The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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ground the brave Knight, who was already sufficiently wearied with the strife, and half poisoned besides by the dragon's noisome breath. The servants, however, seeing the dragon fall, rushed down from the neighbouring heights, and thinking they could discern some faint signs of life in their master, lilled their caps with water from the stream hard by, and dashed it over him. He soon recovered sufficiently to be able to mount his horse and ride back to the city, where he told the Grand Master of his splendid exploit, thinking, not unnaturally, that honour, reward and glory would be his—who had freed the country from such a dire pest. But, alas ! the Grand Master set the duty of obedience before even such deeds as De Gozon's. The Knight had disobeyed the edict, had been altogether far too foolhardy and presumptuous, and must take the consequences; he was accordingly degraded and imprisoned. Not for very long, however, we are happy to think, for the tidings soon spread over the whole island, and people were so strong in his favour, that the Grand Master was induced to relent. De Gozon was liberated from prison and reinstated. Shortly after­wards all the people in the city assembled to do him honour in a procession ; nor were the brave dogs for­gotten, for had it not been for their furious onslaught it is not likely that the Knight would have lived to tell the tale. They were led at the head of the procession, with the dragon's skin borne before them, heralds proclaiming as they went: ' These are the brave English dogs, the pre­servers of the Knight, the conquerors of the dragon.' Four years afterwards the Grand Master, Elio de Villa-nova, died ; and Deodatus de Gozon was unanimously elected as his successor -in the year 1349.
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