a troop of horsemen in full motion. Their horses were of Arab breed, their arms were scimitars and lances, with fluttering pennons; they wore turbans, and their coarse black hair fell over their shoulders; they were dressed in skins. Never had there been seen by the courtiers a mounted troop so wild, so eager, so formidable. Turning from them to the marble urn, the king drew from it a parchment, which said: "These are the people who, whenever this cave is entered and the spell contained in this urn is broken, shall possess this country. An idle curiosity has done its work. 1


p. 148

The rash king, covering his eyes with his hands, fled outward from the cavern; his knights followed him, but Don Alonzo lingered last except the boy Luis. "Nevertheless, my lord," said Luis, "I should like to strike a blow at these bold barbarians." "We may have an opportunity," said the gloomy knight. He closed the centre gate of the cavern, and tried to replace the broken padlocks, but it was in vain. In twenty-four hours the story had travelled over the kingdom.

The boy Luis little knew into what a complex plot he was drifting. In the secret soul of his protector, Don Alonzo, there burned a great anger against the weak and licentious king. He and his father, Count Julian, and Archbishop Oppas, his uncle, were secretly brooding plans of wrath against Don Rodrigo for his ill treatment of Don Alonzo's sister, Florinda. Rumors had told them that an army of strange warriors from Africa, who had hitherto carried all before them, were threatening to cross the straits not yet called Gibraltar, and descend on Spain. All the ties of fidelity held these courtiers

p. 149

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