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The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett

V "Silence Is Still the Order"

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``HIS blood,''-- Marco's intensity made his voice drop almost to a whisper,--``HIS blood has been trained for five hundred years, Father! If it comes true--'' though he laughed a little, he was obliged to wink his eyes hard because suddenly he felt tears rush into them, which no boy likes--``the shepherds will have to make a new song --it will have to be a shouting one about a prince going away and a king coming back!''

``They are a devout people and observe many an ancient rite and ceremony. They will chant prayers and burn altar-fires on their mountain sides,'' Loristan said. ``But the end is not yet--the end is not yet. Sometimes it seems that perhaps it is near--but God knows!''

Then there leaped back upon Marco the story he had to tell, but which he had held back for the last--the story of the man who spoke Samavian and drove in the carriage with the King. He knew now that it might mean some important thing which he could not have before suspected.

``There is something I must tell you,'' he said.

He had learned to relate incidents in few but clear words when he

related them to his father. It had been part of his training. Loristan had said that he might sometime have a story to tell when he had but few moments to tell it in--some story which meant life or death to some one. He told this one quickly and well. He made Loristan see the well-dressed man with the deliberate manner and the keen eyes, and he made him hear his voice when he said, ``Tell your father that you are a very well-trained lad.''

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``I am glad he said that. He is a man who knows what training is,'' said Loristan. ``He is a person who knows what all Europe is doing, and almost all that it will do. He is an ambassador from a powerful and great country. If he saw that you are a well-trained and fine lad, it might--it might even be good for Samavia.''

``Would it matter that _I_ was well-trained? COULD it matter to Samavia?'' Marco cried out.

Loristan paused for a moment--watching him gravely--looking him over--his big, well-built boy's frame, his shabby clothes, and his eagerly burning eyes.

He smiled one of his slow wonderful smiles.

``Yes. It might even matter to Samavia!'' he answered.

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The Lost Prince
Frances Hodgson Burnett

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