Page:True stories of girl heroines.djvu/119

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Emma Fitz-Osborn

Both had distinguished themselves by their bravery in the war which had made William of Normandy King of England, and had received these earldoms in recognition of their services. William the Conqueror was at this time in his own native land, having left the Primate Lanfranc in temporary charge of England. During this breathing space the warriors had had time to think of other matters than the excitement of arms. Raoul had paid a visit to Roger in his new and stately castle, and the beauty and grace of Emma had so completely won his heart that they had become affianced in a few weeks' time, and he was already urging on an immediate marriage.

Such a marriage was entirely to the mind of the brother, and as for Emma, her heart had been won by the attractions and manly beauty of Raoul, whose fierce temperament seemed to find its complement in her lofty courage.

Such a thing as any opposition upon the King's part never once entered the minds of any of the parties concerned. Nor has it ever been made clear why the Conqueror raised this objection, and by his haughty mandate alienated the allegiance of some of his most faithful followers.

Had there been time for the journey to and fro, perhaps the brother might have crossed the sea and returned with the Royal assent, and the subsequent tragedy might have been averted; as it was, the