Flemish Legend Sir Halewyn by Charles de Coster Chapter 27

How Sir Roel and the lady Gonde questioned Toon the Silent, and of what he answered

While Magtelt was on her way to Halewyn, and when the first hour of her journey had already gone by, the lady Gonde questioned Sir Roel: “Sir,” she said, “do you know where our daughter may be?”

Sir Roel said that he knew nothing of it; and speaking to the Silent: “Son,” said he, “dost thou know where thy sister has gone?”

The Silent answered quietly: “Magtelt is a brave maid; whom God leads he leads well.”

“Sir,” said the lady Gonde, “do not put yourself to the trouble of questioning him further, for saying so much he has used up his words.”

But Sir Roel to Toon: “Son, dost thou not know where she is?”

“Magtelt,” answered he, “is a fair maid, and carries her crown straight.”

“Ah,” exclaimed the lady Gonde, “I am growing anxious; where is she then?”

And she went off to search the castle thoroughly.

But coming back she said to Sir Roel: “She is nowhere in the house; she has defied our orders and gone to Halewyn.”

“Wife,” said Roel, “that cannot be. Children, in this country, were always obedient to their parents.”

“Toon,” said she, “where is she? Toon, do you not know?”

“The Miserable,” he answered, “fears the beautiful maid; whom God leads he leads well.”

“Roel,” cried out the lady Gonde, “he knows where our Magtelt has gone!”

“Son, answer,” said Sir Roel.

The Silent answered:

“The sword of the crusade fell from the wall at the maid’s feet. Whom God guides succeeds in everything.”

“Toon,” cried the lady Gonde, “where is Magtelt?”

“The virgin,” he said, “rides without fear, she goes faster than the armed man: whom God leads he leads well.”

The lady Gonde groaned:

“Ah,” she said, “our Magtelt will be killed, even now she is stiff frozen, sweet Jesus! The sword of the crusade is of no avail against Siewert Halewyn.”

The Silent answered:

“He glories in his strength, thinking himself invincible, but when the beast goes with assurance the hunter follows more easily.”

“Wicked son, how couldst thou think to send the little bird to the hawk, the virgin to the enemy of virgins?”

The Silent answered:

“She will come whither none looks to see her: whom God leads he leads well.”

“Sir,” said the lady Gonde to Roel, “you hear what he says; she has gone to Halewyn, and ’tis this wicked son that gave her leave.”

Sir Roel going to Toon:

“Son,” said he, “we had here but one joy, that was our Magtelt. Thou hast abused thy privilege in giving her leave to go thither. If she comes not back to us by nightfall I will curse thee and banish thee from my house. May God hear me, and take from thee, in this world bread and salt, and in the other thy portion in Paradise.”

“God,” said the Silent, “will guide the sword. Whosoever has done wrong, on him let fall the punishment.”

Gonde began crying out, weeping and making dole. Roel bade her be silent, and sent a goodly troop of men-at-arms in the direction she had taken.

But they came back without having seen anything of Magtelt, for they had not dared to go into the territory of Halewyn by reason of the spell.