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The Weaver's home again, at night-time. The table, upon which a lamp burns feebly,
now stands by the window. The shutters are closed and barred. Lightning is seen
through the window in the loft, and distant thunder is heard. The door leading to the
alley is undone from without, and
JOAN and SIMON enter.

JOAN. Do they still follow?

SIMON. Nay, they pursued us no further than the mouth of the alley.

JOAN. Then 'twas the echo of our own footsteps that frightened me.

SIMON (fastening the door). Malison on the knaves, and upon the base lord they serve!

JOAN. Why do you do up the door, good man? Shall we rest in peace while our child remaineth in the castle?

SIMON(coming to her). Nay, but 'tis no work for thee. Keep thou within, and when I have regained my breath I will creep back to the castle through the shadows.

JOAN (clinging to him). They will surely beat thee again.

SIMON. I feel naught, save that our little maid is stolen.

JOAN. Saints forgive me! thou dost not believe she hath been party to this cruelty?

SIMON. Wife!

JOAN (weeping). I know not what I say.

SIMON. Did ye not hear her entreat that we might be well cared for?

JOAN. Sooth, did I; and prettily 'twas spoke.

SIMON. This is but a scurvy trick of this lord's to be rid of us. But bolts and chains will not hold her, once she learns how we have been misused. Buss me, wife, and let me go forth.

JOAN (listening). Hist!

SIMON. The alley is quiet.

JOAN. 'Tis neighbour Grimoald's magpie hath broken its cage once more and is beating its wings against our shutters.

Lightning again, and a sharper peal of thunder. SIMON opens the door and LAINE
enters swiftly. She is still in her rich clothes, but is carrying a poor-looking bundle.

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