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|A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court||Mark Twain|
|Page 4 of 8||
"That is a good piece of war correspondence, Clarence; you are a first-rate newspaper man. Well -- is the king all right?" Did he get well?"
"Poor soul, no. He is dead."
I was utterly stunned; it had not seemed to me that any wound could be mortal to him.
"And the queen, Clarence?"
"She is a nun, in Almesbury."
"What changes! and in such a short while. It is inconceivable. What next, I wonder?"
"I can tell you what next."
"Stake our lives and stand by them!"
"What do you mean by that?"
"The Church is master now. The Interdict included you with Mordred; it is not to be removed while you remain alive. The clans are gathering. The Church has gathered all the knights that are left alive, and as soon as you are discovered we shall have business on our hands."
"Stuff! With our deadly scientific war-material; with our hosts of trained --"
"Save your breath -- we haven't sixty faithful left!"
"What are you saying? Our schools, our colleges, our vast workshops, our --"
"When those knights come, those establishments will empty themselves and go over to the enemy. Did you think you had educated the superstition out of those people?"
"I certainly did think it."
"Well, then, you may unthink it. They stood every strain easily -- until the Interdict. Since then, they merely put on a bold outside -- at heart they are quaking. Make up your mind to it -- when the armies come, the mask will fall."
"It's hard news. We are lost. They will turn our own science against us."
"No they won't."
"Because I and a handful of the faithful have blocked that game. I'll tell you what I've done, and what moved me to it. Smart as you are, the Church was smarter. It was the Church that sent you cruising -- through her servants, the doctors."
"It is the truth. I know it. Every officer of your ship was the Church's picked servant, and so was every man of the crew."
"It is just as I tell you. I did not find out these things at once, but I found them out finally. Did you send me verbal information, by the commander of the ship, to the effect that upon his return to you, with supplies, you were going to leave Cadiz --"
"Cadiz! I haven't been at Cadiz at all!"
"-- going to leave Cadiz and cruise in distant seas indefinitely, for the health of your family? Did you send me that word?"
"Of course not. I would have written, wouldn't I?"
"Naturally. I was troubled and suspicious. When the commander sailed again I managed to ship a spy with him. I have never heard of vessel or spy since. I gave myself two weeks to hear from you in. Then I resolved to send a ship to Cadiz. There was a reason why I didn't."
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|A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court
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