THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 17: A ROYAL BANQUET
"I, my lord? How so? It was I that killed the deer!"
"You did? Oh, dear, this is the most mixed-up business that ever--"
"Dear lord, I begged him on my knees to confess, but--"
"You did! It gets thicker and thicker. What did you want him
to do that for?"
"Sith it would bring him a quick death and save him all this
"Well--yes, there is reason in that. But he didn't want the
"He? Why, of a surety he did."
"Well, then, why in the world didn't he confess?"
"Ah, sweet sir, and leave my wife and chick without bread and shelter?"
"Oh, heart of gold, now I see it! The bitter law takes the convicted
man's estate and beggars his widow and his orphans. They could
torture you to death, but without conviction or confession they
could not rob your wife and baby. You stood by them like a man;
and you--true wife and the woman that you are--you would have
bought him release from torture at cost to yourself of slow
starvation and death--well, it humbles a body to think what your
sex can do when it comes to self-sacrifice. I'll book you both
for my colony; you'll like it there; it's a Factory where I'm going
to turn groping and grubbing automata into men."