But he was, further, the fiercest of the litter
. He could make a louder rasping growl than any of them.
He took it into his head that the litter
was a bier on which was borne some sorely wounded or slain knight, to avenge whom was a task reserved for him alone; and without any further reasoning he laid his lance in rest, fixed himself firmly in his saddle, and with gallant spirit and bearing took up his position in the middle of the road where the encamisados must of necessity pass; and as soon as he saw them near at hand he raised his voice and said:
The mules may transport the litter
, and we have led horses for the old man and his daughter.''
The farrier ordered all the litter
to be taken out of my box day by day, and the floor kept very clean.
(A dozen good fellows dispersed to get it.) 'Are you badly hurt, my friend?' he asked the man on the litter
, in Italian.
The handles of the litter
were supported by four men, who were from time to time relieved by fresh relays, -- even as the bearers of Mother Cybele used to take turn and turn about at Rome in the ancient days, when she was brought from Etruria to the Eternal City, amid the blare of trumpets and the worship of a whole nation.
And all went well, and would have continued to go well, had not Lamai's mother, Lenerengo, just awakened, stepped across her black litter
of progeny and raised her voice in shrill protest against her eldest born's introducing of one more mouth and much more nuisance into the household.
The formidable Quasimodo had hurled himself from the litter
, and the women turned aside their eyes in order not to see him tear the archdeacon asunder.
They set the litter
down, turned and vanished into the darkness toward the village.
So a litter
was made, and, borne on the shoulders of half a dozen of the men, Bassett departed on the last little adventure that was to cap the total adventure, for him, of living.
'Oh, Holy One, thy Hills are kinder than our Plains!' cried Kim, relieved, as the lama tottered to the litter
. 'It is a very king's bed - a place of honour and ease.
Its mother had been killed nearby an' th' hole was swum out an' th' rest o' th' litter