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The Golden Glove - Harper's

 

There was a young, rich, and beautiful lady who was about to be married to a lord. A day or two before the wedding the lord brought his friend, a gallant and handsome young farmer, to see the lady of his choice. The lady fell in love at first sight with the farmer, and ere they parted, the farmer was as deep in love with her.

When the morning of the wedding had come, the lady, love-sick for the young farmer, instead of betaking herself to the kirk to be married, took to her bed, and the wedding was put off. Nevertheless, in the afternoon, she disguised her face, and dressing herself in manly apparel, went with cross-bow on her shoulder, and with her dogs at her heels, to hunt on the grounds of the young farmer, which were part of her own estate.

She crossed and recrossed the fields, whistled and hallooed to her dogs, without meeting the farmer. As she was beginning to fear that he was absent, and was about to withdraw, she met him coming up the road.

She professed to be surprised to see him, as she understood he was to be at the wedding to give away the bride to the lord.

"Ah!" said the young farmer, with a sigh, "I would she were as poor as myself, that I might ask her to give herself to me."

"Are you, then, in love with the promised bride of the young lord your friend? How would you answer to him, should the lady favor your hopes?" said she.

"With sword and axe I would give him a meeting, and let the best man win."

"HERE IS A GLOVE I PICKED UP ON THE WAY." "HERE IS A GLOVE I PICKED UP ON THE WAY."

At parting, the lady drew from her pocket a glove embroidered with gold, and said to the farmer, "Here is a glove I picked up on the way thither; as I am a stranger here, I will leave it with you in order that you may find the owner."

Next day she sent out the crier to say that she had lost a glove embroidered with gold, and that she would take the man who found it for her husband, if the man were willing.

The young farmer heard the proclamation, and, half wild with joy, and half doubting his good fortune, took his way to the house of the lady. He presented the glove, and modestly reminded her of the reward promised to the finder, and although that reward was far above his hopes, it was what his heart most ardently desired.

Before he left her, she confirmed the promise of the crier, and agreed to take him for her husband. The report was soon spread abroad, and coming to the young lord's ears, he demanded that the farmer should resign his claim to the lady, or else meet him in single combat.

The farmer answered that he would never resign the lady while there was breath in his body, but that he would meet the young lord when and where he pleased, and with whatever weapons he liked to choose.

Swords and bucklers being chosen, on the day appointed for the fight the lord and the farmer, accompanied by their seconds, or shield-bearers, and their friends, met to settle their difference. With the assistance of their shields the combatants warded off each other's blows for some time, but at last the farmer clove his adversary's shield in twain, and following up his advantage, brought the young lord to his knees by a blow on his helmet.

Then putting his sword to his throat, he made the young lord resign all claim to the lady, and beg his own life.

Soon the handsome young farmer and the rich and beautiful lady were married, and after a time she told him of her device of the glove, and how the game that she hunted that day with her dogs and her cross-bow was the young farmer himself. Both agreed that for the hunter and the hunted that hunting was the happiest that had ever been undertaken in Thulê.