Cry for the Wolf, Chapter 13. by Richard Walker

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Chapter 13.

The hubbub of the city crowds echoed from the meanest alley to the broadest avenue in the city, called King's Walk, used for the yearly royal procession. All morning long the news of the arrival of the royal heralds had been trickling out of the great houses to be passed from ear to ear from one end of town to the other. As the royal procession itself rolled out of the last citadel of Kingsbridge into the city, a general hue and cry went up, bringing the last stragglers flooding out into the streets, citizens and visitors alike. The crowds cheered and shouted so that it crescendoed to a deafening roar as the royal procession hove into view. From their splendid carriage, the royal family smiled and waved.
The procession was led by the Marshal of the King's Hall, flying a satin pennant in the royal colors of sapphire and white from the head of his lance,· followed by the nearly two score mounted men of the King's Horseguard, wearing the king's own badge on their right shoulders. All looked noble and fierce in their blue and silvery white satin surcoats and parti-colored hoods, astride snow-white stallions from the king's own stables. The great heater-shields hanging from their saddles across their laps were painted with a blue field of the most vibrant color made from ground Iapis lazuli, and emblazoned with the hawk of the royal house in silver-gilt, wings spread wide, clutching a rose in each talon, one red and one yellow.
The horseguard were followed by the proudly marching yeoman Archers of the King's Guard, in their soft leather Phrygian-style caps, dyed royal blue, blue tunics and white hose and blue dyed soft leather shoes with the pointed toes, the royal badge prominent on the shoulders of their parti-color cloaks of blue and white. These were followed by the carriages holding the members of the royal family themselves.
The royal carriages were a wonder of gilding and flashing jewels, endless carved trim and beautiful enamelwork, sapphire velvet bunting, tinkling silver-belled harnesses, and at every corner sprays of bright spring flowers shot forth from bindings of pale taffeta ribbon. In the first sat the king and queen, wearing their ermine-furred cobalt blue cut-velvet great cloaks over cloth-of-gold robes clad in a tracery of fine embroidery, gem-encrusted chains of state and great jeweled crowns, he cradling the heavy jeweled scepter, she the glittering orb of the realm. The royal arms were rendered in silver and vibrant blue enamel in the center of the door on each side.
In the second came the Crown Prince James and his wife, princess Evienne the Grand Duchess of Cartois. He was a younger copy of his father the king, but sporting the bright copper hair of his Enladdian mother rather than his father's darker auburn locks. Evienne was a pale-skinned beauty, small and fine-boned like most of the Low Countries' folk, with perfectly coifed tresses of brown so dark as to be almost black and coquettish eyes nearly as dark. On each door of their carriage the royal arms were halved with those of Cartois in silver, gilt, and rich enamel.

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