Afoot In England, By W.H. Hudson


























































































 -   Then the priest
came from the vestry, and seizing the rope vigorously, pulled
at it for five minutes, after which - Page 10
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Then The Priest Came From The Vestry, And Seizing The Rope Vigorously, Pulled At It For Five Minutes, After Which He Showed Us Where To Sit And The Service Began.

It was very pleasant there, with the door open to the sunlit forest and the little green churchyard without, with a willow wren, the first I had heard, singing his delicate little strain at intervals.

The service over, we rambled an hour longer in the wood, then returned to our village, which had a church of its own, and our landlady, hearing where we had been, told us the story, or tradition, of the little church in the wood. Its origin goes very far back to early Norman times, when all the land in this part was owned by one of William's followers on whom it had been bestowed. He built himself a house or castle on the edge of the forest, where he lived with his wife and two little daughters who were his chief delight. It happened that one day when he was absent the two little girls with their female attendant went into the wood in search of flowers, and that meeting a wild boar they turned and fled, screaming for help. The savage beast pursued, and, quickly overtaking them, attacked the hindermost, the youngest of the two little girls, anal killed her, the others escaping in the meantime. On the following day the father returned, and was mad with grief and rage on hearing of the tragedy, and in his madness resolved to go alone on foot to the forest and search for the beast and taste no food or drink until he had slain it.

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