- 时间：2021-01-28 06:57:20
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"Well," said Holgrave, looking at his guest with that kindly feeling that is ever called forth by unexpectedly beholding an acquaintance of earlier days—"well, how often my poor mother used to talk of you, and wonder how it fared with you. I remember well when you came to bid us good-bye."
"I shall back to Sudley," cried the steward, hastily, "and my lord will reclaim him."
The excitement and enthusiasm, which had freed Holgrave, was still glowing in the breasts of the crowd, when a single horseman was observed on the summit of the hill at a short distance, galloping on with the fleetness of the wind. He was scarcely heeded at first, but when another and another, following with the same headlong speed, successively appeared, the attention of the people was arrested; and when the horse of the first rider, reeking with foam and sweat, sunk down, within a few yards of the mass, and the man, after struggling an instant, disengaged his legs and leaped in amongst them, exclaiming in a voice scarcely audible from agitation, "Save me! save me! save a poor debtor from prison!—from selling himself to pay his debts!—save me to work as a free man and pay all!"—the fever of excitement seemed to have reached its climax. Without considering an instant what manner of man he might be, they closed around him, and pressing the exhausted wretch towards the monk, vowed to resist to the death any attempts to arrest him. It was in vain that the pursuers, who had now come up, stated that the fugitive was not a debtor, but a notorious perjurer who had fled from Gloucester to avoid his trial: their assertions were not attended to. The populace felt, that in their united strength, they could protect as well as free; and it is almost a question if they would at the moment, have given up the man had his guilt been proved to a demonstration. However, as it was merely a matter of opinion which to believe,—the pursuers or the pursued, the result need scarcely be told; the fugitive was hedged round with men and weapons, and the horsemen, after uttering many an idle threat, rode on to Sudley Castle to call upon the steward to assist in his recapture. The accused marked their course; and, after breathing out the most fervent gratitude to his preservers, he approached John Ball, and, bending his head, said, in a subdued tone,