, 'and belongeth to the king, if it belongeth to anybody. Any of you gentlemen hold his majesty's warrant to forbid an old officer of his?'
"That seemed to put them in a dreadful rage, for to talk of a warrant was unpleasant to them.
"'Good fellow, thou mayest spin spider's webs, or jib up and down like a gnat,' said one, 'but such tricks are not lawful upon land of ours. Therefore render up thy spoil.'
"Squire walked up from the pebbles at that, and he stood before the three of them, as tall as any of them. And he said, 'You be young men, but I am old. Nevertheless, I will not be robbed by three, or by thirty of you. If you be cowards enough, come on.'
"Two of them held off, and I heard them say, 'Let him alone, he is a brave old cock.' For you never seed anyone look more braver, and his heart was up with righteousness. But the other, who seemed to be the oldest of the three, shouted out something, and put his leg across, and made at the squire with a long blue thing that shone in