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The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett

I The New Lodgers at No. 7 Philibert Place

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He rose from his seat and went to a corner of the room. He knelt down, turned back the carpet, lifted a plank, and took something from beneath it. It was a sword, and, as he came back to Marco, he drew it out from its sheath. The child's strong, little body stiffened and drew itself up, his large, deep eyes flashed. He was to take his oath of allegiance upon a sword as if he were a man. He did not know that his small hand opened and shut with a fierce understanding grip because those of his blood had for long centuries past carried swords and fought with them.

Loristan gave him the big bared weapon, and stood erect before him.

``Repeat these words after me sentence by sentence!'' he commanded.

And as he spoke them Marco echoed each one loudly and clearly.

``The sword in my hand--for Samavia!

``The heart in my breast--for Samavia!

``The swiftness of my sight, the thought of my brain, the life of my life--for Samavia.

``Here grows a man for Samavia.

``God be thanked!''

Then Loristan put his hand on the child's shoulder, and his dark face looked almost fiercely proud.

``From this hour,'' he said, ``you and I are comrades at arms.''

And from that day to the one on which he stood beside the broken iron railings of No. 7 Philibert Place, Marco had not forgotten for one hour.

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The Lost Prince
Frances Hodgson Burnett

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