``Somebody in the crowd must have dropped it in my pocket,'' he said. On the paper were scrawled these words:
``_Look out for the Wild Dog!_''
At last--the tournament! Ever afterward the Hon. Samuel Budd called it ``The Gentle and Joyous Passage of Arms--not of Ashby-- but of the Gap, by-suh!'' The Hon. Samuel had arranged it as nearly after Sir Walter as possible. And a sudden leap it was from the most modern of games to a game most ancient.
No knights of old ever jousted on a lovelier field than the green little valley toward which the Hon. Sam waved one big hand. It was level, shorn of weeds, elliptical in shape, and bound in by trees that ran in a semicircle around the bank of the river, shut in the southern border, and ran back to the northern extremity in a primeval little forest that wood-thrushes, even then, were making musical--all of it shut in by a wall of living green, save for one narrow space through which the knights were to enter. In front waved Wallens' leafy ridge and behind rose the Cumberland Range shouldering itself spur by spur, into the coming sunset and crashing eastward into the mighty bulk of Powell's Mountain, which loomed southward from the head of the valley--all nodding sunny plumes of chestnut.
The Hon. Sam had seen us coming from afar apparently, had come forward to meet us, and he was in high spirits.
``I am Prince John and Waldemar and all the rest of 'em this day,'' he said, ``and `it is thus,' '' quoting Sir Walter, ``that we set the dutiful example of loyalty to the Queen of Love and Beauty, and are ourselves her guide to the throne which she must this day occupy.'' And so saying, the Hon. Sam marshalled the Blight to a seat of honor next his own.
``And how do you know she is going to be the Queen of Love and Beauty?'' asked the little sister. The Hon. Sam winked at me.
``Well, this tournament lies between two gallant knights. One will make her the Queen of his own accord, if he wins, and if the other wins, he's got to, or I'll break his head. I've given orders.'' And the Hon. Sam looked about right and left on the people who were his that day.