THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 13: FREEMEN
"Take it to the palace at Camelot and give it into the hands of
Amyas le Poulet, whom I call Clarence, and he will understand."
"He is a priest, then," said the man, and some of the enthusiasm
went out of his face.
"How--a priest? Didn't I tell you that no chattel of the Church,
no bond-slave of pope or bishop can enter my Man-Factory? Didn't
I tell you that you couldn't enter unless your religion, whatever
it might be, was your own free property?"
"Marry, it is so, and for that I was glad; wherefore it liked me not,
and bred in me a cold doubt, to hear of this priest being there."
"But he isn't a priest, I tell you."
The man looked far from satisfied. He said:
"He is not a priest, and yet can read?"
"He is not a priest and yet can read--yes, and write, too, for that
matter. I taught him myself." The man's face cleared. "And it is
the first thing that you yourself will be taught in that Factory--"
"I? I would give blood out of my heart to know that art. Why,
I will be your slave, your--"
"No you won't, you won't be anybody's slave. Take your family
and go along. Your lord the bishop will confiscate your small
property, but no matter. Clarence will fix you all right."