Lady Jane Grey: Chapter IX

At the end of that merry day the governor made a speech. In short, he expressed his delight at Sir George arrival, and he made known that the gifts would now be handed out. Presents of furniture of all sorts and sizes were heaped upon Sir George. But most special of all was the gift of a single, pure gold vase studded with precious gems. Inlaid in it with silver were the names of all the people who lived in the valley, townsperson and landholder alike. All gave vent to free feelings of happiness, and never before had Sir George felt so loved.

“O most glorious people!” he began, his voice choked with emotion, “I thank you with all my heart for these gifts, and I promise you that I feel the utmost gratitude towards you to the lowest rib of my chest. I hope you will find me a good neighbor, and I shall try my best. I will always treasure this day in the folds of my memory, and will forever remember your kindness.” Tears filled his eyes, tears of happiness, tears of joy and love. “I shall one day try to repay what you have done for me.” He stopped, unable to go on.

A lusty cheer greeted the end, and a hundred voices declared their welcome. A hundred fireworks burst into the evening sky. A hundred presents took their places in carts. Tears sprang from the eyes of the people. Sir George mounted his horse, waved a fond farewell to the people and, turning rein, cantered off into the sunset.

Two weeks later everything was in order in Sir George’s new home. The spacious hall was bedecked with Turkish rugs, tapestries of all kinds and the furniture was exquisite. The bedrooms were richly furnished, as were also the kitchen, study, the numerous servants’ quarters, etc.

The grounds around the castle were extravagantly planted, forming a colorful array of blue, purple, yellow and orange flowers. Beyond the flowers were seemingly endless green pastures on which grazed cattle.

Sir George was now comfortably settled in the life of his castle and the valley. All of the people accepted him, that is, all but Dudley Cummings. Sir George and Lady Jane met frequently in their first meeting place. Sir George took Lady Jane’s and the governor’s advice, and placed an extra strong guard around the castle, and stationed servants in and around his room and one on each side of the door.

Life ran smoothly for a while, but then the move was made.

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