The Prince and the Pauper

at ten of the clock in the morning, and two say it was some minutes later—the sick man being alone at the time, and sleeping—and presently the man came forth again and went his way. The sick man died within the hour, being torn with spasms and retchings.”

“Did any see the poison given? Was poison found?”

“Marry, no, my liege.”

“Then how doth one know there was poison given at all?”

“Please your Majesty, the doctors testified that none die with such symptoms but by poison.”

Weighty evidence, this, in that simple age. Tom recognised its formidable nature, and said—

“The doctor knoweth his trade—belike they were right. The matter hath an ill-look for this poor man.”

“Yet was not this all, your Majesty; there is more and worse. Many testified that a witch, since gone from the village, none know whither, did foretell, and speak it

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