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So many a time they met that autumn, and Elfhild would ever be asking him some boon; as the next time after this, it was the gifts which he had brought for her from the Cheaping; for in thinking of her he had clean forgotten them. So then was the merry time in talking of them, and shooting and hurling of them over, and the donning of them, and the talking of them again. Another time she prayed him to come clad in that goodly armour of the spoils of Deepdale, and he could no less than yeasay her, and there he was on the trysting-day, striding by the river-bank in the sun, like an heap of glittering ice hurrying before the river when the thaw is warm and the sun shining bright at Candlemas. And over that also went many pretty plays, as taking the pieces off, and naming them, and doing them on again, and the like.

So wore the days into winter, and yet the two saw each other full often even through the frost and snow and ill weather. And when the spring came, then it was dear to them indeed. And by that time had Osberne's fears about the stealing of Elfhild much worn off; though it is to be said that exceeding oft his heart was weary and sore with the longing to hold her in his arms. Yet the most of these times he kept his grief in his own heart; so much as Elfhild was moved when it brake forth from him, and she might, so to say, see the torments of him before her very eyes. Indeed on one time, when for a long while she might not comfort him, she told him that this was almost as bad as seeing him laid a-dying before her.

But kind and dear they were to each other, and there was nought in them that was not lovely in those first days of their manhood.

Continue to Chapter 32

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