THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 11: THE YANKEE IN SEARCH OF ADVENTURES
Well, one must make the best of things, and not waste time with
useless fretting, but get down to business and see what can be
done. In all lies there is wheat among the chaff; I must get at
the wheat in this case: so I sent for the girl and she came. She
was a comely enough creature, and soft and modest, but, if signs
went for anything, she didn't know as much as a lady's watch. I said:
"My dear, have you been questioned as to particulars?"
She said she hadn't.
"Well, I didn't expect you had, but I thought I would ask, to make
sure; it's the way I've been raised. Now you mustn't take it
unkindly if I remind you that as we don't know you, we must go
a little slow. You may be all right, of course, and we'll hope
that you are; but to take it for granted isn't business. You
understand that. I'm obliged to ask you a few questions; just
answer up fair and square, and don't be afraid. Where do you
live, when you are at home?"
"In the land of Moder, fair sir."
"Land of Moder. I don't remember hearing of it before.
"As to that, I know not if they be yet on live, sith it is many
years that I have lain shut up in the castle."
"Your name, please?"
"I hight the Demoiselle Alisande la Carteloise, an it please you."
"Do you know anybody here who can identify you?"
"That were not likely, fair lord, I being come hither now for
the first time."
"Have you brought any letters--any documents--any proofs that
you are trustworthy and truthful?"