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We encourage the use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. Moreover, I thought it possible that I could pass the time in the position suggested with some tolerable amusement. When I do a thing I don't do it by halves." My promise, then, was given ; but six months are six months, and seem an eternity, and inasmuch as they stretched between me and my prospective industry (I suppose attac Ms are industrious; but I know not, for I never became attach^ to Sir Jacob or to anybody else) I cast about for some desirable mode of spending them. The noise outside subsided, but I heard the tread of feet . " Then, in God's name," I cried, stretching out my hands to him, " let us go to Zenda and crush this Michael, and bring the king back to his own again." The old fellow stood and looked at me for full a minute. I felt his hand on my shoulder, and his voice sounded husky as he whispered low in my ear: *' Before God, you're the finest Elphberg of them all. I was in a position to bid him defiance and tighten my grasp on the crown — not for its own sake, but be- cause the King of Ruritania was to wed the Prin- cess Flavia. Yet, unless he sets up as a saint, he need not hate himself for them.Maintain attribution Tht Goog Xt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find additional materials through Google Book Search. Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Therefore I said: " My dear sister, if in six months' time no unfore- seen obstacle has arisen, and Sir Jacob invites me, hang me if I don't go with Sir Jacob ! And it occurred to me if (( 10 THE PRISONER OF ZEN DA. It may seem strange that I had never visited that country yet; but my father (in spite of a sneaking fondness for the Elphbergs, which led him to give me, his sec- ond son, the famous Elphberg name of Rudolf) had always been averse to my going, and since his death my brother, prompted by Rose, had accepted the family tradition which taught that a wide berth was to be given to that country. But I have eaten of the king's bread, and I am the king's servant. He is better em- ployed, as it humbly seems to me, in giving thanks that power to resist was vouchsafed to him than in fretting over wicked impulses which come un- sought and extort an unwilling hospitality from the weakness of our nature. It was a fine bright morning when I walked, un- attended, to the princess' house, carrying a nose- gay in my hand. This lady was the Countess Amelia, whose picture my sister-in- law wished to remove from the drawing room in Park Lane; and her husband was James, fifth Earl of Burlesdon and twenty-second Baron Rassendyll, both in the peerage of England, and a Knight of the Garter. of Prince Rudolf, without having found leisure to adjust his relations with his wife — who after an- other two months bore an heir to the title and estates of the family of Burlesdon.
Upon this I stroked my hair: I knew quite well what she meant. He glanced at his wife : her cheek was slightly flushed ; he patted it caressingly. " I wish you'd take that picture away, Robert," said she. He stayed some months in England, where he was most courteously received; yet in the end he left rather under a cloud.
And, finally, if you walk through the pic- ture galleries at Burlesdon, among the fifty por- traits or so of the last century and a half you will find five or six, including that of the sixth earl, dis- tinguished by long, sharp, straight noses and a quantity of dark-red hair; these five or six have also blue eyes, whereas among the Rassendylls dark eyes are the commoner.
As for Rudolf, he went back to Ruri- tania, married a wife, and ascended the throne, whereon his progeny in the direct line have sat from then till this very hour---with one short in- terval.
Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. I had been to a German school and a German university, and spoke German as readily and perfectly as Eng- lish ; I was thoroughly at home in French ; I had a smattering of Italian, and enough Spanish to swear by.
Public domain books are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. I was, I believe, a strong, though hardly a fine, swordsman and a good shot.