ADVENTURES OF WILLIAM SHORT NOSE 277
' My Lord,' said Gibourc, ' be sure you see that he is honourably treated. He looks to me to be of high birth. Has he been baptized ?'
'No, Madam, he is not a Christian. He was brought from Spain as a child, and kept for seven years in the kitchen. But take him, I pray you, under your protection, and do with him as you will.'
The Count was hungry, and while waiting for dinner to be served he stood with Gibourc at the windows which looked out beyond the city. An army was drawing near; thousands of men, well mounted and freshly equipped. ' Gibourc !' cried the Count, joyfully, 'here is ni3T brother Ernaut de Gironde, with his vassals. Now all the Saracens in the world shall not prevent Bertrand from being delivered to-morrow.'
' No,' answered Gibourc, ' nor Vivian from being avenged.'
On all sides warriors began to arrive, led by the fathers of those who had been taken prisoners with Bertrand, and with them came Aimeri de Narbonne and the brothers of William. Glad was the heart of the Count as he bade them welcome to his Palace of Gloriette, and ordered a feast to be made ready, and showed each Knight where he should sit.
It was late before the supper was served, but when every man had his trencher filled Rainouart entered the hall, armed with his staff, and stood leaning against a pillar, watching the noble company. ' Sir,' said Aimeri, the man whom the Saracens most dreaded, ' who is it that I see standing there holding a piece of wood that five peasants could hardly lift ? Does he mean to murder us ?'
'That youth,' replied William, 'is a gift to me from King Louis. None living is as strong as he.' Then Aimeri called Rainouart, and bade him sit at his side, and eat and drink as -he would. ' Noble Count,' said Aimeri, ' such men grow not on every bush. Keerj him