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 It was not until the end of July that the High Court of Chivalry rendered its judgment. There were many unusual points in the case, some of which bore heavily against Lord Falworth, some of which were in his favor. He was very ably defended by the lawyers whom the Earl of Mackworth had engaged upon his side; nevertheless, under ordinary circumstances, the judgment, no doubt, would have been quickly rendered against him. As it was, however, the circumstances were not ordinary, and it was rendered in his favor. The Court besought the King to grant the ordeal by battle, to accept Lord Falworth's champion, and to appoint the time and place for the meeting.  
The decision must have been a most bitter, galling one for the sick King. He was naturally of a generous, forgiving nature, but Lord Falworth in his time of power had been an unrelenting and fearless opponent, and his Majesty who, like most generous men, could on occasions be very cruel and intolerant, had never forgiven him. He had steadily thrown the might of his influence with the Court against the Falworths' case, but that influence was no longer all-powerful for good or ill. He was failing in health, and it could only be a matter of a few years, probably of only a few months, before his successor sat upon the throne.
Upon the other hand, the Prince of Wales's faction had been steadily, and of late rapidly, increasing in power, and in the Earl of Mackworth, its virtual head, it possessed one of the most capable politicians and astute intriguers in Europe. So, as the outcome of all the plotting and counter-plotting, scheming and counter-scheming, the case was decided in Lord Falworth's favor. The knowledge of the ultimate result was known to the Prince of Wales's circle almost a week before it was finally decided. Indeed, the Earl of Mackworth had made pretty sure of that result before he had summoned Myles from France, but upon the King it fell like the shock of a sudden blow. All that day he kept himself in moody seclusion, nursing his silent, bitter anger, and making only one outbreak, in which he swore by the Holy Rood that should Myles be worsted in the encounter, he would not take the battle into his own hands, but would suffer him to be slain, and furthermore, that should the Earl show signs of failing at any time, he would do all in his power to save him. One of the courtiers who had been present, and who was secretly inclined to the Prince of Wales's faction, had repeated this speech at Scotland Yard, and the Prince had said, “That meaneth, Myles, that thou must either win or die.”
“And so I would have it to be, my Lord,” Myles had answered.
It was not until nearly a fortnight after the decision of the Court of Chivalry had been rendered that the King announced the time and place of battle—the time to be the 3d of September, the place to be Smithfield—a spot much used for such encounters.
During the three weeks or so that intervened between this announcement and the time of combat, Myles went nearly every day to visit the lists in course of erection. Often the Prince went with him; always two or three of his friends of the Scotland Yard court accompanied him.
The lists were laid out in the usual form. The true or principal list in which the combatants were to engage was sixty yards long and forty yards wide; this rectangular space being surrounded by a fence about six feet high, painted vermilion. Between the fence and the stand where the King and the spectators sat, and surrounding the central space, was the outer or false list, also surrounded by a fence. In the false list the Constable and the Marshal and their followers and attendants were to be stationed at the time of battle to preserve the general peace during the contest between the principals.
One day as Myles, his princely patron, and his friends entered the barriers, leaving their horses at the outer gate, they met the Earl of Alban and his followers, who were just quitting the lists, which they also were in the habit of visiting nearly every day. As the two parties passed one another, the Earl spoke to a gentleman walking beside him and in a voice loud enough to be clearly overheard by the others: “Yonder is the young sprig of Falworth,” said he. “His father, my Lords, is not content with forfeiting his own life for his treason, but must, forsooth, throw away his son's also. I have faced and overthrown many a better knight than that boy.”
Myles heard the speech, and knew that it was intended for him to hear it; but he paid no attention to it, walking composedly at the Prince's side. The Prince had also overheard it, and after a little space of silence asked, “Dost thou not feel anxiety for thy coming battle, Myles?”
“Yea, my Lord,” said Myles; “sometimes I do feel anxiety, but not such as my Lord of Alban would have me feel in uttering the speech that he spake anon. It is anxiety for my father's sake and my mother's sake that I feel, for truly there are great matters for them pending upon this fight. Ne'theless, I do know that God will not desert me in my cause, for verily my father is no traitor.”
“But the Earl of Alban,” said the Prince, gravely, “is reputed one of the best-skilled knights in all England; moreover, he is merciless and without generosity, so that an he gain aught advantage over thee,............
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