The White Company

The White Company

The White Company

The White Company

Synopsis

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. But his favorite of all his books was this sweeping historical adventure set in the Middle Ages. When young Alleyne Edricson sets out into the world he has no idea of the exciting adventures he will have. It is 1366 and England is at war with Spain. Alleyne becomes a squire to Sir Nigel Loring and journeys to France to join the White Company, a bold band of archers. On the way, he is involved in jousts, a skirmish with vicious pirates, a daring rescue from a besieged castle, and a fierce battle in which Alleyne risks death to save Sir Nigel and the Company from defeat. Written by one of the world's most beloved authors and illustrated by one of our most distinguished artists, The White Company brings to life a medieval world of chivalry and stirring adventures that will delight readers of all ages.

Excerpt

Were called upon to perform, and of the busy, wide-spread life which centred in the old monastery. As they swept gravely in by twos and by threes, with bended heads and muttering lips, there were few who did not bear upon them some signs of their daily toil. Here were two with wrists and sleeves all spotted with the ruddy grape juice. There again was a bearded brother with a broad-headed axe and a bundle of faggots upon his shoulders, while beside him walked another with the shears under his arm and the white wool still clinging to his whiter gown. a long, straggling troop bore spades and mattocks, while the two rearmost of all staggered along under a huge basket of fresh-caught carp, for the morrow was Friday, and there were fifty platters to be filled and as many sturdy trenchermen behind them. of all the throng there was scarce one who was not labor-stained and weary, for Abbot Berghersh was a hard man to himself and to others.

Meanwhile, in the broad and lofty chamber set apart for occasions of import, the Abbot himself was pacing impatiently backwards and forwards, with his long white nervous hands clasped in front of him. His thin, thought-worn features and sunken, haggard cheeks bespoke one who had indeed beaten down that inner foe whom every man must face, but had none the less suffered sorely in the contest. in crushing his passions he had well-nigh crushed himself. Yet, frail as was his person, there gleamed out ever and anon from under his drooping brows a flash of fierce energy, which recalled to men's minds that he came of a fighting stock, and that even now his twin-brother, Sir Bartholomew Berghersh, was one of the most famous of those stern warriors who had planted the Cross of St. George before the gates of Paris. With lips compressed and clouded brow, he strode up and down the oaken floor, the very genius and impersonation of asceticism, while the great bell still thundered and clanged above his head. At last the uproar died away in three last, measured throbs, and ere their echo had ceased the Abbot struck a small gong which summoned a lay-brother to his presence.

"Have the brethern come?" he asked, in the Anglo-French dialect used in religious houses.

"They are here," the other answered, with his eyes cast down and his hands crossed upon his chest.

"All? . . ."

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