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Page 236

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

We shall have to rest-rest! when we might be dancing or riding or running hand in hand through the gardens with someone we love."
" Be quiet. You make me depressed."
It was Elizabeth Throgmorton who spoke for the first time, a look of fear on her lovely face as if she knew the years were passing by and she might never win the man she loved so dearly.
" 'Tis true," Lady Mary replied stubbornly.
Lizbeth could listen to no more of their chatter. It was true, as Lady Mary had inferred, that the Queen's hair was dyed and her teeth black ; yet she could inspire such men as Drake, Raleigh and Rodney to great deeds, to a devotion which was expressed in that they served her not only with their bodies and their minds, but with their very hearts and souls. What more could any woman ask? It was not youth that mattered ; it was something greater and more important than the counting of years.
She did not sleep for a long time. When she awoke, it was only just dawn and a pale light was coming like a grey ghost through the sides of the curtains. The other Maids of Honour were all still asleep, and as she lay there and listened to their gentle breathing Lizbeth suddenly felt a yearning for the open air of the countryside, for the wind blowing up the valley at Camfield, for the frost lying white on the grass of the parkland.
She rose softly from her bed and slipping into the other room, sent the maid who was on duty in search of Nanna. The old woman came hurrying. Lizbeth commanded her riding habit and sent a message below that she required her horse immediately.
" You should not be going out as early as this," Nanna said scoldingly. "'Tis all very well for you to indulge your fads and fancies at Camfield, but Her Majesty will not allow it at Whitehall."
" I want to breathe," Lizbeth said.
Grumbling and protesting Nanna brought her riding habit and plumed hat ; and when at length she was ready, Lizbeth looked at the river through the window and saw that the early sun was dispersing the silver mists. It was cold, but there

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