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How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Plighted Their Troth In The Cloisters Of Saint George's Chapel

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How King Henry The Eighth Held A Chapter Of The Garter

What Passed Between Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Suffolk And How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Her In The Oratory

How Mabel Lyndwood Was Taken To The Castle By Nicholas Clamp

Showing How Morgan Fenwolf Escaped From The Garter Tower

Of The Meeting Of King Henry The Eighth And Anne Boleyn At The Lower Gate

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How Sir Thomas Wyat Found Mabel In The Sandstone Cave And What Happened To Him There

Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle

How Anne Boleyn Received Proof Of Henry's Passion For Jane Seymour

How Herne Appeared To Henry In The Home Park

Of Henry's Attachment To Jane Seymour

Containing The History Of The Castle From The Reign Of Charles The Second To That Of George The Third






How Herne Appeared To Henry In The Home Park








On that same night, at a late hour, a horseman, mounted on a powerful
steed, entered the eastern side of the home park, and stationed himself
beneath the trees. He had not been there long, when the castle clock
tolled forth the hour of midnight, and ere the deep strokes died away, a
second horseman was seen galloping across the moonlit glade towards him.

"Has all been done as I directed, Suffolk?" he demanded, as the newcomer
approached him.

"It has, my liege," replied the duke. "The queen is imprisoned within
her chamber, and will be removed, at early dawn, to the Tower."

"You had better start in an hour from this time," said the king. "It is
a long passage by water, and I am anxious to avoid all chance of attempt
at rescue."

"Your wishes shall be obeyed," replied the duke. "Poor soul! her grief
was most agonizing, and I had much ado to maintain my composure. She
implored, in the most passionate manner, to be allowed to see your
highness before her removal. I told her it was impossible; and that even
if you were at the castle, you would not listen to her supplications."

"You did right," rejoined Henry; "I will never see her more--not that
I fear being moved by her prayers, but that, knowing how deceitful and
faithless she is, I loathe to look upon her. What is expressed upon the
matter by the household? Speak frankly."

"Frankly then," replied the duke, "your highness's proceedings are
regarded as harsh and unjustifiable. The general opinion is, that you
only desire to remove Anne to make way for Mistress Jane Seymour."

"Ha! they talk thus, do they?" cried the king. "I will silence their
saucy prating ere long. Tell all who venture to speak to you on the
subject that I have long suspected the queen of a secret liking for
Norris, but that I determined to conceal my suspicions till I found I
had good warrant for them. That occurred, as you know, some weeks ago.
However, I awaited a pretext for proceeding against them, and it was
furnished by their own imprudence to-day. Convinced that something would
occur, I had made my preparations; nor was I deceived. You may add,
also, that not until my marriage is invalidated, Anne's offspring
illegitimatised, and herself beheaded, shall I consider the foul blot
upon my name removed."

"Has your majesty any further commands?" said Suffolk. "I saw Norris in
his prison before I rode forth to you."

"Let him be taken to the Tower, under a strong escort, at once," said
Henry. "Lord Rochford, I suppose, has already been removed there?"

"He has," replied the duke. "Shall I attend your majesty to your
followers?"

"It is needless," replied the king. "They are waiting for me, close at
hand, at the foot of Datchet Bridge. Fare well, my good brother; look
well to your prisoners. I shall feel more easy when Anne is safely
lodged within the Tower."

So saying he wheeled round, and striking spurs into his steed, dashed
through the trees, while the duke rode back to the castle.

Henry had not proceeded far, when a horseman, mounted on a sable steed,
emerged from the thicket, and galloped up to him. The wild attire and
antlered helm of this personage proclaimed the forest fiend.

"Ah! thou here, demon!" cried the king, his lion nature overmastered by
superstitious fear for a moment. "What wouldst thou?"

"You are on the eve of committing a great crime," replied Herne; "and I
told you that at such times I would always appear to you."

"To administer justice is not to commit crime," rejoined the king. "Anne
Boleyn deserves her fate."

"Think not to impose on me as you have imposed on Suffolk!" cried Herne,
with a derisive laugh. "I know your motives better; I know you have no
proof of her guilt, and that in your heart of hearts you believe her
innocent. But you destroy her because you would wed Jane Seymour! We
shall meet again ere long--ho! ho! ho!"

And giving the rein to his steed, he disappeared among the trees.





Next: The Signal Gun

Previous: What Passed Between Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Suffolk And How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Her In The Oratory



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