ese mocking lips that gentleness and justice and mercy were in the dust. "Robert the Bad," she murmured to herself, and the words made her shudder in the sun.
The fool leered at her as if he read her thoughts, and he laughed briskly.
"Angel of Arcady," he piped, "shall I tell you tales of the King to admonish your innocency?"
Perpetua's eyes and mind came back from the sky into which she had been staring. There might be a new king in Sicily, but she had her old work to do.
"I have my task to do," she answered. "But you can talk to me at my work, if you choose."
"What is your task?" questioned the fool, and the girl answered, simply:
"To serve my father's sword!"
She turned from her interrogator and entered her dwelling, passing between its fringe of columns, as slim and erect as they, while the fool gaped at her. In another moment she reappeared, carrying with her that which contrasted strangely enough with her sex, her beauty, and her youth. She bore in her st