“Now,” he continued, “withdraw a little and let me say my prayer, I beseech you. You, also, stand aside,” he said to the masked man. “It is only for a moment and I know that I belong to you; but remember that you are not to strike till I give the signal.”
Then he knelt down, made the sign of the cross, and lowering his face to the planks, as if he would have kissed them, said in a low tone, in French, “Comte de la Fere, are you there?”
“Yes, your majesty,” he answered, trembling.
“Faithful friend, noble heart!” said the king, “I should not have been rescued. I have addressed my people and I have spoken to God; last of all I