WHEN YOUNG PEOPLE GET TOGETHER 179
The clear call of a cornet sounded without. I looked toward the door to see a tall-robed figure raise a taller spear; the gates flew open, and, led by the seneschal and preceded by their bugler, came the procession.
I retreated to my corner, and regarded the long lines with quick interest.
First came two heralds, bearing the Joyous Guard banner and the American flag. Two by two marched the pages, wearing capes of blue, with the white cross of the Order, and carrying spears; sturdy Esquires, in long garments of red, their black shirts giving the appearance of armor, wore huge shields on their left arms. Close following were Knights in white robes, with swords at their sides, and members of the peerage. Seven Chamberlains, in knee tunics and helmets, preceded the grave Chancellors in their togas, black and red mantles, and high caps. In the place of honor at the rear, walked Merlin, the counselor, though not of "uncounted winters," like the old magician, and the King in his purple robe and gold crown.
Around the hall the Seneschal led the armed procession, escorting in a body the visiting castle of Camelot, in like order. Three times the hall was circled, the marching throng singing the song of the young knight:
Comrades, hail the cross that leads us, Comrades, hail the Grail that beckons, Comrades, hail the war that waits us, Knights of holy chivalry.
At the foot of the hall they paused and marched toward the throne. Here the procession halted and formed two long lines, facing inward, and in silence Merlin and the King marched upward under an arch of crossed spears. King Arthur is on his throne. Pages, Esquires, and Knights salute, and at a signal from Excalibur, the King's sword, each of this goodly company, with knightly order, immediately seeks his own place in the hall.
The circle is formed. Sir Merlin, the Sentinel, and a Messenger, are seated at the Round Table; the Constable goes to