288 ADVENTURES OF WILLIAM SHORT NOSE
Then he gave to the peasant their horses and their armour in payment of the ruined beans. ' Ah, it has turned out a good bargain for me,' said the peasant. ' Blessed be the hour when I sowed such a crop.'
William entered into his Palace, where a great feast was spread for the visitors, but one man only remained outside the walls, and that was Eainouart, of whom no one thought in the hour of triumph. His heart swelled with bitterness as he thought of the blows he had given, and the captives he had set free, and, weeping with anger, he turned his face towards the Aliscans. On the road some Knights met him, and asked him whither he was going, and why he looked so sad. Then his wrath and grief burst out, and he told how he mourned that ever he had slain a man in William's cause, and that he was now hastening to serve under the banner of Mahomet, and would shortlv return with a hundred thousand men behind him, and would avenge himself on France and her King. Only towards Alix would he show any pity!
In vain the Knights tried to soften his heart, it was too sore to listen. So they rode fast to Orange and told the Count what Eainouart had said.
' I have done him grievous wrong,' answered William, and ordered twenty Knights to ride after him. But the Knights were received with threats and curses, and came back to Orange faster than they had left it, thinking that Rainouart was at their heels.
William smiled when he heard the tale of his messengers, and bade them bring his horse, and commanded that a hundred Knights should follow him, and prayed Gibourc to ride at his side. They found Rainouart entering a vessel whose sails were already spread, and all William's entreaties would have availed nothing had not Gibourc herself implored his forgiveness.
' I am your brother,' cried Rainouart, throwing himself on her neck; ' I may confess it now, and for you I