were more venomous than the men, striking and scratching
And had the whole court, had King Henry himself, come right then, Thomas Seymour would not have heeded it; it would not have affrighted him. The blood had mounted to his head and overcome his reason. His heart, still agitated and beating violently from his furious ride and his anxiety for Catharine, allowed him to hear no other voice than that of passion.
He knelt by the queen and seized her hand.
Perhaps it was this touch which roused her from her unconsciousness. She raised her eyes and gazed around with a perplexed look.
"Where am I?" breathed she in a low tone.
Thomas Seymour pressed her hand to his lips. "You are with the most faithful and devoted of your servants, queen!"
"Queen!" This word roused her from her stupor, and caused her to raise herself half up.
"But where is my court? Where is the Princess Elizabeth? Where are all the eyes that heretofore watched me? Where are all the listeners and spies who accompany the queen?"
"They are far away from here," said Seymour in a tone which betrayed his secret delight. "They are far away from here, and need at least an hour's time to come up with us. An hour, queen! are you aware what that is to me? An hour of freedom, after two years of imprisonment! An hour of happiness, after two years of daily torture, daily endurance of the torments of hell!"
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